The role of self-efficacy on child welfare workers' fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) training and practice

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study is a secondary data analysis of a purposeful sample of frontline child welfare workers (i.e. child protect services, foster care workers). The purpose of this study was to test whether child welfare workers (CWWs) who receive more training in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) concepts (i.e. recognizing features; making appropriate treatment referrals) engage in more FASD practices (i.e., recognizing clients with FASD; providing care/services). In addition, this study examines whether CWWs who receive more FASD training report higher levels of FASD self-efficacy (i.e. identifying children with FASD; manage/coordinate FASD treatment). Further, the study tests whether self-efficacy mediates the relation between training and practice. Two path models (recognize FASD; FASD services) were used to observe the relation between the FASD predictor, mediator, outcome, and control variables (gender, age, race and years in job position). CWWs level of self-efficacy (perceived level of preparedness) was found to be a better predictor of desired FASD practice behavior than FASD training content. Self-efficacy was also found to mediate the relationship between FASD training content and practice in one model and partially mediate the relationship in the second model. Therefore, regardless of how much FASD training a worker reports, those reporting a higher level of self-efficacy are more likely to engage in desired practice behaviors. Finally CWWs who reported having more years in their job position were significantly more likely to have an increased level of FASD self-efficacy to perform desired FASD practice behaviors. These findings support previous findings that child welfare training alone does not increase training transfer. Additionally these findings provide further support for literature that suggests that workers’ level of self-efficacy mediates practice behaviors. Finally, this study demonstrates that the development of FASD trainings for CWWs should be tailored to incorporate techniques that build a worker’s sense of self-efficacy if training transfer is going to occur successfully.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Social work, Health sciences, Public health education