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Social Work


Wide recognition that families in the child welfare system experience multiple stressors has resulted in the development of a range of prevention and intervention strategies at individual, family, and policy levels.1 This article reports on a research study with minority immigrant families. The aim was to understand stressors they perceived as contributing to child welfare interventions, and services they found helpful or unhelpful. Using the conservation of resource (COR) theory, the findings highlight the erosion of resources that increases their vulnerability. Themes that emerged were: loneliness, betrayal, hopelessness, and financial and language struggles. Application of the COR theory combined with contextual insights from participant perspectives can guide policy and practice to focus on resource gain and prevent resource attrition.


Reprinted with permission from Families in Society (, published by the Alliance for Children and Families.

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