Lessons from the courtroom: Perspectives from child welfare attorneys and supervisorsedit
Despite a history of child welfare worker performance difficulty in the courtroom, there has been little documentation regarding specific training needs for worker courtroom practice skills. This study expands the literature on child welfare courtroom practice skills by documenting child welfare worker conduct via perspectives from courtroom attorneys and child welfare supervisors. Separate focus groups with child welfare attorneys and supervisors were held to ascertain best and concerning practices for child welfare workers in the courtroom. Focus group participants identified themes related to preparation, adversarial nature of court proceedings, testimony, reasonable efforts, appearance and mannerisms, esteem of workers, duality of worker roles, and support. Study results have implications for focusing and improving training and supervision.