The impacts of accessible service delivery on front-line helping relationships in child welfare


  • This investigation is part of the Transforming Front-Line Practice Project research funded by the Ontario Ministry for Children and Youth. More information about this programme of research and its products is available at

Gary Cameron, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, 120 Duke Street W., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2H 3W8 E-mail:


This paper presents the results of a study comparing the impacts on helping relationships of locating front-line child protection service providers in central locations or in accessible school and neighbourhood service delivery sites. Creating easier access to front-line child protection service providers, fostering more positive community perceptions of child welfare services, improving client and service provider satisfaction with helping relationships and services, and increasing families' willingness to ask for help were core objectives at the accessible sites. Using a quasi-experimental outcome design, file reviews and qualitative interviews with service providers and parents, this study presents evidence that accessible sites had substantial success in achieving these objectives when compared with central service delivery locations.