Date of Conferral







Reba Glidewell


Ongoing professional development is an integral part of a child welfare agency's strategy toward the provision of services to children and families involved with a child welfare intervention. Electronic learning (E-Learning) is popular as a fiscally responsible and flexible way to deliver such trainings. There is a gap in the research addressing the problem of how child welfare professionals are motivated to engage in the E-learning process. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of child welfare professionals regarding their motivation to use an agency provided E-learning program. Eight child welfare professionals employed by a Midwestern private child welfare agency participated in semi-structured interviews, which were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. A pattern matching logic model was used to extrapolate relevant themes. The themes from this study were that work environment, irrelevance of content, and emotional aspects of child welfare work were barriers to engaging in E-learning during a work day. The implications for positive social change are that using E-learning as a delivery system for training in child welfare needs to be combined with a concerted effort to develop programs that first consider the work environment of the child welfare professional and the relevance of content. Providing more effective training is expected to result in better trained workers, which leads to more effective child welfare interventions. More effective child welfare interventions are needed to resolve the current crisis within the field of child welfare, which protects one of society's most vulnerable populations.