Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Kristin Richards


Adolescent engagement in home-based treatment is a challenge within the social work field. Studies have suggested that the foundation of clinical practice relies on the clinician's ability to understand the process of engaging adolescents in treatment, which may also include a period of adaptability, relatability, and connectedness within the treatment setting. The purpose of this study is to explore the clinical practice approaches, roles, and experiences utilized in home-based treatment to adolescents residing in a large city in northeastern United States. This study was grounded in the ecological systems theory which provides social workers with an opportunity to assess the relationships between an individuals behaviors and the environment. A qualitative research design was used in this study. Social work clinicians participated in focus groups to address the clinical roles, characteristics, and skills essential for reducing barriers related to adolescent engagement in home-based treatment and explore the clinical practice approaches and knowledge base related to adolescent engagement in home-based treatment, including the areas of competence, respect, empathy, and passion. Data were analyzed using audiotapes of the focus groups, the transcription process, coding, and a reliability check. Findings from this study suggest that effective social work practice techniques depend upon the clinician's ability to engage the adolescent throughout the entire treatment process. The outcomes for this action research study included both challenging and rewarding opportunities for clinicians to increase understanding of characteristics, skills, values, and experiences in providing home-based treatment to adolescents of a large city in the northeastern United States.

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Social Work Commons