Research-Supported Treatment and Organizational Culture and Climate's Impact on Child Welfare Outcomes

Publication Date



Objective: Research-supported treatments (RSTs) are considered the gold standard of client care. Investigating how to best implement and sustain RSTs in real-world practice is important. The present study addressed a gap in the literature concerning the relative contribution of RSTs and culture and climate to client outcomes in community-based child welfare services. Method: Using data collected from 55 programs within a single, large child and family human services agency, this study examined whether programs with less productive cultures and climates were able to implement RSTs and realize successful client outcomes. Results: In contrast to findings of the existing literature, programs with less productive culture and climate scores implemented RSTs and yielded successful client outcomes. Conclusions: Given the choice between maltreated children being treated in a program with good culture and climate or one that provides RSTs, the best selection for improved outcomes would be the one offering RSTs.

Document Type



Child and Youth Development


Youth Development

Original Citation

Patterson, D. W., Hales, T. W., Maguin, E., & Dulmus, C. N. (2017). Research-supported treatment and organizational culture and climate’s impact on child welfare outcomes. Research on Social Work Practice. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1049731517697131


child-welfare system, youth, well-being, United States