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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Arlene Weisz


Collaborative approaches to child welfare, such as ZERO TO THREE’S Safe Babies Court Teams (ZTT’s SBCTs), enhance child safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes, due in part to effective, developmentally targeted services delivered by a collaborative team. Collaboration between child and family serving agencies, the courts, and the child welfare system is a critical underlying factor for the core components of the SBCT approach. New knowledge of the effectiveness of the SBCTs approach assembled in multiple recent evaluations supports the importance of collaboration for its success. This dissertation sought to build upon that knowledge by exploring the role that SBCT core components play in supporting interdisciplinary collaboration. A qualitative, cross sectional, Grounded Theory design was used for this study. Semi-structured telephone interviews with 28 SBCT members from six different SBCT sites were collected and analyzed with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration within the context of Safe Babies Court Teams. Analyses of interview transcripts yielded multiple activities, skills, motivations, knowledge, and organizational supports required for effective interdisciplinary collaboration within the context of Safe Babies Court Teams. Moreover, interviews revealed a number of challenges to collaborative practices, as well as, numerous benefits earned as the result of collaborating within the Safe Babies Court Team approach.

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