• Cecilia Marais North West University
  • Mariette Van der Merwe North West University



Establishing a helping relationship between child clients and social workers is essential to the successful outcome of social work intervention. This research qualitatively explored, with a case study design through semi-structured interviewing, the experiences of social workers and child clients regarding their initial contact-making in a rural Boland area. The themes that emerged concerned the rationale for relationship building, contextual factors, barriers to relationship building and the importance of the social worker’s professional attributes. Lastly, a pattern emerged regarding engagement of a child client during the initial session. 


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Author Biographies

Cecilia Marais, North West University


Mariette Van der Merwe, North West University

Centre for Child, Youth and Family Studies, Compres, Faculty of Health Sciences


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