• 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. 

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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