Policy Practice Is Important But… Voices of Social Service Departments Directors

A Makaros, N Baum, Sivan Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to enhance knowledge about the involvement of social workers in policy practice at social service departments in Israel from the perspective of department directors, as well as to identify the driving and restraining forces for involvement in policy practice. The research is based on a qualitative method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 social service departments’ directors. The duration of the interviews was from about 60 to 90 min each. The investigators identified differences in the extent social workers engage in policy practice. Most of the directors indicated that policy practice is a major part of the job of social workers, but there were also those who believed that policy practice is not part of the profession at all. About half of the directors believed that social workers should engage in policy practice, whereas half believed it is the sole domain of the directors. The findings also show that despite the importance they attributed to policy practice, the directors gave three main explanations why it cannot be done: the sensitivity of local politics; the social workers’ workload and lack of time to deal with policy practice; and the social workers’ lack of knowledge and skills for such engagement. The study findings shed light on the complexity of social workers’ involvement in policy practice in social service departments in Israel and indicate potential directions for promoting this issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-164
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Policy Practice and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

M1 - Query date: 2021-12-22 15:40:11


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