Professional growth in turbulent times: An impact of political violence on social work practice in Israel

Nehami Baum, Shulamit Ramon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Summary: This article examines professional growth among Jewish and Arab social workers in Israel in the wake of the Second Intifada. The paper is based on a further in-depth analysis of data from semi-structured face to face and telephone interviews with 58 social workers. Findings: The findings show professional growth, in the form of increased skills and knowledge, improved professional identity, and greater team cohesion. The major facilitators of these developments were the recognition and resources the workers received from their society and the support provided by and within their place of employment for coping with their distress and with the tasks they had to perform. Such growth was found among two-thirds of the Jewish workers, and none among the Arab workers. The data analysis outlines likely reasons for these main findings, as well as what facilitates pride in one's work within the context of violent political conflict, and what does not. Applications: Implications for future practice and research are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Jewish and Arab social workers
  • Professional growth
  • Shared reality
  • Shared trauma
  • Violent political conflict


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