Social workers’ policy practice in Israel: internal, indirect, informal and role contingent

Idit Weiss-Gal, John Gal*, Talia Schwartz-Tayri, Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, Daphna Sommerfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Social work is strongly committed to furthering social justice, among others, by incorporating efforts to influence policies into social work practice. However, there is little empirical data on if, and how, social workers seek to impact social policy as an integral part of their job. This article explores the policy-related activities which Israeli social workers engage in as part of their job. The sample consisted of 621 social workers: 300 direct practitioners and 106 community social workers employed by local government, 109 direct practitioners in hospitals, and 106 social workers employed by nonprofits. The findings show that practitioners in all four groups engaged in policy-oriented activities as part of their job, albeit to an often-limited extent. They were most involved in activities related to policies within their own organisation and much less in policy activities intended to influence local or national policies. The main conclusion is that social workers deal with their commitment to policy advocacy and with the various constraints on this type of activity by integrating primarily indirect and informal forms of policy engagement into their practice. The level of this activity is contingent on the social workers’ professional roles and the organisational context in which they work.

Translated title of the contribution פרקטיקת מדיניות בקרב עובדים סוציאליים בישראל: פנימית, בלתי ישירה, לא פורמלית ותלוית תפקיד
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2020


  • Israel
  • Social policy
  • human rights/social justice
  • policy practice


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