Are social workers required to engage in participatory practices? An analysis of job descriptions

Lia Levin*, Idit Weiss-Gal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The participatory approach is depicted as inherent to the social work profession in social workers' theoretical literature, codes of ethics and practical discourse. The current study examined whether, and to what degree, social workers in Israel are indeed formally required to engage in participatory practices in the job descriptions of diverse social care services. A quantitative content analysis of 78 formal social workers' job descriptions revealed this requirement to be very limited. Most participatory actions required of social workers represented low-level service-user participation, pertained only to the initial and concluding stages of intervention, and referred to professional domains in which service-user participation is already required by law. A greater emphasis on participatory practice was found in job descriptions in the health field and those relating to community social workers. Various interpretations and implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Quantitative content analysis
  • Social care workforce
  • Social services
  • Social work
  • User choice and participation


Dive into the research topics of 'Are social workers required to engage in participatory practices? An analysis of job descriptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this