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