Child placement in the community: Socio-religious challenges for Druze social workers in Israel

Maha Natoor*, Hoda Zarka, Avihu Shoshana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article features insights from 15 Druze social workers in Israel regarding their experiences dealing with out-of-home placement for Druze children. The study reveals the distinct challenges faced by social workers in bridging professional and socio-religious values and the caution with which they navigate a complex reality and strive to provide culturally appropriate interventions while facing limitations on their freedom of action. Socio-religious characteristics of the Druze influence the interventions of social workers including the restriction on adoption and limited interaction between divorced partners. The process of removing a child from their home can be complex and challenging. This is often due to concerns regarding stigma and the strong desire within closely knit communities to preserve the family name and reputation. Moreover, most Druze social workers reside in Druze villages which can blur the line between personal and professional boundaries. This article underscores the importance of hearing the voices of minority therapists in order to promote culturally competent interventions in social work within the community.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild and Family Social Work
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • at-risk children
  • community social work
  • Druze
  • Israel
  • minority therapists
  • out-of-home placement


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