This study examined the associations between social workers' professional identity and the quality of their work, as reflected by their perceived job performance and sense of personal accomplishment. Based on literature attesting to the contribution of the working alliance between social workers and their service-users to the attainment of interventions' goals, a model in which the working alliance mediated the associations between social workers' professional identity and the quality of their work was also tested. The study's sample consisted of 570 social workers in Israel, from a wide range of professional and organisational backgrounds. The study was cross-sectional, and data were gathered using an online questionnaire. Its results demonstrate direct effects of social workers' professional identity on the quality of their work. At the same time, social workers' working alliance with service-users acted as a mediator in the association between certain aspects of workers' professional identity and the quality of their work. These findings reassert and broaden understandings regarding the crucial role of relationships with service-users in the discussion of social work professional identity and its outcomes. The specific associations found also offer sustenance to the idea that autonomous social workers, who are committed to their profession, manage to generate stronger working alliances with their service-users; which in turn makes them better at what they do.
- perceived job performance
- professional identity
- sense of personal accomplishment
- social workers
- working alliance