In recent years, many western welfare states have undergone reforms in their social services. These reforms are intended to influence the work of social workers in the public sector, and depend largely upon workers’ ability and willingness to implement them. The research presented in this article addresses the reform in Israeli Departments of Social Services through the perspective of the social workers tasked with its implementation. Drawing on recent developments of the Knowledge-Power-Politics Triad model, the relationship between aspects of social workers’ support for the reform and their perceived and actual involvement in reform policy making, general attitude towards change, and professional inclinations was examined. Our sample consisted of 180 social workers employed in departments currently implementing the reform. The study's results emphasise the vital role employee participation plays in forming support for reforms' goals, and at the same time expose the complex interplay between developing a ‘sense’ of participation and participation's actual realisation. They offer several insights into the way social workers’ support for reform is constructed, and not less so, regarding aspects of examining such support.
- empirical research
- participation and empowerment
- social policy