Challenges Underlying the Involvement of Social Workers From Minority Groups in Policy Practice

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Limited realisation of social justice and unequal access to basic social resources place demands on social workers to take action for the shaping of good public and social policy. Previous studies have identified various challenges that limit the involvement of social workers in policy practice. These challenges have been examined to a limited extent in the context of social workers belonging to ethnic minority groups in multicultural societies. The present study examined these issues among social workers from the Palestinian-Arab minority group in Israel and revealed challenges that focus on three areas: political, cultural, and personal challenges. These challenges are closely related to the sociopolitical context of an ethnic minority coping with inequality, discrimination, and oppression, as well as the social and cultural gaps in the contexts of being a majority or a minority in a multicultural society. The implications of the findings are discussed in the contexts of policy, practice, and cultural training for policy practice in multicultural societies. IMPLICATIONS Social workers from ethnic minority groups face political, cultural, and personal challenges that limit their involvement in policy design processes. These social workers need to be supported and provided with appropriate resources and training to operate in policy arenas in cross-cultural political situations. Social work training frameworks need to provide knowledge and skills in a sociopolitical context and the support required to promote involvement in policy practice. Policies formulated by professional bodies can support the involvement of social workers from minority groups in policy practice through critical awareness of the promotion of social justice and the reduction of inequality. Increased focus on promoting equality of opportunity in the welfare system as well as in allocating resources and means can enable minorities to live better lives and prevent feelings of oppression and exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-457
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Australian Association of Social Workers.


  • Efficacy
  • Equality of Opportunity
  • Equity
  • Family Allegiance
  • Israel
  • Minorities
  • Multicultural Societies
  • Palestinian Arabs
  • Paternalistic Culture
  • Policy Design
  • Policy Practice
  • Policy Reform
  • Social Inclusion
  • Social Justice
  • Social Welfare
  • Social Workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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