Client and worker perceptions of poverty: Implications for practice and research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines how social workers and clients construe their views of poverty. It presents findings of a qualitative study of worker and client perceptions of poverty done in Jerusalem. The study found many similarities in their views of poverty, but also revealed that client views of poverty causality are structural, whereas staff views rest on individual, "culture of poverty theory" approaches. The study shows the complexity of these views and exposes the situational, contextual, interpretive, and discursive nature of these constructions. The article encourages agencies to raise staff awareness regarding the structural aspects of client problems, increase the cultural and gender sensitivity training of the staff, and cultivate a critical dialog with clients as a platform to build enduring alliances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-475
Number of pages10
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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