Clients and social workers' perceptions of social work: An Israeli case study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article reports on research that compared the characteristics that clients and social workers, respectively, perceive as inherent in the role of social workers. The sample included 264 participants, 132 social workers employed by social service departments in a wide range of positions and one client of each of the professionals (132 clients) participated in the research. A structured questionnaire designed to examine the expectations of social workers and clients regarding the same role characteristics was administered. The findings reveal several similarities (regarding characteristics of macro intervention, use of the strengths approach and client participation), and a large number of differences, usually in the direction of higher expectations among clients (regarding characteristics of recruiting resources, advocacy, strategies of struggle or co-operation and use of the language of vulnerability). The social workers, in contrast, expected more incorporation of values in the intervention process. The article discusses the theoretical and practical implications of the findings regarding similarities and differences among social workers and clients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-986
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Clients
  • Professionals
  • Social worker-client partnership
  • Social workers' role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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