Collaborative discourse: The case of police and social work relationships in intimate violence intervention in Israel

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In addition to the institutionalization of violence against women as a social problem in Israel, there has been increased public and professional pressure on both police and social welfare services to collaborate in order to enhance effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of collaboration modalities by police and social work personnel. This study is based on data collected for a larger nationwide police evaluation study. The information of the present research is based on in-depth interviews with 25 key informants from both police and social services that specialized in domestic violence. They were middle managers and/or policy makers. The analysis of the discourse of both groups pointed to contradictions and paradoxes resulting from the acknowledgment of the need for partnership on the prescriptive level and the actual lack of this on the descriptive level of day-to-day practices. Four recurring themes were identified from the analysis: (1) struggle over who owns the solution and avoiding responsibility and the power to intervene; (2) boundary preservation work; (3) estrangement of the other organization; and (4) collaboration maintained on the interpersonal rather than the institutional level. The findings are discussed based on the assumption that through language, professionals construct the situated meaning of their professional- organizational policy and their ideological and professional culture, which prescribes collaboration without necessarily acting on it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 14 Aug 2008


  • Domestic violence
  • Interorganizational collaboration
  • Social worker-police interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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