Poverty-Aware Programs in Social Service Departments in Israel: A Rapid Evidence Review of Outcomes for Service Users and Social Work Practice

Shachar Timor-Shlevin, Yuval Saar-Heiman, Michal Krumer-Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Critical perspectives and practices are fundamental to social work, yet there are only scarce examples of direct critical practice in public social services, and even fewer empirical evaluations of their outcomes for service users and social workers. This article presents a rapid evidence review of 25 evaluation studies of five programs that operate in the social services departments in Israel according to the principles of the Poverty-Aware Paradigm (PAP). The PAP is a critical paradigm for direct social work practice with people living in poverty that was implemented in the welfare services by the Ministry of Welfare, targeting over 14,000 service users. The evaluation studies we reviewed encompass an overall quantitative sample of 4612 service users and 1363 professionals, and a qualitative sample of 420 service users and 424 professionals. The findings present: (1) the program’s outcomes for service users in terms of relationship with social workers, financial circumstances, family relations, and children’s safety; and (2) the program’s impact on social workers’ attitudes and practices. Finally, we discuss the lessons learned regarding social workers’ role in combatting poverty, the construction of success in interventions with people in poverty, and the article’s limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number889
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Poverty-Aware Paradigm
  • critical practice
  • evaluation
  • review
  • social services departments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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