Poverty-aware social work practice: service users' perspectives

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12 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been an increase in scholarly writing on the theory and practice of critical social work with people living in poverty. Yet there is a lack of research on the experiences and perspectives of service users regarding this kind of practice. This paper presents a qualitative study that explored the practice of a special poverty-aware social work programme in Israel, through the experiences of women who took part in it. Using an interpretative interactionist approach, in-depth interviews with nine women were held three times over a 2-year period. Findings reveal a high degree of satisfaction with the programme on the part of the women. The satisfaction was derived from four main experiences: the experience of visibility, the experience of the active partnership in the fight against poverty, the experience of close, hierarchy-challenging relationships, and the experience of responsiveness to material and emotional needs. The findings are discussed in terms of three principles of practice: intervention in a real-life context, relationship-based intervention and the focus on both the material and emotional needs and their fulfilment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1063
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2017


  • critical social work
  • poverty
  • poverty-aware social work
  • practice
  • service users

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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