This article uses mixed methods to examine service user satisfaction with social work treatment in social services departments (SSDs) in Israel—its level, the factors that influence it and its experiential dimensions. A total of 235 service users (SUs) from 11 SSDs were interviewed for this study. They were divided into three groups: (a) SUs receiving standard treatment; (b) SUs participating in poverty-aware programs and (c) SUs receiving a poverty-aware standard treatment. The quantitative findings indicated a significant higher level of satisfaction among the SUs who had been included on poverty-aware programs or received a poverty-aware standard care compared to SUs who had received standard treatment. Additionally, high reported levels of satisfaction were influenced by the frequency of meetings between the service user and the social worker, while the history of care in the SSD had no apparent impact on satisfaction levels. The qualitative analysis indicated that high levels of satisfaction were linked to the service user perceiving the social worker as active, supportive and respectful, and as responsive to the user's emotional and material needs. These findings are discussed in the context of the Poverty-Aware Paradigm and relationship-based social work.
- poverty-aware social work (PAP)
- satisfaction with care
- social services departments
- social work