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Law, social work and professionalism: Israeli social workers' attitudes towards the 1996 Social Workers Act

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In 1996 a substantial change occurred in the field of social work in Israel: the enactment of the Social Workers Act 1996. For the first time in Israeli history, and after long years of political struggle for change, the social work profession was legislatively regulated. Although more than 10 years have passed since this change, little research attention has been given to it. Our own research explores the meaning of the Act. Using sociological theories of professionalism, the research quantitatively studies the attitudes of 337 social workers towards the 1996 Act. The findings reveal significant positive support by social workers in Israel for the legislation, especially for its political and professional elements. However, the findings also raise questions regarding the impact of the Act on the rights of those receiving care or services.

Keywords: Social Workers Act 1996; law and social work; professionalism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Haifa University, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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