Other Open Access
Burzlaff, Miriam; Kindler, Tobias; Schwartz-Tayri, Talia Meital
This questionnaire serves as the research instrument in the research project entitled "The engagement in policy practice of social workers in Germany, Israel, and Switzerland. A trinational study and comparison (PP:GIS)". The aim of this international collaborative research project is to examine the level, forms, and factors of policy practice engagement among social workers in Germany, Israel, and Switzerland.
Background of the Research Project
Social workers’ engagement in the policy arena has gained much attention in the professional, ethical, and research discourse of social work. According to the global definition of social work and the international code of ethics, social workers are obliged to advocate for social justice and for more just policies. One of the accepted ways to do so is to engage in policy practice. As service providers, social workers translate (social) policy into professional practice and thus experience how policy affects the well-being of service users. Due to this position, social workers are often depicted as “street-level bureaucrats”, working as public servants, routinely interacting with citizens, and having to deal with changes in public policy, including austerity measures. Therefore, social workers observe, can anticipate, and are often one of the first to detect unjust or inefficient policies and recognize their effects on the lives of service users. In such cases, social workers can use their expertise and their professional position to advocate for more suitable policies towards service users through policy practice engagement.
Research concerning social workers’ policy engagement has primarily used the Civic Voluntarism Model and the Policy Practice Engagement (PPE) framework to explain social workers’ levels of PPE. These studies have examined a limited set of predictors at the social worker, organizational, and institutional levels. As a result, other explanatory mechanisms, such as the relationship between personality, job-related, worker, organization, and state-level predictors, have rarely been examined.
Aims and Significance of the Research Project
This study aims to elucidate the multi-layered mechanisms that determine social workers’ engagement in policy practice by utilizing a holistic approach to job-related behavior and professional decision-making. Therefore, the study addresses the following research questions:
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