Social work practice in the Jewish Community Center
Sweifach, Jay Stephen
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This study explores the nature of social work practice in Jewish Community Centers (JCCs). This study focused on the extent to which foundations of social work practice are utilized by social workers employed by JCCs. The study conducted was both explanatory and exploratory. Data were gathered by the use of a survey instrument which was distributed to JCC practitioners who primarily hold direct practice and supervisory positions in Jewish community centers throughout the United States. One hundred ninety-eight (198) of 600 surveys were returned; this study includes data collected from these surveys.;Data were collected through an instrument designed specifically for this study. Several sources were used as a basis for devising the questions on the instrument. These sources included the Standards for the Classification of Social Work Practice (NASW, 1981), the Standards for JCCS (JCCA, 2000), and the Jewish Communal Service Association's (JCSA) 1999 survey of its membership.;The findings of this study indicated that there appears to be a difference between the roles of MSWs and non-MSWs, highlighting that MSWs in JCCs are involved in more direct practice type roles. Another key finding is that MSWs with direct practice roles are invested in the Jewish context of their practice. A similar finding did not exist for non-MSWs.;All professionals who indicate that their JCC role involves the use of social work skills, values, and knowledge appear to be engaged in the use of outreach skill and administrative skills, Jewish practice principles, and social service based practice skills. Instances of role conflict appear to be minimal.;The study can potentially contribute to a greater understanding of the relationship between social work practice and Jewish communal service, illuminating areas of incongruity as well as those which continue to maintain the integrity of the original alliance.