• Intervention preferences of social workers with Jewish-Christian intermarried families

      Saltman, Joan Ettinger; Goldmeier, John (1994)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible factors associated with social workers' opinions and practice behaviors about an aspect of the relationship between social work practice and religion. Specifically, this study explored whether, and if so how, professional MSW-level social workers employed at Jewish Family service agencies address the phenomenon of Jewish-Christian intermarriage when formulating an intervention plan. A variety of survey and analogue research questions were asked. Additional demographic information was obtained about these social workers. Data were obtained through a questionnaire mailed to 420 MSW-level social workers employed half-time or more at the 137 Jewish Family Service agencies in the United States and Canada during the spring of 1990. Findings were based on a sample of 175 respondents from 45% of the agencies. Statistical procedures used included frequencies, means, Pearson product-moment correlations, t-tests, and paired t-tests. Conclusions indicated that in the survey questions, approximately 75% of these social workers reported it was important to include the intermarriage issue in an intervention plan. In the analogue questions, over 90% of the respondents reported they would question the clients about the intermarriage issue. Subsequently, 75% would raise the issue themselves rather than wait for the clients to bring up the concern. It was also found that these social workers professed a theoretical orientation to practice. However, they tended not to adhere strictly to their orientation when they selected theoretically-based interventions in the analogues. Limitations of this study, recommendations for future research, implications for social work practice and education are presented. This study is of interest not only to Jewish family service agencies but to social work practitioners and educators in general. With an increasing recognition of the importance of pluralism in our society and an awareness of the importance of ethnicity and religion, it is hoped that the findings of this study will contribute to the knowledge base of social work, to the education of social work students, and to the ongoing education of social work practitioners.