A A Cross-Country Study of Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Social Work Education: Status and Trends in Schools of Social Work in Canada, the USA and Israel

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The call for interdisciplinary collaboration has become commonplace among health, education, and human service professionals around the world. Social workers in the U.S., Israel, and Canada are often participating in, and/or leading collaborations including community development efforts to strengthen case decision-making, services, social conditions, and neighborhoods (Soska & Johnson-Butterfield, 2005). Few surveys exist examining interdisciplinary collaboration in social work education (Berg-Weger & Schneider, 1998). This pape will examine the similarities and differences among the U.S., Israel and Canada, while accounting for differences in history and ideology of each country’s social welfare system. In the U.S., social workers are increasingly reporting on interprofessional collaborative activities, and taking the lead in university-community partnerships. Social workers in Israel have legal mandates to provide personal (clinical) social services and community work; however, issues related to a broader, more effective interdisciplinary approach are being addressed now (IFCD, 2002; Korazim & Klausner, 1989; Sherer & Peleg-Oren, 2005). Interdisciplinary collaboration in Canada has long been common practice in social service and community development, often promoted and shaped by both provincial and federal policies and organizational structure (King & Ross, 2004). Recently, social work professionals and educators have turned their attention to the evaluation of effective interdisciplinary collaborative practice and to the promotion of global practice and international development (Barr, 2005; CASW, 2001). This paper reports on data collected from an electronic survey of social work deans and directors in the U.S., Israel, and Canada in 2006. The purpose of the survey was to provide an empirically-based understanding of the status of interdisciplinary activity, knowledge and skill in classroom and field teaching, and approaches to interprofessional work by social work educators (Maidenberg & Golick, 2001; Graham & Barter, 1999). Participants will be invited to identify the experiences of social work education in their respective countries.


Keywords: Social Work Education, Social Work Practice, Interdisciplinary Education, Interdisciplinary Research, Comparative Perspectives On Interdisciplinarity
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Terry Mizrahi

Professor, Hunter College School of Social Work
New York, New York, USA

Dr. Mizrahi was elected national President of the National Association of Social Workers from 2000-2003. She was secretary of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration and a founder of the Journal of Community Practice. Dr. Mizrahi won Hunter’s Presidential Award for Distinguished Service in 1992, the NYC Chapter of NASW Service Award in 2000, and the ACOSA Lifetime Career Achievement Award in 2004. In 2006 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Israel. She was the first social worker in 1994 selected for the Primary Care Policy Fellowship of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 2004, she was a Kreitzman Fellow at Ben Gurion University in Israel, and continues to do consultation in Israel and Japan with schools of social work, and Israel’s Ministry for Social Affairs. Dr. Mizrahi is currently the co-editor- in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Social Work-20th edition. She is the author of 5 books and monographs and 70 articles, book chapters, reviews, and manuals. Her expertise is in the fields of community organizing and development, health care policy, the rights of clients and consumers, and medical sociology. Her areas of research, training and consultation include professional socialization, interdisciplinary collaboration, coalition-building, community organizing practice and health policy.

Dr. Yossi Korazim-Korosy

Founder, Interdisciplinary Forum on Community Development
Mevessaret, Israel

Dr. Korazim-Korosy is a senior social worker and a community work specialist in Israel. He was born in Hungary and immigrated to Israel as a child after the 1956 revolution. Dr. Korazim gained his academic degrees both in Israel and in the USA. Dr. Korazim is engaged in Social Work practice, training, teaching, planning and research. More specifically, his areas of expertise are in:
Community Organization and Development;.NGOs - Development and Public Policy;Social Advocacy and Lobbying; Child Welfare and Child Protection; Social Services – Planning and Delivery; Social Group Work. Dr. Korazim has over 40 scientific publications (refereed books and book chapters; articles in refereed journals; research reports and book reviews), and over 40 public documents (committee reports; conference papers and major community simulation games).
At the present, Dr. Korazim is employed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Jerusalem, as Head of Research and Planning Unit - Services for Children and Youth (Child Welfare and Child Protection). Since 1983, he is also teaching in several universities – mostly in the area of Social Policy, Social Services and Community Work. (Primarily at Schools of Social Work and presently, at the Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.) Presently, he chairs the Interdisciplinary Forum for Community Development. Since 1999, he has served on the International Board of IACD – the International Association for Community Development, and until Spring 2002 he served on the International Board of ACOSA – the (American) Association for Community Organization and Social Administration.

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