Methods: Research data was obtained using a qualitative data collection method, through personal in-depth interviews with 45 social workers from the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel. The inclusion criterion for the sample was social worker graduates of academic institutions in Israel employed by local government public welfare agencies in Arab localities. Potential interviewees were identified from the list of social workers published by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services. Ten social services departments were selected. All social workers in the sample were contacted by the author between June and September 2019.
Results: Research findings revealed challenges on the political, cultural, and personal level. These challenges are closely related to the sociopolitical context of an ethnic minority faced with inequality, discrimination, and oppression, as well as the social and cultural gaps between the majority and minority groups in a multicultural society. Based on these findings, we (Nouman & Azaiza, 2021) developed a Minority Policy Practice (MPP) model to examine the different factors that may affect the involvement of minority social workers in policy practice.
Conclusion and implications: The MPP model contributes to expanding a theoretical understanding of the relationship between power and race in professional contexts in social work in cross-cultural situations. This model point to the importance of understanding race and discrimination in a complex and changing historical context and emphasize the commitment of social workers to promoting social justice, while proposing a transformative response to racial, gender, or status-related oppression. The MPP model extends the understanding that the dominance of power and oppression of people based on color may also occur towards professionals belonging to minority groups. This may affect their perception of operating in institutional arenas, individually and as a group, in an attempt to change reality through political involvement in political arenas where power relations are shaped by the elite majority. These new theoretical understandings are expected to serve as a basis for advancing training and designing policy procedures to increase the involvement of minority social workers as policy actors in multicultural societies.