Child Risk and Protection: Perceptions of One-and-a-Half Generation Immigrant Parents from the Former Soviet Union and Israeli Social Workers

Natalie Ulitsa*, Lital Yona, Anna Gogonsky, Dorit Roer-Strier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In many cases, perceptions regarding risk for children differ between immigrant parents and professionals, since they are shaped by various factors (e.g., socio-cultural context, cultural transition, professional socialization, etc.). This disparity could risk the effectiveness of intervention and prevention programs in the field. This chapter aims to explore the views of the one-and-a-half generation of Former Soviet Union (FSU) immigrant parents residing in Israel, as well as social workers (SWs) providing social services and care for families from the FSU, regarding the subject of risk for children. Two studies, one targeting immigrant parents and the other targeting SWs, employed the qualitative approach and used semi-structured interviews with 40 parents and 16 SWs. Overall, the study with the parents showed that the risk perceptions among parents from the one-and-a-half generation are complex and hybrid and stemmed from two sources of socialization: the first are the values, norms and ways of socialization from the FSU, by which they were socialized by their parents (first generation of immigration), and the second are the values, norms and educational concepts acquired in Israel. The findings of the study with the SWs indicated that they see social isolation, a lack of access to institutional support mechanisms, parents’ alcohol consumption, the absence of emotional discourse between parents and children and the absence of parental presence with their children, as risk factors for children among families from the FSU. The chapter provides a comparative view between the parents and SWs perceptions, discusses similarities and differences between them, highlights the importance of building trust between the two sides, and indicates the need for the implementation of a context-informed perspective in the SW’s training and practice when working with children at risk.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationChild Maltreatment
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Issues in Research and Policy
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameChild Maltreatment: Contemporary Issues in Research and Policy
ISSN (Print)2211-9701
ISSN (Electronic)2211-971X

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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