Limited attention has been given in the social work profession to working with children-at-risk from poor nutrition despite the detrimental effect that lack of proper nutrition can have on the development of children. A study examining the extent of inclusion of nutrition-related-components in work with children-at-risk, the frequency of inclusion of these components and the barriers hindering their inclusion was conducted with 126 social work students in Israel. The findings indicate that there is less emphasis on nutrition-related components than on psycho-social components, a low frequency of including this subject in assessment and intervention of children-at-risk, and a low level of collaboration with specialists in the area of nutrition. In addition, it was found that knowledge-based barriers and, to a lower extent, institutional-related systemic barriers may hinder future professionals' capabilities to incorporate those components, despite their favorable approach towards this subject. The findings illuminate a need to advance a more balanced approach between the bio and the psycho-social aspects in academic and training programs. There is also a need to reduce the barriers about knowledge relevant for social workers in situations of poor nutrition and to advance an interdisciplinary orientation with specialists in this area.
- Food insufficiency
- Social work