Regulating social welfare services: Between compliance and learning

Avishai Benish*, Dana Halevy, Shimon Spiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


With the ongoing privatisation and marketisation of social welfare, the regulatory functions of governments have become much more important, necessitating careful attention. Yet there is little scholarly work on the goals and nature of regulating privatised social welfare services. To fill this gap, this study examined the regulatory process used by the Israeli Youth Protection Authority (YPA) to regulate homes for at-risk youth. Based on 24 semi-structured interviews with inspectors and staff, the article highlights the YPA's distinctive learning-based and collaborative approach to regulating social welfare services. This approach puts the capacity-building of professional skills, rather than compliance, at the centre of the regulatory mission and leaves room for professional discretion to the homes and the inspectors. The article outlines the distinctive features of this approach, considering its advantages and shortcomings in comparison with the more legalistic and audit-based approaches currently dominating the field of social care inspection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. International Journal of Social Welfare © 2017 Akademikerförbundet SSR (ASSR) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Youth Protection Authority
  • inspection
  • privatisation
  • regulation
  • regulatory welfare state
  • residential care
  • social welfare services


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulating social welfare services: Between compliance and learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this