Abstract This article offers an empirical analysis of the role of social workers as policy actors in parliamentary committees. Based on an initial finding that social workers participated in 14 per cent of all the deliberations of parliamentary committees in the Israeli parliament, the article examines the actual inputs of these social workers in the committee discussions. In order to examine the inputs of social workers in these committees and to identify the links between organisational affiliation and committee type and the inputs, the study provides a close analysis of the recorded minutes of three parliamentary committees. It reveals that social workers tended to facilitate and enrich the social policy formulation process. However social workers, particularly those employed by not-for-profit organisations, also challenged policy makers and placed matters on the agendas of committees. The findings of the study show that social workers are policy actors who offer diverse inputs into a complex policy formulation process.