Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Emergency preparedness and intervention: Social work education needs in Israel

Patricia A. Findley, DrPH, MSW, Richard Isralowitz, PhD, Alexander Reznik, PhD

Abstract


Background: Emergency preparedness and response is gaining increasing global attention; numerous conditions contribute to disaster situations including acts of terror and war, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. Internationally, social workers are among the first responders addressing needs of children, families, and others affected by traumatic events.

Objectives: Assess the level of emergency preparedness and experience of intervening of social workers in Negev, Israel.

Methods: Social workers (n _ 183) employed by public and nonprofit nongovernment organizations throughout the Negev, Israel, including population centers of Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Sderot were queried for this study regarding their experience and training in emergency preparedness and interventions.

Results: Seventy-six percent of study participants had 10 years or less experience; and, the majority (56.1 percent) reported they treat trauma and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. Overall, the types of populations with whom the participants worked with were children and adolescents (65.5 percent), adults (59.6 percent), individuals with drug or alcohol dependence (30.1 percent), people with serious mental illness (27.9 percent), reporting sexual abuse (25.7 percent), those with physical disabilities (20.8 percent), and elderly (18.6 percent). Screening and referral were the most common services provided, especially by older, more experienced social workers who were more likely to have received training to provide disaster mental health intervention. Respondents reported disaster intervention training related to work with children and families to be most important.

Conclusion: Further research should consider more targeted studies of on emergency preparedness policies for vulnerable populations, evaluation of implementation procedures, and training on both the professional and community levels among other issues.


Keywords


emergency preparedness, social work, Israel, disaster response

Full Text:

PDF

References


Council of Social Work Education: Available at http://www.cswe.org/CentersInitiatives/KAKI/KAKIResources/25187.aspx. Accessed October 2013.

Government Accounting Office: Behavioral and social research on disasters (RO1). Available at http://grants.nih.gov/gratns/pafiles/PA-06-454.html. Accessed October 2013.

Isralowitz R, Findley P: Emergency preparedness and vulnerable populations: Lessons learned for education and training. J Emerg Manag. 2009; 7: 29-34.

Halpern J, Tramontin M: Disaster Mental Health: Theory and Practice. Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole, 2007.

Santa Barbara J: Helping children affected by war: Introduction. Med Confl Surviv. 1999; 15: 352-354.

Hsu E, Thomas T, Bass E, et al.: Healthcare worker competencies for disaster training. BMC Med Educ. 2006; 6: 19.

Bragin M: Clinical social work in situations of disaster and terrorism. In Brandell J (ed.): Theory and Practice in Clinical Social Work. 2nd ed. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage Publications, 2011: 164-178.

Miley KK, O’Melia M, DuBois B: Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach. 6th ed. New York: Allyn & Bacon, 2011.

Garbarino J: An ecological perspective on the effects of violence on children. J Community Psychol. 2001; 29: 361-378.

Norris FH, Stevens SP, Pfefferbaum B, et al.: Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. Am J Community Psychol. 2008; 41: 127-150.

Smith M, Lees D, Clymo K: The readiness is all. Planning and training for post-disaster support work. Soc Work Educ. 2003; 22: 517-528.

Ganor M, Ben-Lavy Y: Community resilience: Lessons derived from Gilo under fire. J Jew Communal Serv. 2003; Winter/Spring: 105-108.

Greenberger M: Preparing vulnerable populations for a disaster: Inner city emergency preparedness: Who should take the lead? J Health Care Law. 2007; 10: 291-307.

Itzhaky H, York A: The role of the social worker in the face of terrorism: Israeli community-based experience. Soc Work. 2005; 50: 141-149.

Norris F, Friedman M,Watson P: 60,000 disaster victims speak: Part II. Summary and implications of the disaster mental health research. Psychiatry. 2002; 65: 240-260.

Aldrich N, Benson W: Disaster preparedness and the chronic disease needs of vulnerable older adults. Prev Chronic Dis. 2008; 5: A27.

Joint Distribution Committee: JDC continues critical emergency and support programs for Israeli residents in the south. Available at http://central.ujcfedweb.org/local_includes/downloads/30698.doc. Accessed October 2013.

Kaye H: Disability Watch: The Status of People with Disabilities in the United States. Volcano, CA: Volcano Press, Inc, 1997.

Rosenthal M (ed.): Rehabilitation of the Adult and Child with Traumatic Brain Injury. Philadelphia: FA Davis, 1999.

Gignac M, Cott C, Badley E: Living with a chronic disabling illness and then some: Data from the 1998 ice storm. Can J Aging. 2003; 3: 249-259.

Quarantelli EL: A social science research agenda for the disasters of the 21st Century: Theoretical, methodological and empirical issues and their professional implementation. In Perry RW, Quarantelli EL (eds.): What is a Disaster: New Answers to Old Questions. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation, 2005.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/jem.2014.0175

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 Journal of Emergency Management
This site uses cookies to maintain session information critical to the user's experience and environment on this system. Click "Accept Cookies" to continue.
For more details please visit our privacy statement at: Privacy & GDPR