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Authors

Korazim

Abstract

This is an exploratory study about the social service needs of Israeli migrants in New York City. A structured, face to face interview schedule was administered by the author to a sample of 86 intact families. The families were found to be mostly undecided regarding their stay in the United States. Their state of "limbo" was reflected in specific patterns of utilization of general and ethnic social services, and in six major areas of concern and needs: (1) a sense of social isolation; (2) the wives' low level of adjustment; (3) emotional stress due to the families' hesitancy to stay in the United States; (4) distress due to concerns about children's national (Israeli) identity and their education; (5) health risks due to the lack of any health insurance coverage and, (6) reliance on supplementary income primarily through ethnic (Jewish) charities. Guidelines for policy and research on the delivery of social services for these Israelis conclude the paper.

The review of the history of social services reveals a strong relationship between social needs and the ways in which societies organize to meet them. Interest in client needs in the social welfare field and in the planning of responsive services dates back to the earliest social surveys in England in the 18th century and in the United States in the 19th century conducted by Dorethea Dix. More recently, interest has grown about the helpseeking behavior of new immigrant groups, and the obstacles they face in the adequate utilization of the available social services. [1]. While research efforts have mostly been invested in analyzing demographic data and that of service providers, only a few studies learned systematically the needs and preferences of the users and their alternative avenues of choosing among the general and ethnic social services of the absorbing society. In the light of these research trends, the following study on Israeli families was undertaken.

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