Integrating religion and belief in social work practice: an exploratory study

Pentaris, Panagiotis. 2023. Integrating religion and belief in social work practice: an exploratory study. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 32(1), pp. 33-45. ISSN 1531-3204 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This exploratory study examines how social work practitioners in England integrate service users? religion, belief and spiritual identities. The study involved 34 semi-structured interviews with Qualified Social Workers and took a qualitative investigational perspective. By means of thematic analysis, the study suggests that practitioners employ either avoidant or utilitarian approaches, which may indeed be a coping strategy before the vast religious plurality in practice. The study also highlights when professionals perceive religion, belief and spirituality important. Those times are a) initial assessments, b) conditional intervention, c) referrals and d) response to this subject when safeguarding and child protection issues arise.

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“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work on 4 December 2020, available at: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”


social work, non religion, religion, belief, spirituality, practice

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work


4 December 2020Published Online

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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2022 09:55

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2023 13:58

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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