Israeli Ethiopian female adolescents’ perspectives on alliances with social workers: Agency, power and performing identity.

This qualitative study explored the perspectives of at-risk Israeli female adolescents of Ethiopian origin (N = 15) regarding barriers to forming alliances with social workers. The study’s rationale was based on the idea that an alliance enables clients to bring forth challenges and difficulties that are directly related to their well-being and, as such, is fundamental to the helping process. Four themes were identified as barriers to the forming of alliances with social workers: social workers’ lack of availability; clients’ perceived loss of independence in the process of receiving help; clients’ sense of being forced to perform a different self (“passing†); and clients’ difficulties in “opening up.†Our discussion contextualizes these findings within a critical discourse that sees intervention in a sociopolitical context. Implications for practice are offered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)