Prof. Anat Zeira

Anat Zeira
Full Professor
Room 526

Academic Profile: 

Ph.D. 1996, HebrewUniversity; Lecturer 1999; Senior Lecturer 2003, Associate Professor 2009 ,Full professor 2014


Research Interests:

Transition to adulthood of care leavers.

Evidence-based social work practice.

Social work with children and families.


Research Projects:

Transition to adulthood of care leavers.

Evidence-based social work practice.

Social work with children and families.


Abstracts of Current Research :

 Longitudinal study of transition to adulthood of care leavers: In recent years there is a growing concern for youth aging out of public care. While Israeli such young adults share much in common with their counterparts in other Western countries, there are certain issues that are more unique characteristics of the Israeli situation (e.g., the compulsory military service). In this longitudinal study we follow young people since their last year in the residential care setting. We currently assess their status for the third time, when they are about 22 years old and have completed the military service. The findings of this study support the development of national services to these young people in order to secure their normative transition into adulthood.

The impact of National Civil Service from the perspective of youth at risk: The studyfocuses on the outcomes of National Civil Service (NCS) from the perspective of NCS volunteers. The aim is to deepen the understanding about the impact of the service on young people by describing their status as young adults on multiple life domains that are expected to be influenced and changed through national service. Furthermore, we compare the status of young people at different points in their lives by interviewing different age groups NCS alumni. Broadly speaking the study will identify: a) in which life domains outcomes are more positive; b) which sub groups are more vulnerable and require additional supports; c) how outcomes change over time; and d) what internal and external processes explain the impact of the NCS on these young persons.


Transition to higher education of vulnerable youth: This project focuses on residential care leavers in higher education institutions (HEI). The project addresses the problems that contribute to their low participation in higher education and the difficulties they experience when they attend these institutions. First, residential care institutions and higher education institutions lack awareness and make little or no special effort to promote greater participation in higher education to residential care leavers. Second, young people leaving residential care do not receive enough social support to attend and complete their studies in HEI and as a result drop out. HEI, on the other hand, do not provide them any special support to improve their chances to do well in schools. Finally, there is a lack of knowledge about young care leavers and their efforts and opportunities regarding education, especially higher education. This unique project involves interventions aimed at creating a support group of care leavers who are already students in HEI in order to empower them to investigate, advocate, and promote the participation of other care leavers in higher education in both the residential care and the HEI system. The aim is to work on both sides of the divide in order to increase mutual awareness and to improve the design of new processes both in HEIs and in residential care in order to help care leavers aspiring to higher education prepare, apply to, and take full advantage of the HEI educational process. We use a participatory mixed method study to identify factors that promote or hinder the successful transition and integration of care leavers in higher education.



Recent Publications:

 Zeira, A., & Rosen, A. (2000). Unraveling “tacit knowledge”: What social workers do and why they do it. Social Service Review, 74(1), 103-123.

Zeira, A. & Blythe, B. (2001). Considering goals: An example of two intensive home-based family services. Journal of Family Social Work, 6(3), 1-14.

Zeira, A., Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. (2002). Sexual harassment in Jewish and Arab public schools in Israel. Child Abuse and Neglect, 26, 149-166.

Zeira, A., Benbenishty, R., & Astor, R. (2003). School violence in Israel. Social Work, 48(4), 471-483.

Zeira, A. (2004). New initiatives in out-of-home placements in Israel. Child and Family Social Work, 9, 307-309.

Schiff, M. & Zeira, A. (2005). Dating violence and sexual risk behaviors. Child Abuse & Neglect,29, 1249-1263.

Zeira, A. (2005). Verso la riunificazione: Lo sviluppo dei servizi di comunita in Israele. In C. Canali, A. Maluccio, & T. Vecchiato (Eds.).  La valutazione di outcome nei servizi per l'eta evolutiva e la famiglia (pp. 95-102). Padova, Italy: Fondazione "Emanuela Zancan". (Italian)

Zeira, A. (2006). What do we need for a successful intervention? The case of one Israeli family in deep distress.International Journal of Child and Family Welfare, 9(1-2), 92-101.

Zeira, A., Canali, C., Vecchiato, T., Jergeby, U., Thoburn, J., & Neve, E. (2008). Evidence-based social work practice with children and families: A cross national perspective. European Journal of Social Work, 11(1), 1-18.

Zeira, A., & Benbenishty, R. (2008). The status of alumni of educational residential care settings in Israel. Mifgash: Journal of Social-Educational Work, 28 (December), 95-134. (Hebrew)

Zeira, A. (2009). Alumni of educational residential settings in Israel: A Cultural Perspective. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 1074-1079.

Zeira, A., & Schiff, M. (2010). Testing group supervision in field work training for social work students. Research on Social Work Practice 20, 427-434.

Zeira, A. (2011). Dissemination of systematic evaluation processes in direct practice. Social Security85, 49-70. (Hebrew). 

Dinisman, T., & Zeira, A.(2011). The contribution of individual, social support and institutional characteristics to perceived readiness to leave care in Israel: An ecological perspective. British Journal of Social Work 41, 1442-1458.

Zeira, A. & Benbenishty R. (2011). Readiness to independent living of adolescents in youth villages in Israel. Children and Youth Service Review, 33, 2461-2468.

Ezell, M., Spath, R., Zeira, A., Canali, C., Fernandez, E., Thoburn, J., & Vecchiato, T. (2011). An international classification system for child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1847-1854.

Avraham, S., Dinisman, T., & Zeira, A. (2012). Alumni of Educational Residential Settings in Israel: A Qualitative Analysis of Promoting and Preventive Factors Related to Successful Transition to Independent Living. Society & Welfare 1, 9-37. (Hebrew)