COVID-19 resources

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Emotional preparedness as a mechanism to improve provider morale during the pandemic

Social Work in Mental Health

Turnover is already a major concern among social workers; however, the recent pandemic has elevated these concerns because of the emotional burden associated with this once in a lifetime disaster that is prolonged and unpredictable. Thoughts of leaving the field may reduce their life satisfaction and sense of purpose, thereby reducing morale and leading to deteriorations in the provider’s physical and/or mental health, and ultimately job turnover. There is currently a gap in the field of how social workers can be emotionally prepared during the pandemic. Through qualitative analytic coding and constant comparative methods of three case studies that reflect common situations encountered by social workers during the pandemic, the purpose of this article is to delineate 11 guidelines of being emotionally prepared from the cases that may be helpful in improving provider morale. In particular, the guidelines pertain to issues of liability, altering practice approaches, use of personal protective equipment, provider help-seeking, and racial, cultural or socioeconomic factors. Social workers, besides helping their clients, also support their health-care peers in disaster work. Because of this role, which takes on additional significance during periods of crisis, social workers need these guidelines to improve their morale and combat stress.

Last updated on hub: 16 April 2021

Voluntary sector peak bodies during the COVID-19 crisis: a case study of Philanthropy Australia

Voluntary Sector Review

The Australian philanthropic sector’s peak (or umbrella) membership body, Philanthropy Australia, has played a significant role in shaping sector responses to COVID-19 and influencing government policy initiatives regarding the voluntary sector. This research note explores four key actions taken by Philanthropy Australia, with a particular focus on policy advocacy. It highlights how ‘policy windows’ provide opportunities for voluntary sector peak bodies to demonstrate policy entrepreneurship, secure desirable policy outcomes and show their value to members, government and other stakeholders. ‘Bad times’ require new and innovative policy responses, and this research note provides insights into how voluntary sector peak bodies can shape policy and practice responses to major crises.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

‘Uncertainty is the only certainty’: how pragmatic sociology provides a useful theoretical framework for researching the third sector during COVID-19

Voluntary Sector Review

This research note argues that pragmatic sociology is a useful theoretical framework when researching the third sector during the uncertain times of COVID-19 and beyond. It begins by introducing pragmatic sociology, which describes how actors express their values through the ‘orders of worth’ framework, and then how they justify their practices during moments of conflict, through the process of ‘tests’. This ultimately employs complex and fragile moments in history to uncover meaning making and, by extension, individual and organisational practice. This article then demonstrates useful research questions that pragmatic sociology can offer for the third sector during this uncertain time and how this theory’s utility can be applied even after the pandemic, due to its embracement of organisational dynamism, nuance and a fresh approach to power relationships.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

Migrant integration services and coping with the digital divide: challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic

Voluntary Sector Review

In this research note, I reflect on the impacts of the shift to online service delivery for voluntary and community organisations. In particular, I report on initial findings from research being undertaken on migrant integration organisations in Quebec (Canada) and Scotland (UK). The research shows four key emerging themes: the complexities of the digital divide (including skills and access to information and communication technology, and the issue of the number of devices in a household to support multiple users); trust, communication and access to online services; the breaching of the public/private divide as practitioners provide digital services from their home; and the benefits and opportunities for digital service delivery. The research note concludes by reflecting on the long-term implications for voluntary and community sector services as they adapt to and recover from the pandemic and engage in long-term planning.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain: February 2021

The Office for National Statistics

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on the social impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on disabled people in Great Britain. This release uses three waves of survey results covering dates between the 3 to 28 February 2021 and includes indicators broken down by impairment type. In February 2021, among people aged 16 years and over in Great Britain: a larger proportion of disabled people (78%) than non-disabled people (69%), said they were worried (very or somewhat) about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life – for disabled people this proportion was lower than in September 2020 (83%); disabled people more often indicated coronavirus had affected their life than non-disabled people in ways such as their health, access to healthcare for non-coronavirus related issues and access to groceries, medication and essentials; feeling stressed or anxious, feeling bored and feeling worried about the future were the well-being concerns most frequently cited by both disabled and non-disabled people; disabled people had on average poorer well-being ratings than non-disabled people across all four well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety); for both disabled and non-disabled people, life satisfaction and happiness ratings were poorer in February 2021 than in September 2020; disabled people tended to be less optimistic than non-disabled people about life returning to normal in the short term; positive sentiment towards the vaccine was high among both disabled and non-disabled people.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

Maternal mental health during a pandemic: a rapid evidence review of Covid-19's impact

Centre for Mental Health

This is a rapid evidence review of the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of women during pregnancy and after they have given birth, and the support that has been available during the pandemic. It is based on a review of existing published and grey literature about the impact of Covid-19 on maternal mental health and perinatal mental health services, including within the voluntary and community sector, across all four nations of the UK; analysis of data on services and service use; an online survey with representatives of the voluntary and community sector across the four nations, reviewing how the sector had been impacted by Covid-19; and written submissions from 60 organisations. Key messages include: the pandemic has posed mental health challenges for women during pregnancy and early motherhood; the impact has been unequal; perinatal mental health services had worrying gaps even before the crisis; informal support has been detrimentally impacted; changes to labour and birth because of the pandemic have increased stress and anxiety; concern for infants and babies has increased stress and anxiety; there have been missed opportunities for understanding or fully responding to what being classed as ‘vulnerable’ really means in the perinatal period; whilst still awaiting data, significant concerns exist for women with pre-existing mental health conditions; despite increased need, services supporting women and families were impacted detrimentally; the workforce supporting women and families in the perinatal period is facing its own wellbeing challenges and needs support; increased demand for voluntary and community services, which themselves have been impacted; virtual contact massively increased, with mixed potential consequences and a need for evaluation.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

Maternal mental health during a pandemic: a rapid evidence review of Covid-19's impact: executive summary

Centre for Mental Health

Summary of a rapid evidence review of the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of women during pregnancy and after they have given birth, and the support that has been available during the pandemic. Key messages include: the pandemic has posed mental health challenges for women during pregnancy and early motherhood; the impact has been unequal; perinatal mental health services had worrying gaps even before the crisis; informal support has been detrimentally impacted; changes to labour and birth because of the pandemic have increased stress and anxiety; concern for infants and babies has increased stress and anxiety; there have been missed opportunities for understanding or fully responding to what being classed as ‘vulnerable’ really means in the perinatal period; whilst still awaiting data, significant concerns exist for women with pre-existing mental health conditions; despite increased need, services supporting women and families were impacted detrimentally; the workforce supporting women and families in the perinatal period is facing its own wellbeing challenges and needs support; increased demand for voluntary and community services, which themselves have been impacted; virtual contact massively increased, with mixed potential consequences and a need for evaluation.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for personal assistants

Department of Health and Social Care

Explains how personal assistants working in adult social care in England can access twice-weekly COVID-19 testing. Personal assistants working in adult social care who provide care that requires them to come within 2 metres of an adult over the age of 18 who they support will be eligible for testing. Personal assistants will be responsible for ordering test kits every 21 days or an employee can order test kits on their behalf. [Published 16 February 2021; Last updated 9 April 2021]

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

The impact of COVID‐19 pandemic on people with mild cognitive impairment/dementia and on their caregivers

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Background: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) was first detected in Mainland China in December 2019, and soon it spread throughout the world, with multiple physical and psychological consequences across the affected populations. Aims: The aim of the current study was to analyze the impact of COVID‐19 pandemic on older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)/dementia and their caregivers as well. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and four caregivers took part in the study, completing a self‐reported questionnaire about the person with MCI/dementia and their own, since the lockdown period which started in February and ended in May of 2020 in Greece. Results: Results indicated a significant overall decline of the people with MCI/dementia. Further, the domains in which people with MCI/dementia were mostly affected were: communication, mood, movement and compliance with the new measures. Caregivers also reported a great increase in their psychological and physical burden during this period, where the available support sources were limited. Discussion: The pandemic threatens to disrupt the basic routines that promote mental and physical health of both people with MCI/dementia and t heir caregivers. Conclusion: Further measures to protect and provide support to people who suffer and their families are needed.

Last updated on hub: 13 April 2021

COVID-19 and youth living in poverty: the ethical considerations of moving from in-person interviews to a photovoice using remote methods

Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work

COVID-19 hit and instantaneously research using in-person methods were paused. As feminist and critical social work scholars and researchers, we began to consider the implications of pausing our ongoing project exploring the provisioning and resilience of youth living in low-income, lone mother households. Reflexively, we wondered how the youth, families, and issues we were connected to would be impacted by the pandemic. We were pulled into both ethical and methodological questions. While the procedural ethics of maintaining safety were clear, what became less clear were the relational ethics. What was brought into question were our own social positions and our roles and responsibilities in our relationships with the youth. For both ethical and methodological reasons, we decided to expand the original research scope from in-person interviews to include a photovoice to be executed using online, remote methods. In this article, we discuss those ethical and methodological tensions. In the first part, we discuss the relational ethics that propelled us to commit to expanding our work, while in the second part, we discuss our move to combining photovoice and remote methods.

Last updated on hub: 13 April 2021

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