COVID-19 resources

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Social Work England and PCFSW best practice guide for assessing online risks, harm and resilience and safeguarding of children and young people online

Principal Children and Families Social Worker Network

A practice guide to help support social workers to think about and assess online risks, harm and resilience and safeguarding children and young people online. The guide is aimed at social work and social care practitioners and managers, as well as qualifying social work students. It includes a framework for assessing online risks, harm and resilience; a framework for the holistic assessment of children and families; and a practice tool that can be used with young people and their families for assessing online risks and resilience. The guide has been developed by Social Work England and the Principal Children and Families Social Worker (PCFSW) network in consultation with practitioners, managers and the PCFSW reference group. Version last updated: 26 May 2020.

Last updated on hub: 09 June 2020

Social work in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: all in this together?

British Journal of Social Work

This is the editorial for this issue that introduces the articles in the issue and comments on social work in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It states that across the globe, nations find themselves in lockdown in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with social work and social care being no exception. The editorial also outlines some of the key problems and challenges for social work, which include: isolation in residential care for older people; the exacerbation of anxiety and paranoia for those with long-term mental health problems; families prohibited from embracing their loved ones at the end of life; the operation of social distancing in prisons; how to survive, never mind self-isolate, at home for people who have no home; the risks posed to social care staff who all too often do not have adequate personal protection equipment nor are they able to use touch as they communicate with vulnerable people in these very particular circumstances. The editorial also states that social work must look out for and speak for, the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. It suggests that the profession must take the lead in building coalitions that will share and adapt existing expertise to address issues of well-being and survival for those who do not have the resources to do this for themselves. It also suggests that it is easy to overlook the other reality that people continue to experience breakdown and crisis and need routine support services.

Last updated on hub: 14 May 2020

Social work in times of disasters: a green social work perspective webinar

British Association of Social Workers England

In this webinar, Professor Lena Dominelli (University of Stirling) discusses current research into social workers in disasters and what this means for frontline practitioners. This webinar is based on research Lena has been doing since 2009 in relation to disasters. On the webpage you can access accompanying resources and documents relevant to the webinar, including PowerPoint presentation [Webinar recording made 2 March 2020].

Last updated on hub: 15 June 2020

Social work involvement in the COVID-19 response in China: interdisciplinary remote networking

Journal of Social Work

Summary: Social workers in China have been involved significantly in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article introduces the innovative interdisciplinary remote networking framework which both provides a guide for medical and community social workers’ involvement during the COVID-19 outbreaks, and also to support interdisciplinary collaboration with the aim of helping individuals and families in need during the pandemic. Findings: The implementation of interdisciplinary remote networking, developed by Chinese social workers, has effectively addressed the different domains of need experienced by the affected population and has established a new approach for social work in the field of health. The framework also provides an effective model for setting up a targeted and sustained service system that links social workers with psychological and medical resources, which capitalize on social resources to buffer the negative impacts of the disease. Social workers play an essential role during such a public health emergency, providing critical services for patients and families, medical workers, self-quarantined residents, and the general population. Applications: The service mode of interdisciplinary remote networking, based on the frontline experiences of social work interventions in China, may serve as a framework for combating COVID-19 in other countries. The framework is among the initiatives that provide transferrable skills to social work practitioners working in network-based social work services during public health emergencies. Thus, the framework presents implications for future practice development in both disaster social work and also public health social work.

Last updated on hub: 18 February 2021

Social work practice education and training during the pandemic: disruptions and discoveries

International Social Work

The COVID-19 pandemic evoked a disruption to social work (SW) practice education and this brief note describes discoveries made in teaching SW practice virtually. One example is Virtual Practice Fridays, adapted to build SW practice competencies online, and another example is a re-designed course on cross-cultural SW practice using simulation-based learning.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Social work under coronavirus: children’s practitioners report bigger problems than adults’ colleagues

Community Care

The results from a survey carried out by Community Care about practice in England during the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey was completed by almost 500 people working in adults’, children’s and mental health services, 92 percent of them qualified social workers. An analysis of responses found considerable disparities between adults’ and children’s practitioners across the measures such as: satisfaction with their employer, access to personal protective equipment and whether they had faced practice situations that made them anxious. Adults' services staff were happier with access to personal protective equipment and less likely to report increases in workload during pandemic than children's practitioners.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

Social work, mental health, older people and COVID-19

International Psychogeriatrics

This commentary explores the work of social work in Ireland in addressing the impact of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis on older people in general, and older people who have an enduring mental illness.

Last updated on hub: 21 December 2020

Social work’s role during and after the pandemic: keeping vigilant and hopeful on human rights

International Social Work

Editorial for this issue. COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, capturing attention and action in unprecedented ways. It has highlighted global inequalities and the political disjunctures between popularism and public health advice. The editorial suggests that social workers around the world are having to enter this storm to serve their communities and that ethical dilemmas abound as systems struggle to cope and access to resources tightens. Introduces the articles in this issue, where one paper provide insight into context of COVID-19 for social work (Truell, R.) and another considers globalisation and social work education (Flynn, S.).

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Social worker wellbeing and working conditions: good practice toolkit

This toolkit is aimed at social workers in practice, social work supervisors, workforce development leads, managers, and leaders. It supports social workers to be more informed and empowered to look after themselves better at work; recognise when they need support and how to access it; develop knowledge and skills to influence their organisations; and know their rights and what they should expect from their employers. Improvements in working conditions and wellbeing for social workers require major developments in the quality and consistency of management, leadership, organisational culture, and employment practices. Readers with operational, workforce development and strategic responsibility for working conditions should use this toolkit to work together with staff to achieve shared vision and actions for change. The toolkit adopts an holistic and integrated approach, and as a result it includes key messages and signposting for all of the following people, parts of organisations and bodies providing support to social workers: social workers in direct practice; social work supervisors and practice leaders; teams and first line team leaders and managers; senior managers and organisational leaders; professional organisations/groups for social workers; and trade unions.

Last updated on hub: 22 February 2021

Social workers must address intersecting vulnerabilities among noninstitutionalized, black, latinx, and older adults of color during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

Scant attention has been paid to intersecting vulnerabilities experienced by Black, Latinx, and older adults of color (BLOAC) that increase COVID-19 related risks. Structural inequities have resulted in disproportionate rates of chronic conditions and limited access to care. Media coverage, focused on COVID-19 mortality among institutionalized older adults (OA), has overlooked community-dwelling OA, leaving their unique risks unaddressed in research and intervention efforts. Key vulnerabilities impacting noninstitutionalized BLOAC exacerbating adverse health outcomes during COVID-19 are discussed, and recommendations are given for gerontological social work (GSW) education, training, and practice to meet the needs of BLOAC during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 28 January 2021

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