COVID-19 resources

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Lessons Learned - outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes

Letter to the editor published in the American Journal of Infection Control on 30 July 2020. Provides five key lessons learned and guidance for preventing the introduction of COVID-19 into the local nursing homes, and subsequently preventing its spread within these facilities. Citation: Kim, J. J. et al. (2020). Lessons learned - Outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes. American Journal of Infection Control.

Last updated on hub: 13 November 2020

World wide closed! Social worker field practice during the ‘lockdown’ period

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

The current health crisis we are experiencing because of Covid-19 pandemic has put social worker training facilities in a new, unexpected position. How can a practice-based training programme be organised during a ‘lockdown’ period? How can practical skills be acquired when contact field instructors, social services and target groups is limited?In order to face the professional challenges posed by the epidemic, to better understand the impact on professional training, and learn more about the innovations and good practices used to tackle the problems, the researchers organised focus group interviews with 15 field instructors and 15 students. The first results of the research provide evidence that, contrary to expectations, the world has not only narrowed but at the same time also expanded as a result of the restrictions. Although the outbreak of the COVID-19 has had a traumatic impact in many ways, the crisis had also positive consequences. With the intensive use of digital tools and forms of work, remote locations and target groups have become more accessible, special knowledge elements have been included in the training, and new opportunities for the development of personal skills have opened up in the education of social workers.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Telebehavioral practice basics for social worker educators and clinicians responding to COVID-19

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

Social Work’s Grand Challenge to Harness Technology for Social Good calls for educators to reevaluate their role and its significance for the future of social work. Information and communication technology (ICT)-mediated practice methods like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, gamification, and big data, among others, represent a new arena for social work practice. However, educators have been mostly inactive in developing curricula that support student knowledge, training, and decision-making on the adoption of technology for practice. In the United States, the Council on Social Work Education Futures Task Force highlighted this inaction as a matter of critical uncertainty for the field’s future. In contrast, this paper describes how a school of social work rapidly deployed a free, CE training program on the basics of telebehavioral health practice to the social work community to aid their response to COVID-19. The rapid deployment of that training has been distilled as ‘lessons learned’ for those wanting to join in efforts to address the field’s critical uncertainty regarding the adoption of technology. Information is presented about the reach of this training and includes feedback from participants. Additionally, the authors discuss whether COVID-19 can influence social work’s future rate of technology adoption.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Reflections on social work 2020 under Covid-19 online magazine

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

Social Work 2020 under Covid-19 was a free online magazine conceived just before the UK’s Covid-19 full lockdown began, in late March 2020. It ran for five editions until 14 July 2020. In this time it published close to 100 articles from academics, people with lived experience, practitioners and students. It contained a far higher proportion of submissions from the last three groups of contributors than traditional journals. This article draws on the six-person editorial collective’s reflections on the magazine: it considers its founding purposes; its role in fostering social work community, utilizing an adaptation of social capital classifications; and its potential as a learning tool. It concludes by arguing that the magazine illustrates the potential for free online publications to be an important emergent vehicle for ‘everyday activism’ within the field of social work.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Partnership working in the face of a pandemic crisis impacting on social work placement provision in England

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

The first quarter of 2020 saw unprecedented global, national, and local changes as the world adapted to a pandemic that swept the world at an alarming rate and prompted a policy of social exclusion and social distancing. Inevitably, the pandemic impacted upon social work education and placement provision significantly. The ability to respond to the impact of the pandemic crisis within social work placements will be presented as an unprecedented wicked problem. The ability to respond to this crisis can be argued to have demonstrated the worth of teaching partnerships, as the developed relationships and understanding of partner’s differing priorities enabled this to be undertaken effectively, efficiently, and expediently. This article will reflect on how the Leeds and Wakefield Social Work Teaching Partnership (LWSWTP) undertook responsive partnership decision-making to develop and implement new placement protocols. The article will also explore if partnership working with the stakeholders has been sufficiently robust, using the Arnstein’s 1969 Ladder of Participation. The article will conclude by reflecting on the key learning points from partnership working in the Covid-19 crisis situation as we move forward post crisis.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Isolation in the midst of a pandemic: social work students rapidly respond to community and field work needs

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

In the midst of a pandemic, many social work students are currently displaced from their field education, while the needs of their communities are exacerbated. Due to stay-at-home orders, the risk of experiencing social isolation and loneliness, already a major social problem prior to the crisis, has increased, especially for older adults. Seeking to step up in the context of a public emergency, graduate social work students in the United States created a project called GiftsofGab.org, which is a volunteer call-based companion coordination project that connects social work students with those in need of social interaction. This paper provides a case study of this project and argue that this kind of student-initiated action learning project can provide a workable alternative field placement model in times of crisis and is consistent with the community practice mission of social work.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social work education and practice in the Netherlands

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

During the first half of 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus had a huge global impact. The physical health of many was (often severely) threatened and affected, resulting in numerous deaths. Furthermore, all aspects of human coexistence came under pressure, such as economic activities and material living conditions, psychological well-being and social contacts, human rights and democratic decision-making, international political relations and global solidarity. As in other parts of the world, COVID-19 kept the Netherlands in its grip. This article addresses the following questions:-What impact did pandemic and policy have on Dutch social work education and how was this experienced by students?-What was the impact of pandemic and policy on social work practices and what were its challenges for social professionals?-What does this all mean for the future of social work education, since it has to take the present concerns of students into account as well as prepare them for social work practice in the near future?

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Making virtue of necessity. Experiences and lessons from Spain during Covid-19

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

The present paper intends to give an overview of how students and lecturers of the Faculty of Social Work at Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) experienced and faced the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the paper, it will be explained what measures were taken, the effects that these measures had on the academic community, the challenges of becoming digital for most of the lecturers and students. The paper will conclude by reflecting on the new opportunities that the context paves the way for, and the insights gained, lessons learnt and ideas to put in action for the future.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

From crisis to opportunity? Innovations in Australian social work field education during the COVID-19 global pandemic

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian universities have had to radically rethink and reconfigure many aspects of social work education. This has been particularly pronounced for field education, as human service organizations that ordinarily host student placements have also needed to rapidly design remote modes of service delivery in the context of current social distancing requirements, and unprecedented demands for assistance. Prior to COVID-19, a growing body of literature had emerged, mounting concerns about the current Australian model of field education. During the pandemic, the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) has modified some of the standards related to field education. Such variations are entirely necessary in the context of the pandemic and create opportunities for social work educators, not only to imagine new models of field education that are more suitable for contemporary contexts but to implement and trial them in ways that have not been possible until now. This paper largely focuses on innovations in field education that are currently being developed and implemented at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), in Australia.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

Saving a lost decade: how a new deal for public health can help build a healthier nation

Policy Exchange

This report sets out a blueprint for reforming public health in England. It argues that for far too long healthcare policy has been focused on an institution, the NHS, rather than the health and wellbeing of the population as a whole. The COVID 19 pandemic has exposed the flaws of this approach – high rates of obesity, increasing health inequality and stalling life expectancy have all translated into a higher death rate recorded from the pandemic. Furthermore, the decision to remove health protection functions from Public Health England to a new National Institute for Health Protection presents an opportunity to reimagine and design a better public health system. To achieve that, the report proposes a ‘new deal’, whose core components should include: ambition – a new national strategy for delivering plans for ‘five healthier life years by 2035’ should be published in response to the 2019 Prevention Green Paper, linking plans for ‘levelling up’ to health improvement; national structures – the majority of PHE’s health improvement functions should move into the DHSC with closer Ministerial accountability and a new National Institute for Health Improvement should be established linking health improvement to wider ambitions for Government ‘levelling up’; funding – the Government should maintain the Public Health Grant as the primary mechanism for funding public health through local authorities, but review the amount of money against services and population health need; local government – local authorities should continue as lead public health commissioners; system working and performance – the new National Institute for Health Improvement should work with local public health directors to assess local public health performance and deliver further accelerated improvements.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

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