COVID-19 resources

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Children's social care: Government consultation response

Department for Education

Sets out the Government’s response to a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. These are intended to provide flexibilities to support the effective delivery of children’s social care services, whilst ensuring children’s safety. A majority of responses were in favour of each of the proposals to extend individual regulations on medical reports, virtual visits, and the continued suspension of the regular cycle of Ofsted inspections of children’s services providers. The majority of responses also agreed that all other temporary flexibilities introduced in April 2020 should lapse and the need to introduce additional safeguards. However, many consultees also raised concerns in the way the regulations were introduced, and many felt the regulations should not be extended and should be revoked immediately. On the basis of responses to the consultation the Government has decided to continue with plans to allow the majority of regulations to lapse on 25 September, save those specifically set out in this document, on medical assessments, virtual visits and Ofsted inspections. The Government has no plans to extend the regulations beyond March 2021.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

Evaluating the importance of scale in proposals for local government reorganisation

Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP

The purpose of this report is to consider the importance of scale in proposals for local government reorganisation. Throughout the report, the implications for the organisation and delivery of children and adults’ social care services are discussed. The report identifies considerations relating to the costs associated with disaggregation; what this might mean in terms of risk and resilience of service provision; how service performance might be impacted; what it could mean for the place agenda; and issues arising from the response to Covid-19. It also sets out the financial implications of four unitary scenarios: establishing one unitary authority in every two-tier area in England; establishing two new unitary authorities in every two-tier area in England; establishing three new unitary authorities in every two-tier area in England; and establishing two new unitary authorities and a children’s trust in every two-tier area in England.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

Expanding frontiers of risk management: care safety in nursing home during COVID-19 pandemic

International Journal for Quality in Health Care

Background: Nursing homes provide long-term care and have residential-oriented hospitalizations characterized by medical, nursing, and social-care treatments for a typically geriatric population. In the current emergency phase, the problem of infections in residential structures for the elderly is taking on considerable importance in relation to the significant prevalence rates of COVID-19. Safety improvement strategies: Prevention and control measures for SARS-CoV-2 infection in nursing homes should be planned before a possible outbreak of COVID-19 occurs and should be intensified during any exacerbation of the same. Each facility should identify a properly trained contact person—also external—for the prevention and control of infections, who can refer to a multidisciplinary support committee and who is in close contact with the local health authorities. The contact person should collaborate with professionals in order to prepare a prevention and intervention plan that considers national provisions and scientific evidence, the requirements for reporting patients with symptoms compatible with COVID-19, the indications for the management of suspected, probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Discussion: Adequate risk management in residential structures implies the establishment of a coordination committee with dedicated staff, the implementation of a surveillance program for the rapid recognition of the outbreaks, the identification of suitable premises and equipment, the application of universal precautions, the adaptation of care plans to reduce the possibility of contagion among residents, the protection of operators and staff training initiatives.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The need for community practice to support aging in place during COVID-19

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted systems that support older adults, including older adults aging in their own homes and communities. While much of the calls for gerontological social work practice in response have rightfully focused on direct service provision for health care and basic needs, innovative responses from advocacy and professional organizations, as well as grassroots community groups, have demonstrated the importance of community practice in aging as well. Social work leadership in aging and communities is especially important for addressing issues of equity, inclusion, and meaningful participation across diverse stakeholder groups as local and regional authorities, as well as grassroots groups and community-based organizations, respond to the pandemic. Heightened involvement of social workers in leading place-based communities during this crucial moment has the potential to address long-standing issues within systems to support aging in place and healthy aging, especially with and on behalf of those most directly disadvantaged from multiple forms of injustice.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

Older adults and Covid 19: social justice, disparities, and social work practice

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought immense challenges to almost every country as it spreads throughout their populations. Foremost among these challenges is the heightened awareness of inequalities in society and the immense toll that the virus has on the most vulnerable. Globally, older people are the most at risk of getting the virus and dying from the it. Yet, although age is a significant contributor, it is its interaction with other factors, chronic conditions, poverty, and race that makes it a strong determinant. These factors reflect disparities and systemic social injustices that interact to increase the vulnerability of older adults. This paper discusses the many roles that social work, with its focus on social change, injustice, and vulnerable groups can intervene at many levels of practice and with specific groups to alleviate these fundamental disparities.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

Mutual aid during a pandemic: a group work class example

Social Work with Groups

The pandemic of 2020 had faculty pivoting quickly from face-to-face to remote teaching. Many of us had to manage this herculean task with little know-how and within a short time-frame. Best practices were unclear given the highly individualized circumstances in which students were now living. Group work within an educational framework is possible and can help students effectively manage the stresses resulting from sudden crisis situations. The key to group work as practiced by social workers is mutual aid and it was this process that emerged in an online class for undergraduate students. It was not planned yet evolved in large part due to students’ capacity for caring, empathy, and connection.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

Doing interprofessional research in the COVID-19 era: a discussion paper

Journal of Interprofessional Care

The COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuing physical distancing measures, poses challenges for researchers in the field of interprofessional care. Pandemic management has highlighted the centrality of interprofessional working to effective healthcare delivery during crises. It is essential to find ways to maintain interprofessional research that has commenced, while also designing research to capture important learning from pandemic management and response. However, it also creates opportunities for new research projects and novel research designs. This discussion paper explores ways of adapting existing research methodologies and outlines potential avenues for new research. Specifically, considerations to bear in mind when designing interprofessional research during the pandemic include research ethics and integrity, research design, data collection methods, research opportunities, implications and limitations. Interprofessional research can continue to make a valuable contribution in informing global responses to COVID-19 and in planning for future global health crises. The authors call for, insofar as possible, for interprofessional research to continue to be developed during this time.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

Social work and the future in a post-Covid 19 world: a foresight lens and a call to action for the profession

Journal of Technology in Human Services

What is the future of the social work profession? This paper explores what being more future facing might look like for social workers/educators and introduces foresight as a useful and urgently needed framework for the profession. Contemporary realities like Covid-19 and uprisings associated with long-standing racial violence bring addedrelevance to the need to apply new ways of thinking, use new practical techniques, and strengthen a collective ability to see beyond the current cannon of ideas and approaches. These additions to the social work toolbox are much neededin a world full of inequity, change and turbulence. Utilization of a foresight lens has the opportunity to amplify and deepen the sociological and moral imagination, as well as the strategic effectiveness of the profession of social work now and in the years ahead. The paper ends with a call to action to amplify and evolve social work strengths to join the interdisciplinary community of those using forecasting methods to build a better future.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The Coronavirus and the risks to the elderly in long-term care

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

The elderly in long-term care (LTC) and their caregiving staff are at elevated risk from COVID-19. Outbreaks in LTC facilities can threaten the health care system. COVID-19 suppression should focus on testing and infection control at LTC facilities. Policies should also be developed to ensure that LTC facilities remain adequately staffed and that infection control protocols are closely followed. Family will not be able to visit LTC facilities, increasing isolation and vulnerability to abuse and neglect. To protect residents and staff, supervision of LTC facilities should remain a priority during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

A framework for aging-friendly services and supports in the age of COVID-19

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

COVID-19 has revealed gaps in services and supports for older adults, even as needs for health and social services have dramatically increased and may produce a cascade of disability after the pandemic subsides. This essay discusses the perfect storm of individual and environmental risk factors, including deconditioning, reductions in formal and informal care support, and social isolation. This paper also evaluates opportunities that have arisen for strengthening person-centered services and supports for older adults, through in-home acute and primary medical care, aggressive use of video telehealth and social interaction, and implementation of volunteer or paid intergenerational service.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

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