COVID-19 resources

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“Thanks for hearing me out”: voices of social work students during COVID-19

Qualitative Social Work

As social work educators and students, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our teaching and learning in challenging ways. We embarked on a qualitative research study to better understand the ways in which the pandemic was affecting the social work students in our program. Three faculty mentors worked collaboratively with five social work students across BSW, MSW, and PhD programs to interview 66 BSW and MSW students about their experiences, challenges, and hopes during the early months of the pandemic. BSW and MSW students led the analysis and early dissemination for the project. This essay describes the unique experiences of social work students by using a research poem to capture the emotional and experiential aspects of the students we interviewed.

Last updated on hub: 16 March 2021

“We are alone in this battle”: a framework for a coordinated response to COVID-19 in nursing homes

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes, requiring active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery during the pandemic. This perspective offers a framework, designed with the input of nursing home leaders, to facilitate internal and external decision-making and collective action to address these threats. Policy options focus on assuring a shared understanding among nursing home leaders and government agencies of changes in the operational status of nursing homes throughout the crisis, improving access to additional essential resources needed to mitigate the crisis’ impact, and promoting shared accountability for consistently achieving accepted standards in core quality domains.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

“Whatever it takes”: Government spending on children and young people – the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 Spending Review

National Children's Bureau

This report sets out an analysis of the 2020 Spending Review, showing that the approach is still too piecemeal to deliver a better childhood for the UK’s children. Many children, young people and families benefited through the universal measures taken in response to the pandemic, including the Coronavirus Job Retention (‘furlough’) Scheme and the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit. Other measures were more specifically targeted at children and young people in low-income households. However, while the Treasury has made much needed spending commitments in some areas, there have been major omissions in others. These include: no commitments to counteract rising child poverty; no support to make babies and young children a priority; not enough to protect young people’s mental health; no solution to the sustained crisis in children’s social care.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

“You never stop being a social worker:” experiences of pediatric hospital social workers during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

Social Work in Health Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought widespread devastation upon children and families across the United States, widening existing health disparities and inequities that disproportionately affect communities of color. In health care settings specifically, social work is the key workforce tasked with responding to patient and family psychosocial needs, both of which have increased substantially since the emergence of COVID-19. There is a need to understand ways in which hospital social workers’ roles, responsibilities, and integration within interprofessional teams have evolved in response to these challenges. In this qualitative study, focus groups were conducted with 55 social workers employed across multiple settings in a large, urban, pediatric hospital in Spring 2020. Thematic analyses revealed salient superordinate themes related to the pandemic’s impact on social work practice and social workers themselves, institutional facilitators and impediments to effective social work and interprofessional practice, and social work perspectives on future pandemic recovery efforts. Within each theme, a number of interrelated subthemes emerged elucidating nuances of telehealth adoption in the context of remote work, the salience of social determinants of health, and the critical role of social work in social justice oriented pandemic preparedness and response efforts. Implications for interprofessional practice and the profession at large are discussed.

Last updated on hub: 18 March 2021

10 leaps forward: innovation in the pandemic. What we want to keep from this experience: going ‘back to better’

London South Bank University

An analysis of the findings of an online survey asking leaders and clinicians to reflect and play back in their own words the most important transformations that have happened due to COVID-19. The findings show that in a very short time healthcare services have learned to operate as a highly performing system and made significant advances. These include: staff being properly valued and supported; using 21st century tools; working with connected, visible, engaged leaders; care basics and inefficiencies have been fixed and sorted; local health systems have joined up together to get things done; staff working together as real teams; staff have stepped up and acted with professionalism and autonomy. As a result, the healthcare system is now better placed to make decisions based on needs and think pro-actively; to make mutual decisions with patients as partners; and to work in close collaboration with its community.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

12 lessons for children’s social work from practising under Covid

Community Care

The Covid-19 pandemic is presenting governments, social work leaders, managers and frontline practitioners with unique challenges. This article summarises finding of a research study exploring its impact on children, families and child protection social work. Since April 2020, 48 social workers, family support workers and managers from four anonymous research sites have been interviewed, many on a monthly basis. Researchers also spoke with 22 family members and analysed a small number of digital interactions between social workers and parents. The emerging findings contain 12 key lessons for practice now and for the future: social workers have creatively improvised to remain close to children and families; social workers and organisations should trust the digital more, particularly as part of a hybrid practice that combines in-person and digital interactions; digital interactions should be seen as differently, not always less, valuable; existing research and guidance should be developed to maximise the benefits of digital social work and the hybrid practices it generates; social workers have chosen to take risks to support children and families, even when they have been afraid; social workers don’t always maintain a physical distance from children and families; Covid-19 related risk-taking is not just an individual choice but systemic; there is a particular need to develop guidance and share best practice on the use of face masks; social workers and family support workers are providing increased levels of material help and support for families; social workers miss the support of the office; social workers should not be expected to operate alone when supporting and safeguarding children; social workers deserve greater public recognition for their contribution during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 16 February 2021

2020 vision: hear me, see me, support me and don’t forget me. The impact of Coronavirus on young and young adult carers in Scotland, and what they want you to do next

Carers Trust Scotland

Findings of a survey of 214 carers aged between 12 and 25 to understand their experiences of living and caring during the pandemic. Whilst some have found positives, such as learning a new skill or building a closer relationship with the person they care for, many more describe feeling stressed, unable to cope and overwhelmed by the pressures they now face: 45% of young carers and 68% of young adult carers in Scotland say their mental health is worse since Coronavirus; 71% of young carers and 85% of young adult carers are more worried about the future since Coronavirus; 69% of young carers and 76% of young adult carers are feeling more stressed since Coronavirus; 74% of young carers and 73% of young adult carers are feeling less connected to others since Coronavirus; 58% of young carers are feeling that their education has suffered since Coronavirus; 11% of both young and young adult carers report an increase of 30 hours or more in the amount of time they spend caring per week; 6% of young carers and 11% of young adult carers are spending over 90 hours a week caring for a family member or friend. The young and young adult carers who shared their thoughts and experiences with us have been clear about what they want and need: support for their emotional wellbeing and mental health; help to stay connected to friends and their communities; breaks from their caring role and the support of specialist young and young adult carers services; more help to balance caring, education and employment; support to stay fit and healthy.

Last updated on hub: 16 March 2021

4 reasons housing providers must revise their telecare needs post COVID-19


This guide highlights the changing landscape for the delivery of technology enabled care services (TECS). It draws on findings from interviews and independent research undertaken with the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) of 120 senior executives from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. The analysis indicates that 85% housing providers report their perceptions on the use of technology have changed as a result of COVID-19 while 74% feel that their requirements for telecare and wellbeing technologies have changed as a result of the pandemic. The document sets out four key reasons that support the strengthening and consolidation of the telecare offer within housing settings and makes recommendations on how to achieve this. The four reasons are: vulnerable communities need support to maintain their social connections – there is huge potential for housing providers to harness communication technologies to help connect older people and promote digital inclusion; remote working will be here to stay – 80% of housing providers believe video communication between residents and staff is becoming more important to their organisation because of COVID-19; how we access healthcare services will change – for instance, it is likely that the pandemic will be the catalyst for greater use of video appointments within the health sector; more services are being accessed online – in an uncertain world, with shielding and social distancing it is becoming even more vital to help older and vulnerable people to access support, and services from paying bills online to accessing pensions and shopping from home while keeping safe.

Last updated on hub: 04 August 2020

590 people’s stories of leaving hospital during COVID-19

Healthwatch England

This report shines a light on people’s experiences of getting home from hospital during the pandemic. In March 2020, the Government introduced a new hospital discharge policy to help the NHS free up beds by getting people out of hospital quickly. This meant anyone who may need out-of-hospital support to help them recover would now have their needs assessed after being discharged (discharge to assess), rather than in hospital. The report drawn on a survey over 500 patients and carers and 47 in-depth interviews with health and care professionals involved in the hospital discharge process. Key findings include: 82% of respondents did not receive a follow-up visit and assessment at home and almost one in five of these reported an unmet care needs; some people felt their discharge was rushed, with around one in five feeling unprepared to leave hospital; over a third of people were not given a contact who they could get in touch with for further advice after discharge; overall patients and families were very positive about healthcare staff, praising their efforts during such a difficult time; around a third of people faced an issue with delayed COVID-19 test results. The research indicates the discharge to assess model could be beneficial for patients and staff if properly resourced and implemented. However, the high proportion of people who did not receive information about the changed process or an assessment from a health professional reveals that the approach set out in the policy remains in many places an ambition, rather than a reality. In the medium term this model also needs embedding within broader health and social care reforms.

Last updated on hub: 29 October 2020

8 minutes and 46 seconds of ‘I Can’t Breathe’: a call for anti-racist feminist solidarity amid COVID-19

International Social Work

COVID-19 has again exposed the inequality and injustice of race and power deeply rooted in patterns, discourses and institutions. I am writing this article to bring attention to how we need anti-racist feminism now even more than ever. Feminism in social work offers an act of engagement, realization, application and praxis of ideas that challenges the normative response to rethink marginalized and oppressed individuals’ suppressed thoughts, voices and lived realities amid the pandemic lockdown. This inclusive article recognizes and acknowledges that the stories, ideas, experiences, vision, and life of every individual matters.

Last updated on hub: 25 March 2021

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