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  Subjects -> SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELFARE (Total: 224 journals)
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Journal of Comparative Social Work
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 0809-9936
Published by Universitetet i Stavanger Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Special Issue on Social Work in the Time of COVID-19

    • Authors: Mary Dallas Allen, Debbie Gonzalez, Lennart Sauer
      Pages: 1 - 8
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.490
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • Social workers’ perceptions on clients’ service needs and social work
           practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

    • Authors: Merita Mesiäislehto, Minna Kivipelto, Heikki Hiilamo
      Pages: 9 - 35
      Abstract: Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the specialized health-care resources have been the main focus of political attention in any country. However, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have also had a major impact on social services. The pandemic increased service needs among those who were already adult social work clients before the pandemic; it also created needs among new groups of clients, while the operating environment for service provision changed dramatically. In our study, we examine social workers’ perceptions on: 1) how well social services were able to respond to clients’ needs during the pandemic; and 2) examine practices in adult social work that were used and developed during the outbreak of the pandemic. For the analysis, we use national survey data obtained from social workers in the Social Barometer survey collected in May 2020 (n=496) and in January 2021 (n=412). The findings show that according to social workers, during the first year of the pandemic social work in Finland succeeded in responding to clients’ rather clear and concrete problems, such as difficulties in applying for social benefits and a lack of housing, while more complicated problems, such as unmanageable debts, loneliness and mental health problems, were not adequately responded to. At the same time, social workers assessed that people suffering from these problems were the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.396
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • Downward spirals to vulnerability

    • Authors: Bart Put, Kim Bastaits, Inge Pasteels, Michiel Massart
      Pages: 36 - 61
      Abstract: One of the most frequently voiced concerns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘not to forget the vulnerable groups in society’. Social workers occupy a privileged position with a view to mapping such vulnerabilities, their complex interrelations, and the processes that increase the risk of falling victim to them. Therefore, in order for policy interventions aimed at mitigating negative impact on vulnerable groups to be effective, it is important to gain an in-depth insight into the first hand experiences and concomitant concerns of social workers. The main aim of this article is to describe and categorize the main concerns social workers had about their clients a few weeks into Belgium’s first wave of the pandemic. The data used derive from a large scale online survey taken among social workers in Flanders and the Brussels region in April/May 2020, closely following the lockdown on 18 March. Thematic coding analysis was used to analyse textual answers with regard to concerns about current clients. Concerns fall into six main categories, the most important one being direct concerns about the safety and wellbeing of clients in the context of various life domains (physical and mental health, family, work, education, social networks, housing, financial and material wealth), apart from concerns about communication issues more in general, about changes in the interactional dynamics between social worker and client, the effects of lockdown related changes to forms of social help, about very specific vulnerable groups, and, lastly, about the resilience of the social work sector. Analysis of the connections between concerns also enables us to reconstruct several chains of events that may result in specific (reinforced) vulnerabilities. If policy interventions aim to be attentive to such vulnerabilities, taking stock of these chains of events is of paramount importance.
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.395
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • Business as Usual in Unusual Times

    • Authors: Vibeke Krane, Liv Hanson Ausland, Ellen Andvig, Trude Klevan
      Pages: 62 - 87
      Abstract: Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the daily lives and well-being of children and families. During the lockdown of Norway in spring 2020, many families were socially isolated and left with little support from their networks. Children and young people had limited contact with teachers, peers and other positive social contacts. The lockdown also affected the daily running of the Norwegian child welfare services (CWS), which are obliged to provide help and support to children at risk and their families. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how leaders and staff in the CWS balanced their two-part mandate to protect children from harm, and to provide support and care during the first lockdown in Norway. Design and method: The study has a qualitative approach with a descriptive and explorative design. Thirty-six CWS workers and nine leaders participated. Focus groups, dyadic and individual qualitative interviews were used for data collection. The data were analysed with a thematic analysis. Findings: 1) ‘Running the services during a pandemic’ deals with the practical organization of staff and child welfare cases, and 2) ‘The quality of child welfare work during lockdown’ describes qualitative aspects of the child welfare work. Conclusions: The study revealed the prioritization of acute cases and a reduction in CWS contact with children and families. CWS staff worried about whether at-risk children were receiving the help they were entitled to. The study shows how the crisis led to innovative approaches and teleworking solutions. The CWS had to decide how to organize and run the services in a way that ensured both acute assessments and the long-term aspects of the CWS mandate. Considering the strain the long-term pandemic has placed on children at risk, the further organization and running of the CWS is of great importance.
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.393
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • Key Competencies in Social Work through Field Placement

    • Authors: Nataliia Gusak, Oksana Volhyna
      Pages: 88 - 112
      Abstract: Field placement is considered a core component of social work education. However, it requires regular personal contacts with individuals, groups and communities. These contacts have been limited in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. A central question is how to organize field placement during the lockdown to develop key competencies in social work. To answer this question, we employ the students’ reports, competency-based self-evaluation tools, students’ assessment of the field placement (led by the University’s education quality assurance centre) and assessment of students’ performance by the field placement supervisors and university instructors. This paper presents the achievements and challenges of teaching and mastering key competencies in social work at the School of Social Work of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy from different perspectives: students, placement agencies and the University itself. While almost all competencies have been taught and learned, those related to individual casework were the most difficult to achieve. The flexibility of the social work profession is also discussed in this paper. Future social workers should be flexible and meet the people's needs in different contexts, including lockdown. The findings have implications for students, schools of social work and field placement agencies.
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.401
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • Canadian Social Work Field Education During a Global Pandemic

    • Authors: Jessica Ossais, Julie Drolet, Mohammad Idris Alemi , Tara Collins, Cara Au, Marion Bogo, Grant Charles, Monica Franco, Jesse Henton, Lavender Xin Huang, Vibha Kaushik, Sheri McConnell, David Nicholas, Heather Shenton, Tamara Sussman, Christine Walsh, Jayden Wickman
      Pages: 113 - 140
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected all aspects of social work education, including field education. The Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) partnership conducted two national online surveys to determine the impacts of the pandemic on social work field education. The first survey explored the perspectives of students and received responses from 367 Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) students. The second survey was designed to gather the perspectives of field instructors, with 73 field instructors completing the survey. The article examines the impacts of the pandemic on social work practice, field supervision, practicum flexibility and accommodations in placement, the shift to remote learning, perceptions of future career prospects and the effects on wellness and mental health. This article contributes to an increased understanding of the strengths and challenges facing social work field education, and informs field planning and responses in a pandemic. The findings will be of interest to social work field education programmes, field education coordinators and directors, field instructors, field agencies and undergraduate and graduate social work students. Recommendations for social work field education are offered.
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.406
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Social Work Practice in Canada

    • Authors: Matthew Baker, Katie A. Berens, Shanna Williams, Kaila C. Bruer, Angela D. Evans, Heather L. Price
      Pages: 141 - 171
      Abstract: Social workers involved in child maltreatment investigations faced considerable challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interactions with children and families carried new restrictions and risks, which resulted in changes in practice. We conducted a two-phase, mixed-methods study which examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social workers who work with maltreated children from both urban and rural areas across Canada. More specifically, we examined changes in service delivery, as well as perceptions of safety, stress, worry, and how support differed between urban and rural social workers. Fifty social workers (62% urban, 38% rural) responded to the Phase 1 survey, disseminated in May 2020, with 34 (76% urban, 24% rural) responding to the Phase 2 survey in November 2020. Quantitative and qualitative data revealed that rural social workers reported more worry, stress and a greater need for mental health support, in addition to receiving less support than urban social workers during the first wave of COVID-19 cases. However, during the second wave of cases, urban social workers reported more stress, a greater need for mental health support, and receiving less support than rural social workers. Additional research is needed to further uncover the nature of the differences between rural and urban social workers, and to identify the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on social workers.
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.382
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
  • Domesticating Technology in Pandemic Social Work

    • Authors: Anne Wullum Aasback, Nina Helen Aas Røkkum
      Pages: 172 - 196
      Abstract: On March 12th, 2020 the Norwegian government announced what later became known as ‘the lockdown’ of Norway due to the outbreak of Covid-19. This led to major changes in society where social distancing became the ‘new normal’ in everyday life. For social workers, it meant adapting to ‘new’ social problems among vulnerable groups as well as comprehensive changes in their working conditions and interactions with clients. Many social workers communicated with clients on digital platforms before the pandemic, but Norway’s Covid-19 social distancing policies changed the terms for using these platforms. This article investigates the impact of the pandemic on the ways Norwegian social workers involve themselves with digital technology in their interactions with clients. We employ domestication theory to investigate how social workers shape and navigate these new circumstances triggered by the pandemic using a three-dimensional model that includes practical, symbolic, and cognitive levels of analysis. The data underlying this article consist of 16 semi-structured interviews with social workers from seven different social services in Norway. The interviews were conducted approximately one month after the lockdown. The digital transformation within Norwegian social services, together with the changes related to the pandemic, have created new ways of practicing social work. We turn our attention to the following research questions: What characterized social workers’ digital interactions with clients during the first months of the pandemic' What can be learned from their experiences with domesticating technology' How has digital technology supported, challenged, and changed professional values in practice'
      PubDate: 2021-12-21
      DOI: 10.31265/jcsw.v16i2.387
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2021)
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