Abstract: (WITHDRAWN) What Can We Learn from the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic about Social Work Practice? (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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650P (WITHDRAWN) What Can We Learn from the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic about Social Work Practice?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Inge Pasteels, PhD, Coordinator PXL Social Work Research Center, PXL University College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hasselt, Belgium
The current health crisis, which has been unfolding since 13 March 2020 in Belgium in view of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, is undoubtedly having a major impact on Social Work. Between 6 april and 4 may 2020 we interviewed 1044 social workers and 634 other professionals in the social-profitsector by using a standardized survey questionnaire. They were invited to answer questions about new needs that were emerging, new urgencies and bottlenecks that were appearing, and new opportunities discovered. The questionnaire intended to examine their experiences of these special times as a professional in the social profit sector. The aim was to gain insight into the availability of support, given the government measures in place, and to identify the main bottlenecks and concerns. In addition, we also looked out for good practices that were being established, and any recommendations from the sector that we could pass on to policymakers. At last some questions about work-life balance of social workers in times of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic were posed.

In this contribution we will present important lessons we learned about social work practice by means of this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. We will present good practices, bottlenecks we could learn from and policy recommendations we passed on to policymakers. Analyses will be done for different domains of social work and for different target groups. In the questionnaire we distinguished general social services; poverty and deprivation; care for the homeless; accommodation/social housing; labour and (social) economy; education and training; judicial system; legal services; budget support/budget management; culture and leisure; neighbourhood and community building; migration and civic integration; youth services; relationships and sexuality; children and families; young people; the elderly; people with a disability; physical health care; mental health care; home care; living environment and international cooperation; and municipal, provincial, Flemish and federal authorities. Results are not yet available but we will make a relevant selection to contribute to the conference.