The first paper presents findings from an exploratory cross-sectional survey of social workers in Ontario, Canada from June 2020 to September 2020. Findings show that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted social workers' employment status in various ways through loss of employment, redevelopment to new settings and early retirement.
The second paper examines pandemic-related changes to social services employment and workplaces, strains from those changes; and individual, job, and organizational correlates of job satisfaction in a sample of human service workers from the NJ-NY-PA tri-state area. Results suggest that while personal challenges from the pandemic loom large, organizational initiatives and job aspects also relate to the experience of employment.
The third paper examines the association between nonstandard work shifts (NWS) and social workers' burnouts in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using survey data collected from 537 frontline social workers, the study finds the pervasiveness of NWS during the pandemic and the significant associations between involuntary NWS and higher burnout.
The fourth paper examines the unequal labor market experience of frontline social workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using US monthly Current Population Survey data, the study finds that workers from racial/ethnic minorities, with lower educational backgrounds, who did not work remotely and who worked part-time are more likely to leave human service jobs than comparison groups.
This symposium advances knowledge on how the pandemic may be (re)shaping the quality of social work jobs, and incorporates a cross-national component helpful for grasping the range of impacts of this global challenge. The discussion will focus on the implication of study findings for equity and sustainability of social service jobs and workplaces in the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion will also consider how social work researchers can contribute important knowledge and advocacy to support better job quality for frontline social workers as we emerge from the pandemic.