Community Social Workers’ Perspectives on the Challenges and Opportunities Presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yael Itzhaki-Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has required public social services departments to cope with an unexpected and unprecedented emergency situation. As community social workers work on the macrolevel and deal with entire communities in emergency situations, the present study investigated the challenges they face as well as the factors that promoted they are coping during the “age of COVID.” Drawing on in-depth interviews with 20 managers of community social work departments in Israel, findings highlighted three main themes: (a) organizational politics, which impeded community social workers’ work; (b) the mobilization of both professional community social work staff as well as civilians; and (c) the perception of the crisis as an opportunity. Findings pointed to the challenges, promotive factors, and perceptions of community social workers in public social services departments who have had to cope with the pandemic. We discuss these findings in light of the theoretical perspectives of “the politics of pandemic” pandemic, social support, and resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume91
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • benefit finding
  • community social work
  • resilience
  • the politics of pandemics

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