“No Matter What, I Will Not Give Up”: Community Practice on the Front Lines of COVID-19

Yael Itzhaki-Braun, Guy Feldman, Ruth Frankenburg, Bar Tene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has required frontline health care workers to cope with an unexpected and almost unprecedented emergency situation. Community social workers had played a crucial role during the pandemic, working to alleviate its adverse effects on marginalized communities. The present study investigated community social workers’ experiences and hardships in coping with the “age of COVID-19.” Drawing on in-depth interviews with 30 frontline community social workers in Israel, the findings highlighted three main themes: (a) the hope for recognition and the reality of underutilization; (b) the impact of the dysfunctional state on community social workers; and (c) realizing the core values and activities of community social work practice during the pandemic. Findings pointed to community social workers’ professionalism and integrity despite the hardships they endured at the local and national levels. Committing on an altruistic level seemed to be an adaptive coping style, alongside facing “the politics of pandemics.” Implications for community practice are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice


  • COVID-19
  • altruistic commitment
  • community practice
  • health care workers
  • the politics of pandemics


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