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IASW Social Work During Covid-19 Ongoing Survey

 ‘Where will it end, how will practice change, what do we need to do going forward to adapt but protect the core values of our profession?’

'I am worried about long term consequences for some people who cannot access bereavement face to face support in ordinary way. Also, some patients can’t manage isolation easily and become very, very distressed.  

‘The potential of exposure to Covid-19 as access and home visits are established again.’ 

I’m particularly concerned about delayed referrals, as crises remain hidden during ‘lockdown’ and the increased risk to women/children. I’m also concerned about how we will be able to meet service demands when the inevitable onslaught of referrals occurs.'  

 ‘It is very difficult to work from home where there is no longer a clear separation between work and home, as well as the lack of natural connections with colleagues for support.’ 

'The impact of working like this in the long term.  How to sustain myself within the role if I cannot connect with patients/clients and families in person. That clients/patients and families will not benefit from emotional support as they adapt and adjust to life changing diagnoses, illness and death.'     

‘Being told not to do home visits except in an emergency, then constantly being asked how many I've completed. Management seem to be panicking about stats and don't really like us working from home. The latest is now filling in a work from home tracker, its stressful.’ 

Interagency working has been at its best and the engagement of community and voluntary sectors in conjunction with statutory services has been amazing in ensuring that the needs of children and families are brought to the fore and met. 

‘A push toward online/virtual engagement within health (while revolutionary for many) is INACCESSIBLE for a vulnerable cohort of service users who have limited financial, soft and hard IT resources; reduced personal freedom or safety and or insufficient skills/knowledge to access same. Social work must continue to have a voice for the minority groups and continue to provide bespoke services that are person centred.’ 

The first report on the IASW Social Work During Covid-19 Ongoing Survey presents the findings on the data collected during the final week of lockdown from the 12th – 18th May, approximately seven weeks after lockdown began at midnight on Friday, 27th March. 148 responses were received, with social workers in Children and Families comprising 39% of responses. A separate report on the Children and Families cohort has also been completed.

You can download the reports from the right side of this page.

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to complete the survey and to encourage social work friends and colleagues to do so. We had a great response rate and some really useful data.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) have kindly given the IASW permission to replicate their Social work during Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Ongoing Survey and to adapt that survey with some additional questions. The survey data provided by you and your colleagues will create a record of social work practice in Ireland during Covid-19 and can also be used to compare with BASW's findings. What you tell us will inform our work and will be used to reflect your views in how we represent the social work profession and our service users with the aim of shaping practice and policy. All responses to the survey are anonymous. 

The IASW would like to acknowledge and thank the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) for the funding support provided for this work.