Transformative Disruption? Reflections on Care in Social Work under a COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown

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The chapter focuses on the possibilities for sustaining care in social work with vulnerable families during a pandemic lock down in Denmark, and discusses if disruption of normal practices can be a source for learning and transformation. First, we outline a concept of care and argue that a pandemic lock down can disrupt professional care but may also reveal structural weaknesses and offer paths for critical reflective transformation. Next, we introduce to structural challenges in social work with vulnerable families related to expectations of cost-effectiveness and efficiency and analyse, how social workers experience and reflect on the possibilities for sustaining care during the lock down. The analysis shows that prioritising scarce resources to enable care becomes paramount. While the social workers experience moments of enabling and (re)discovering the “essence of social work” as well as a sense of community with families, they also feel “worn out” and wonder what will be the future possibilities for care. For example, will management acknowledge and prioritize the need for resources and time for care in the aftermath of Covid 19, or will conditions during the lock down become “the new normal”. Based on this, we discuss the possibilities for a transformative disruption focusing on governmental, organisational and professional recognition of the caring purpose of and pre-condition to social work.
TitelSocial Work During COVID-19 : Glocal Perspectives and Implications for the Future of Social Work
RedaktørerMalathi Adusumalli, Timo Harrikari, Paula McFadden, Tuomas Leppiaho
ISBN (Trykt)9781032215396
StatusUdgivet - 2023