Main challenges you are facing in doing your work as SW Educators in Lockdown

Home Forums Social Work Schools dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic and Physical Distancing Main challenges you are facing in doing your work as SW Educators in Lockdown

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    Femke Dewulf

    What are the main challenges you are facing in doing your work as Social Work educators in  lockdown? What suggestions do you have to support your colleagues?
    European Association of Schools of Social Work calls social work educators to share their experiences and views on the challenges in facing the COVID-19 virus and lockdown.

    Some questions…

      How do you try to offer a quality social work education? What are the challenges or activities which can inspire other countries?
      How do schools facilitate physical distancing and social solidarity towards their students or colleagues?
      How do you as schools support social work practice to support communities and the most vulnerable?
      How do you advocate for social services and in policy environments to make sure that services adapt, remain open and are pro-active in supporting communities and vulnerable populations?
      How do you support and protect physically and mentally professionals and volunteers in their frontline role?
      How can we promote global solidarity to fight Covid-19?

    Share with us your reality, bellow. We are looking forward to reading from you!

    In many countries social workers are supporting communities where Covid-19 virus has an enormous impact on health and wellbeing. Social workers have an essential frontline role in the fight against the spread of the virus through supporting communities, to protect themselves and others through physical distancing and social solidarity. Also, social work schools can contribute to the key functions of social work during this difficult time. In countries where the lockdown was established, lectures and contacts with students are held on line, through virtual media. Social work educators are also engaged in supporting the students, the education and academic community, for nurturing resilience and solidarity with social work practices and to support those who are suffering for isolation or disease. We would like to collect experiences and challenges of social work school or organizations affected or fearful of the Covid-19 virus. We believe that collecting this information can help and support social work education and social work educators to contribute to social development and high-quality education, training and knowledge for social work practice, social services, and social welfare policies in Europe. Here are some open questions as suggestions. You can answer and react to them or, if you prefer you can provide a short text of 200-300 words and/or include pictures or links to other documents. With your consent will be published on the EASSW Facebook pages and social media As co-founding association of IASSW, main contents and forum will be shared with the dedicated section.

    Links to reports and other resources useful during this period

    Moderators: Femke Dewulf and Sandra Mendes”

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Femke Dewulf.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Femke Dewulf.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Sandra Mendes.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Sandra Mendes.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Sandra Mendes.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Sandra Mendes.
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    Pavla Ciporanova

    I would like to enter the discussion forum and share the experiences and views of JAHODOVKA – The College of Social and Legal Studies based in Prague on the challenges in facing the COVID-19 virus and lockdown.

    Similarily as schools in other European countries JAHODOVKA had to switch on to distant education in less than few days time which certainly was quite a challenge. First because nobody really had much prior experience with this kind of teaching. Second because there was practically no time to prepare. Both the students and the teachers were learning through and by the process. Nevertheless in matter of days we managed to set up online tutorials, provided students with follow up home assignments and started to work intesivelly with their approach to the current situation. The students were offered professional help – support in the form of individual supervision, hotline and crisis intervention – which they used abundantly especially in connection with their placements and personal lives (anxiety and fear).
    Further we created an educational and supervisional social network, that included educators in Social Work, professional workplaces and competent regional and municipal workplaces and worked with the values in the context of social work and individual potential of students with the aim to enhance their vocational competences.
    During the lockdown the school was regularly informing the students and teachers – by email or online about the directives and recommendations of relevant government departments – primarily of the Ministry of Education and tried to follow the regulations and recommendations with regard to individual situation of every student or teacher. Teachers were offered professional support too.
    In cooperation with professional workplaces, where the students complete their training, the school set up volunteering service and mandatory civilian duty and thus contributed to increasing the number of social workers in the terrain. The school also attended online meetings with representatives of local government and local communities (e.g.: An online conference held by the Union of Family and Community Centers).
    In order to ensure the provision of servises and support of communities and risky groups the school was in contact with competent government departments and tried to fulfill the needs of given communities by providing basic counselling, helping out in the residential centers, terrain work, ensuring free time activities nad tutoring for children of the front line workers such as the rescue workers, health workers, social workers, fire fighters and others. All of wich was provided either on voluntary basis or on the basis of a mandatory civilian duty.
    The school has cooperated with the Association of Educators in Social Work on developing methodical guidlines concerning student participation in voluntary activities and mandatory civilian duty, which were published on the websites of all member schools and professional associations and sent to competent government departments – Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Ministry of Education. The school also supported social workers by aknowledging the importance of their work in connection with the International Day of Social Workers in the media and social networks and by offering supervision. The school- Jahodovka is also preparing to publish a set of expert papers reflecting on the situation in lockdown with the aim to support and enhance the endurance of social workers within emergency measures and to analyze the managing of the mandatory civilian duty of the students with the focus on enhancing vocational education and training for the future profession.
    In the end of my contribution I would like to say, that our school luckilly has not experienced any extraordinary incident of emergency. The school managed to protect both students and teachers against the virus and create suitable conditions for their voluteering activites and mandatory civilian duties in compliance with the values of social work and the ethics code.
    In case of any other questions or interests feel free to contact me for further details.

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