Social work and child protection for a post-pandemic world: the re-making of practice during COVID-19 and its renewal beyond it

Harry Ferguson*, Laura Kelly, Sarah Pink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic presented social workers and managers in child protection with complex practical and moral dilemmas about how to respond to children and families while social distancing. This paper draws on our research into practice during the pandemic to show some of the ways social workers changed their practice and to provide theories and concepts that can help to account for how such change occurs. Drawing on anthropological uses of the concepts of ‘contingency’ and ‘improvisation’ and Hartmut Rosa’s sociological work on ‘adaptive transformation’ and ‘resonance’ we show how social workers creatively ‘re-made’ key aspects of their practice, by recognising inequalities and providing material help, through digital casework, movement and walking encounters, and by going into homes and taking risks by getting close to children and parents. It is vital that such improvisation and remaking are learned from and sustained post-pandemic as this can renew practice and enable social workers to better enhance the lives of service users.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice
Early online date4 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • child protection
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • digital social work
  • improvisation
  • relationship-based practice
  • Social work
  • touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Drug guides

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Social work and child protection for a post-pandemic world: the re-making of practice during COVID-19 and its renewal beyond it'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this