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Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 27th Jan 2022, 05:13:57am EET

Session Overview
Paper Presentation Session 7: COVID-19 and Social Work
Wednesday, 16/June/2021:
4:30pm - 6:00pm

Location: Parallel Session 2

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Cristina Belén Sampedro Palacios, Yolanda María De la Fuente Robles

Universidad de Jaén, Spain

The situation of disability is inherent to people and the migration process is part of vital development. Therefore, in it the reality of people with functional diversity converges; assuming this a phenomenon characterized by a double situation of vulnerability. In addition, on occasions, the process itself can be a generator of disability, due to the transgressive nature that it can have; as well as the causes that lead to the beginning of this process. Added to all this is the current COVID-19 pandemic, which undoubtedly aggravates the effects of vulnerability in the field of migration.

Traditionally, both realities have been identified as independent, leading to an important omission both in scientific studies and in social intervention. Leaving a gap in terms of quantitative data and analysis of the phenomenon. Which gives rise to a situation in which the scarcity of actions by the institutions, with respect to migrants with disabilities, is notable.

Therefore, the objective of this study is to know and analyze the theoretical / scientific contributions of the field of migration and disability, their evolution and characteristics, and their relationship with the new situations generated by COVID-19. Since social intervention is considered a precursor area in the achievement of an inclusive and diverse society. All through the design and / or proposal of measures that guarantee the equal enjoyment of Human Rights.

Starting from this premise, the theoretical contributions that so far exist regarding the phenomenon of disability in the migratory process are characterized by the lack of quantitative and bibliographic data that address the subject. Even the most common ones in which refugees with disabilities are the object of study are scarce. Ultimately, the research has resulted in a doctoral thesis on superdiversity and disability in the field of migration; financed by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain. That allows the maintenance of the investigation today.

Understanding the refugee’s trauma through cultural adaptation of Clinical Ethnographic Interview in Greek: 1a


1HELLENIC MEDITERANEIAN UNIVERSITY, Greece; 2School of Social Work, Springfield College; 3Department of Human Behavioral and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing, Michigan University

The Clinical Ethnographic Narrative Interview (CENI) is an innovative tool that could build knowledge and capacity for the Social Workers to understand and address trauma.Based on theories about the benefits and challenges of narrative after trauma, this paper discusses the pioneering nature of the CENI tool to allow social workers to examine and evaluate the complex interplay between suffering, culture, and help-seeking (Saint Arnault, 2017).

Aim: This paper will present the translation and cultural adaptation of CENI in Greek, its procedure and preliminary findings about emotional, social, cultural and cognitive effects of trauma on the recognition of need, help seeking, recovery, and the use of support networks for refugees living in Greece who have experienced trauma.

Methods and Materials: CENI is a narrative interviewing tool that uses five unique and engaging participatory activities to investigate cultural experiences and barriers to help-seeking, including : a. social network, b. body map, c. lifeline, d. card sort, and e. interviewing the causal interpretations, social significance and help-seeking actions related to those symptoms (Saint Arnault and Shimabukuro, 2012; Saint Arnault, 2017).The translation and cultural adaptation of the CENI into Greek will be conducted according to the principles of good practice by the Translation and Cultural Adaptation group (Diane Wild et al., 2005). A snowball sample of 20 refugee women and men (18-60 years of age) will be used. Inclusion criteria will be: to have lived for the last three years in Greece, be fluent in Greek, and self-identify as having experienced trauma. Thematic analysis will be conducted.

Implications: The study expects: a. to broaden the scope of theoretical knowledge on trauma recovery; establish CENI as an intake tool in community social services; c. to examine the therapeutic impact of the CENI as an intervention to reduce symptoms, increase the use of social support, and promote post-traumatic growth, help-seeking intention and, behavior for the refugees who have experienced trauma. Implications for social work practice and education will be discussed.

Emergency and Social Work: Some Reflections in the Time of COVID-19

Folco Cimagalli, Cristiana Di Pietro, Antonio Panico, Marinella Sibilla

LUMSA University, Department of Law, Economics, Politics and Modern languages - Rome, Italy

The health emergency caused by Sars-CoV-2 had a significant impact on social work, especially as concerns health services at local level. They had to face up to both unusual organizational difficulties and new kind of social needs which could not be managed in the light of consolidated procedural schemes. The pandemic crisis, indeed, pointed out the role that social work can play in emergency, beyond the organizational and methodological issues arising from the unexpected event and the physical distance measures. This is the time for social work to deeply rethink its potential and its scope.

This paper assumes that, although overwhelmed by emergency and unpredictable consequences, social work is able to promote processes of adapting and managing uncertainty by reflecting on priorities and methods and by planning adequate interventions.

Literature has already investigated the ability of social work and, more generally, of the welfare system, not only to act as a means to access resources and / or services but also as a rebalancing factor in uncertainty context. Social work overcomes the linear and standardized schemes of classical welfare and it appears able to design new strategies of reassurance and adaptation (Castels 2003, Beck and Bauman 1999, 2006, Sennett 2004).

It could be interesting, therefore, to push forward the research focusing on the role that professionals play when catastrophic event upsets normalcy bringing about new forms of fear and uncertainty (Cattarinussi, Pelanda 1981; Frudà 1991).

In this perspective, an empirical study started in Italy and Spain aiming to analyse how and to what extent the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on social and health services at local level.

This paper presents the preliminary results of the study conducted in Italy (Lazio, Puglia and Sicily) by a quantitative survey involving social workers. Three dimensions have been investigated: changing in the organization of services in terms of method and practice; work experience during the critical phase of the Covid-19 pandemic; finally, changing in social needs and new strategies to cope with.

Social work has shown a capacity for organizational resilience, triggering individual and collective coping processes as well as orientation and capacity building.

Mitigating traumatic stress and vicarious trauma through social work collaborative action and community cohesion during the COVID-19 crisis

Daniela Gaba1, Melinda Madew2, Marcin Boryczko3

1University of Bucharest, Romania; 2Protestant University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg, Germany; 3University of Gdańsk, Poland

Context: The COVID-19 crisis amplified numerous social risks and generated new ones under the pressure of potentially traumatic stressors, e.g. social isolation, sudden and premature loss of family/friends or unexpended financial strains. While frontline social workers strive to protect the most vulnerable populations during these challenging times, they too are prone to traumatic stress, both directly through their lived experiences of the crisis and indirectly through vicarious trauma. In high risks situations, social work practitioners rely on formal and informal networks of organisational and community support to generate a collective sense of security (Fargion, Sanfelici, Sicora, 2020).

Methods and aims: This paper presents the results of a cross-national qualitative study exploring the challenges faced by social workers in Germany, Romania and Poland during the COVID-19 crisis, both at a professional and personal level. An objective of the study is to examine the experiences of social work practitioners while navigating professional risks in the early stage of the COVID-19 crisis, with potential negative effects on their private lives. The study consists of 30 semi-structured interviews, with an equal share from each country; the sample is purposive and includes frontline social workers with at least one year of work experience in the field, from varying organisational settings and areas of expertise. The interviews are recorded and transcribed verbatim, with a few exceptions for which audio recording was not possible. Transcriptions of interviews performed in Romanian and Polish were translated into English and then a thematic analysis was performed collaboratively by two coders.

Results: Social workers in each context derived informal and formal systems of connectedness from emergency responses. New collaborative mechanisms were developed in unprecedented scenarios, generating resilience within their organisations and increased solidarity at the community level. Some of the themes emerging as catalysts of these collaborative actions are uncertainty mitigation, ethical dilemmas disentanglement and overloaded decision-making processes. These manifestations of solidarity can mitigate the onset of traumatic experiences, shaping professional identity and community cohesion and strengthening the preparedness for crisis situations. Possible implications for social work education during the pandemic and for adapting to “the new normal” are discussed.

Impact of pandemic influence in Albania recovery elderly

Eris Dhamo

Universitry of Tirana, Albania

Albania as all the world has been affected by Covid-19 pandemic, with 50637 confirmed cases and 1040 confirmed deaths (WHO, 18 December 2020). All the adults are in risk, but older ones are at higher risk as World Health Organization confirm, mostly from fear and suffer from infection. 21 .5 % of total Albanian population is above 60 years old and old dependency ratio on 1 January 2020 (ratio of the number of persons above the working age 65+ with the number of persons of working age 15 to 64) has increased from 20.5 % to 21.6 % compared with 1 January 2019, in the same period. As JAMA Newt Open (2020) study conclude households will continue to be a significant venue for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, that’s mean that even if elderly persons will be referred to isolate at home they have a lot of chance to be infected.

This study aim to explore older adult’s experience who has been recovery from Covid-19 with a hospitalization situation. 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted between October 2020 –December 2020, with hospital recovery older adults, aged 65 years and above in Tirana, capital of Albania. Content analysis has been used to analyze transcript interviews in order to identify most frequented themes, which are concern for others and fear to be happy.

All interviewed elderly express fear even cautious, they are afraid to be happy for being alive because the virus is “faithless”, but at the same time they feel compassion for medical personnel and for family member that have been suffer their illness and hospital stay.

Keywords: elderly, Covid-19, hospital, fear from happiness.


Jonathan Lambaerts

Thomas More, Belgium

Many people still associate philosophy with abstract theories and otherworldly discourses. Interesting for personal growth at best but without any practical value. An opinion shared by a majority of social workers who often reduce philosophy to ethics (and ethics to legislation). This common shared opinion is regrettable. Philosophy is above all a method and not a set theories. It is an activity and one perfectly suited for Social work. Particularly because it incorporates the core values of Social work.

Philosophy is the activity of ‘not knowing’ (Socrates) and of searching for reasonable answers to one’s questions. The principle of ‘not knowing’ makes all participants equal to each other. As such it creates a safe haven to speak. There is no authority on what is right or wrong, no authority on what can be said or what needs to remain unspoken. The only goal is that all who partake aspire to be reasonable. By insisting on this, the philosophical method tries to transcend emotions, intuitions, beliefs, … in other words the mere personal. As such the use of reason in philosophy is not only another way of creating equality but more importantly, it creates a common ground that enables people to understand each other and as a result to relate to one another.

Philosophy helps people to put their own life questions into words. This empowers them as it allows them to gain and retain the authorship over their own lives. Social work that takes these questions to heart lives up to the ambitions as formulated in the international definition of Social work (empowering people to address their life challenges and to engage in the strive for social change).

In the bachelor programme Social work at the Thomas More university college (Belgium) future social workers are trained thoroughly in the philosophical method. To the degree that it becomes a part of their professional identity. It is also used as a reflective tool in their development. This workshop aims to introduce philosophy as method to the broad community of social workers and to share our experi-ences using it in the field.

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