How to support your emotional resilience and wellbeing during the pandemic

Community Care Inform’s guide to emotional resilience and wellbeing is now available as a free download to support all practitioners

word 'resilience' spelt out in blocks
Photo: deeaf/AdobeStock

Social work has not suddenly become stressful due to the spread of Covid-19. Community Care’s caseload survey at the start of March, which found more than 70% of children’s social workers struggling with their existing caseload, is just one recent example of practitioners across the sector telling us about the pressures they face.

We know that in addition to longstanding heavy workloads and stretched budgets, working to support and protect adults, families and young people who are living in difficult and distressing circumstances or have experienced abuse and trauma is an inherent part of the job and can take an emotional toll. But practising during the coronavirus outbreak, when teams are depleted and families and individuals are under more strain than usual, is making a challenging role harder for many.

It’s perhaps not surprising that Community Care Inform’s guide to developing emotional resilience and wellbeing in practitioners has long been one of the most popular guides on Inform Children and Inform Adults, and has been used by even more social workers in the past few weeks.

Community Care Inform is a subscription resource (see below). To thank all social work and care staff for the incredible work that you continue to do and help you look after your own wellbeing when under extra strain, we have now made this guide freely available to everybody.

What’s in the guide?

The guide is written by Louise Grant and Gail Kinman, who have carried out original research in this area and drawn practical messages about developing resilience from other studies. It includes:

  • the “competencies” that support emotional resilience, including self-compassion and self-care and having a flexible range of coping skills;
  • how to ensure emotional literacy allows for “appropriate empathy”, rather than being overwhelmed by concern and distress for others;
  • specific techniques practitioners can try to develop a personal resilience “toolbox” that meets their own needs and allows them to respond to different situations. These include mindfulness, skills from cognitive behavioural therapy and ways to make the most of support from peers and supervisors.

In their introduction to the guide, Grant and Kinman emphasise that professional wellbeing starts with organisations providing their employees with adequate resources, learning and appreciation of their efforts. Their message continues: “We urge organisations to wrap support around their workers; this is crucial no matter how resilient we or others think we are.”

We are providing this resource to complement organisational support. As the guide says, “social care professionals are often reluctant to prioritise their own wellbeing over other people’s needs”. But there has never been important time to practice self-care and self-compassion.

Click here to download the guide to developing emotional resilience and wellbeing in practitioners

More from Community Care Inform

Community Care Inform Children and Community Care Inform Adults are subscription websites providing practice guidance, legal information and learning tools in an accessible format. If you have a licence through your employer or institution, you might also find the links below particularly useful at this time. The quiz can help you identify existing strengths, and competencies or techniques to work on.

On Inform Adults

On Inform Children

Not sure if you have a licence? A large number of local authorities and universities work with us so ask your manager, principal social worker or learning and development team if you already have access, or contact our helpdesk by email or phone (0203 915 9444). You can also enquire about new subscriptions.

You can see extracts or tasters of other CC Inform resources here.

More from Community Care

One Response to How to support your emotional resilience and wellbeing during the pandemic

  1. Aminandaba Fuyana April 9, 2020 at 11:25 pm #

    Great stuff to read which is relevant to our unpredictable times of social work practice in this time of COVID-19 Awesome stuff!!