Updated on 18th June
We know that social workers are working harder than ever in the difficult conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. New legislation has been brought in, remote working is the norm and the complex issues families face are being heightened by financial insecurity and the stresses of lockdown.
The Community Care Inform team are producing a weekly podcast series, Learn on the Go, to support social workers in these stressful times, to ensure that you get the information and advice you need. These are free to listen to and are typically under 20 minutes long, to help you fit them into your working day.
Home and online visits
Expert guest Claudia Megele, chair of the principal child and family social worker network, discusses when it’s appropriate to conduct an online visit, rather than a home visit. Claudia also shares some best practice in conducting visits online, including different ideas for virtual direct work.
What is contextual safeguarding, and what does it look like in practice? Discussing these questions are Dr Carlene Firmin who developed the contextual safeguarding framework and leads the contextual safeguarding and peer-on-peer abuse research programmes at the University of Bedfordshire, and Samantha Roper, team manager for the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) at Knowsley Council. Carlene and Samantha also talk about how work with young people has been affected by the pandemic.
Our expert guest for this episode was Dr David Wilkins, senior lecturer at Cardiff University. David discusses how remote supervision can be effective, talking about emotions, and different ideas for holding group supervision sessions online.
The Coronavirus Act and the Care Act easements
Tim Spencer-Lane, a lawyer who specialises in mental capacity, mental health and social care law and a senior lecturer at Kingston University, discusses the key issues surrounding the so-called Care Act easements, enacted under the Coronavirus Act to enable councils to manage the resulting pressures. The episode explains how the easements relieve councils of certain Care Act duties, and the requirements placed on authorities in taking this step, including in ensuring they do not breach people’s human rights, for example when they cut care packages.
Loneliness and isolation
Dr Sue Cook, lecturer in social work at the University of Plymouth, shares advice on how social workers can support people experiencing loneliness or isolation, whatever stage of life they’re at. She also talks about why practitioners need to creative to find solutions when working with service users online or in person.
The expert guest on this episode is Sass Boucher, research director of training provider Self Care Psychology, and a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice. Sass discusses the small things social workers can do to practise self-care, as well as ways to support colleagues when you’re not seeing each other in person.
In this episode, which was recorded at the end of April, Donna Covey, director of domestic abuse charity AVA (Against Violence and Abuse) talks about how social workers can continue to support vulnerable children and adults during the lockdown.