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1.
British Journal of Social Work ; 53(1):405-424, 2023.
Article in English | CINAHL | ID: covidwho-2241886

ABSTRACT

Covid-19 brought about drastic changes in day-to-day life and working practices, and had a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of the general population. Certain professional groups have also been particularly affected. This study sought to explore how levels of psychological distress and perceptions of workplace support amongst social work staff changed during the pandemic. We present the results from a series of surveys conducted in four local authorities (LAs) in England, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Social workers and other social care staff (n  = 62) were asked about their experiences of psychological distress, using the twelve-item General Health Questionnaire. Overall, we found the proportion of staff reporting elevated levels of psychological distress increased and, in line with previous studies involving social workers, was high relative to the general population. Yet, most staff also said they had high levels of support from managers and colleagues, whilst a small proportion reported an increased perception of workplace support during the pandemic, compared to before. We consider these findings in relation to Organisational Support Theory and reflect on the ability of LAs to provide effective support for social care staff.

2.
The British Journal of Social Work ; 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1937648

ABSTRACT

Covid-19 brought about drastic changes in day-to-day life and working practices, and had a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of the general population. Certain professional groups have also been particularly affected. This study sought to explore how levels of psychological distress and perceptions of workplace support amongst social work staff changed during the pandemic. We present the results from a series of surveys conducted in four local authorities (LAs) in England, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Social workers and other social care staff (n = 62) were asked about their experiences of psychological distress, using the twelve-item General Health Questionnaire. Overall, we found the proportion of staff reporting elevated levels of psychological distress increased and, in line with previous studies involving social workers, was high relative to the general population. Yet, most staff also said they had high levels of support from managers and colleagues, whilst a small proportion reported an increased perception of workplace support during the pandemic, compared to before. We consider these findings in relation to Organisational Support Theory and reflect on the ability of LAs to provide effective support for social care staff. Long before most of us had heard of coronavirus, social workers were already reporting high levels of psychological distress compared to the general public. In this study, we explored how levels of psychological distress changed amongst staff working in children's social services during the pandemic. We asked sixty-two people working in children's social services in four local authorities in England to complete a survey about their well-being and to tell us whether the support they received changed during Covid-19. We found the proportion of staff reporting elevated levels of psychological distress was high and that it increased over the pandemic. But social work staff also said they had high levels of support from managers and colleagues, and some reported an increased perception of workplace support during the pandemic, compared to before.

3.
Qualitative Social Work ; 20(1-2):383-389, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1133511

ABSTRACT

This essay describes the impact of the pandemic on our experiences as Independent Visitors (IVs) forchildren who are looked-after. Independent Visitors are volunteers who visit, advise and befriend children with the aim of helping them develop a positive, long-term relationship beyond the care system. Based on our personal experiences of being matched with and visiting two young people, we consider how supporting the children remotely during the pandemic has helped us reflect on our relationships with them and our role as IVs. We discuss the role that foster carers play in supporting the IV relationship, the significance of developing routines and rituals with young people, and the challenges and opportunities offered by the transition from visits to virtual contact. We conclude with an outline of the response of service providers to the pandemic, and suggest that increased support for Independent Visiting might improve provision and allow more children to benefit from a relationship with an Independent Visitor. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Qualitative Social Work is the property of Sage Publications, Ltd. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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