Faculty members from UP CSWCD’s Department of Social Work presented the initial results of the study, “Stories from the Field: Social Work at the Time of the Pandemic”, at the Joint Conference on Social Work Education and Social Development (SWESD) held on October 26 to 28, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea. The theme of SWESD 2022 is “Redefining Social Policy and social work Practice in a Post-Pandemic Society: Social Welfare Programs and social work Education at a Crossroads”, hosted by the International Council on Social Welfare and International Association of Schools of Social Work.
Assistant Professors Hazel Cometa-Lamberte, Suzanne Nazal, Florence Pasos, and Glennie Marie Sina-on discussed the challenges and lessons faced by social workers during the onsite symposium. The findings were based on 16 stories contributed by social work practitioners from various setting all over the country.
In particular, the study revealed the true cost of inequality in which poor communities which lack health and social services, are those which experienced the worse impact of COVID-19. The presentation also undescored the importance of ICT in case management and engaging with clients and communities, as well as the need for the profession to optimize the use of ICT in innovative and creative practice. It also emphasized the social workers’ important role as frontliners in COVID-19 response, together with other helping professionals. Caring for social workers’ physical and emotional well-being is essential for the growth of the profession. The presenters posed a challenge on the preparedness of the Social Work Profession to develop the necessary tools, practice models, and policy changes moving into a postcovid-19 world.
Associate Professor Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas, PhD, made an online presentation on “Remote Community Organizing Strategies during the Pandemic: Introducing Change through Model-Building”. He highlighted how the pandemic has opened opportunities for social workers to explore innovative strategies in working with communities. The book, “Remaking Social Work for the New Global Era”, was also launched during the conference. Dr. Nicolas contributed a chapter, titled, “Knowledge Creation in Social Work During the Time of COVID-19”. Edited by Ngoh Tiong Tan, P.K. Shajahan, the book features global perspectives on the future of Social Work.
Asst. Professors Hazel Cometa-Lamberte, Glennie Marie Sina-on, and Diadem Rose Camba-Jontarciego of Iloilo Doctors College, presented their paper in the oral presentation category entitled “An Exploratory Study on the Challenges Encountered and Strategies Employed by the Philippine Child Caring Agencies Amidst COVID-19: Social Work Administration in the New Normal”. The team presented the challenges encountered and strategies employed in managing and operating the residential care facilities for children in the Philippines during the height of COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed implications for the conduct of social work administration and the delivery of social welfare and services in residential settings.