COVID‐19 has challenged social workers to engage with health pandemics and provide essential services in conditions of uncertainty and high risk. They have safeguarded children, older adults and diverse adults in ‘at risk’ groups under tough conditions mediated by digital technologies, adhered to government injunctions, maintained social and physical distancing under lockdown and worked from home remotely. Social workers and social care workers have risen to the challenges, providing services with inadequate personal protective equipment and limited supervision and support. This article highlights the degraded physical environments, socio‐economic and political contexts that intensify precariousness and constraints that neoliberalism imposed on professional capacity before and during this health pandemic. It provides guidelines to protect practitioners and service users. It concludes that practitioners ought to understand zoonotic diseases, environmental concerns, acquire disaster expertise and training, widen their practice portfolio and value their contributions to this pandemic.


An accepted version of this item is on the source repository but has been embargoed. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the source repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Dominelli, L. (2021), A green social work perspective on social work during the time of COVID‐19. International Journal of Social Welfare, 30: 7-16, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsw.12469. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Dominelli, L. 2020, 'A green social work perspective on social work during the time of COVID-19', International Journal of Social Welfare, 30(1), pp. 7-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsw.12469

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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