SOCIAL WORK, ETHICS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS AND COVID-19

Main Article Content

KATHLEEN J. FARKAS
J. RICHARD ROMANIUK

Abstract

The profession of social work is dedicated to the betterment of society and to the protection of marginalized and vulnerable groups. The profession’s mission is detailed in the set of seven core values: service; social justice; dignity and work of the person; importance of human relationships; integrity; and competence. Relationships between people and among groups are the primary tools of social work assessment, intervention and evaluation. In the time of coronavirus and COVID-19, there are many challenges for professional practitioners to adhere to social work’s core values as well as to maintain their own health and welfare in a time of uncertain and rapidly changing situations. This paper will examine the challenges and innovations for each social work core value and present ideas for innovation and adaptation suited to these times. The paper will present challenges and innovations using examples of two community agencies providing services to people who are homeless and addicted. In summary we will offer some insights and expectations for the future of social work in the coming years, after this experience of coronavirus and COVID-19.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
FARKAS, K. J., & ROMANIUK, J. R. (2020). SOCIAL WORK, ETHICS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS AND COVID-19. Society Register, 4(2), 67-82. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.2.05
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

KATHLEEN J. FARKAS, Case Western Reserve University

Kathleen J. Farkas, Ph.D. LISW-Supv. is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio USA. She has extensive clinical and research experience in the areas of mental health and addictions assessment and treatment. Dr. Farkas a long time interest in substance use issues among older adults and women and her work has focused on addictions and mental health issues among those incarcerated in jails and prisons. Recently she has been involved in research, teaching and service efforts using animal assisted interventions in mental health and addictions. She is the chairperson of the Mandel School’s direct practice faculty as well as the specialization faculty for substance use disorders and recovery.

J. RICHARD ROMANIUK, Case Western Reserve University

J. Richard Romaniuk, PhD, LISW-S, LICDC, is a researcher and educator. Currently he works as a full-time lecturer at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. From 2004 to 2015 he worked as a social worker at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He also worked in the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University as a neuroscientist. His experience at the VA has led him to participate in national VA committees and the National Association of Social Workers in Ohio. He was also involved locally, as a Board member of The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County (2010-2017).

References

  1. Aronson, Louise. 2020. “‘Covid-19 kills only old people.’ Only?” New York Times, March 22. Retrieved March 24, 2020 (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/opinion/coronavirus-elderly.html).
  2. Beddoe, Liz. 2020. “Responding to a crisis: Social Work profession, policy, and practice.” Australian Social Work 73(2): 131-136. DOI: 10.1080/0312407X.2020.1720758
  3. Bunis, Dena and Jenny Rough. 2020. “Governors order Coronavirus-related restrictions across America.” AARP, March 27. Retrieved March 27, 2020 (https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html).
  4. Cabanatuan, Michael. 2020. Coronavirus: Asian American groups compile hate crime reports as Trump persists in ‘Chinese virus’ attacks. San Francisco Chronicle, March 19. Retrieved March 28, 2020 (https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Coronavirus-Asian-American-groups-compile-hate-15144295.php).
  5. Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. 2020. Washington, DC. NASW Press. Retrieved March 23, 2020 (https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English%20%20%20%20%20%20%20retrieved%20on%20March%2023).
  6. Farkas, Kathleen. 2020. Personal Communication. March 17, 2020.
  7. Hutchins, Sonja S., Benedict I. Truman, Toby L. Merlin, and Stephen C. Redd. 2009a. “Protecting vulnerable populations from pandemic influenza in the United States: A strategic imperative.” American Journal of Public Health 99(2): S243-S248. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.164814
  8. Hutchins, Sonja S., Kevin Fiscella, Robert S. Levine, Danielle C. Ompad, and Marian Mc-Donald. 2009b. “Protection of racial/ethnic minority populations during an influenza pandemic.” American journal of public health 99(2): S261–S270. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.161505
  9. Kerson, Toba S. 1979. “Sixty years ago: Hospital Social Work in 1918.” Social Work in Health Care 4(3): 331-343. DOI: 10.1300/J010v04n03_08
  10. Maglajlic, Reima A. 2019. “Organisation and delivery of social services in extreme events: Lessons from social work research on natural disasters.” International Social Work 62: 1146–1158. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872818768387
  11. Meng. 2020. “Meng Introduces resolution to denounce anti-Asian sentiment caused by coronavirus.” March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2020 (https://raskin.house.gov/media/press-releases/meng-introduces-resolution-denounce-an-ti-asian-sentiment-caused-coronavirus).
  12. Monnier, Jen. 2020. “Coronavirus Poses Unique Threat to U.S. Homeless Population.” Scientific American March 11. Retrieved March 25, 2020 (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coronavirus-poses-unique-threat-to-u-s-homeless-population1/).
  13. Murphy, Mike. 2020. “Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says grandparents are willing to die to save economy for their grandkids.” Market Watch March 23. Retrieved March 24, 2020 (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/texas-lt-gov-dan-patrick-says-grandparents-are-willing-to-die-to-save-economy-for-their-grandkids-2020-03-23).
  14. Murphy, Tom. 2020. “Telemedicine emerges as care option during COVID19 outbreak.” APNews March 21. Retrieved March 28, 2020 (https://apnews.com/54da28f-75c478ac1130170677958a7b5).
  15. NASW. 2020. “Message from NASW President Kathryn Conley Wehrmann regarding Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic.” Retrieved March 23, 2020 (https://www.socialworkers.org/News/News-Releases/ID/2110/Message-from-NASW-President-Kathryn-Conley-Wehrmann-regarding-Coronavirus-Covid-19-Pandemic).
  16. Nemir, Samy. 2020. “LGBTQ advocacy groups sue Trump’s HHS for refusing to enforce anti-discrimination rules, leaving community especially vulnerable amid COVID-19 pandemic.” Lambda Legal March 19. Retrieved March 26, 2020 (https://www.lambdalegal.org/news/ny_20200319_lgbtq-advocacy-groups-sue-hhs-refusing-to-enforce-anti-discrimination-rules-community-vulnerable-covid-19).
  17. Ott, Miles, Shelly F. Shaw, Richard N. Danila, and Ruth Lynfield. 2007. “Lessons learned from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.” Public health reports 122(6): 803–810. https://doi.org/10.1177/003335490712200612
  18. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. 2020. “12-Step Programs Use Technology, Social Distancing During COVID19 Crisis.” March 19. Retrieved March 28, 2020 (https://drugfree.org/learn/drug-and-alcohol-news/12-step-programs-use-technologysocial-distancing-during-covid-19-crisis/).
  19. Ricciulli, Valeria. 2020. “How can New York City protect the homeless from coronavirus?” Curbed Newsletters March 13. Retrieved March 25, 2020 (https://ny.curbed.com/2020/3/13/21178079/coronavirus-nyc-homeless-services-covid-19).
  20. Rosoff, Philip M. 2008. “The Ethics of Care: Social Workers in an Influenza Pandemic.” Social Work in Health Care 47(1): 49-59. DOI: 10.1080/00981380801970814
  21. Schuetz, Jenny. 2020. “America’s inequitable housing system is completely unprepared for coronavirus.” Brookings Institute March 12. Retrieved March 25, 2020 (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/03/12/americas-inequitable-housing-system-is-completely-unprepared-for-coronavirus/).
  22. Smith, Lauren A. 2020. “How to help the most vulnerable through the pandemic.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy March 11. Retrieved March 25, 2020 (https://www.philanthropy.com/article/How-to-Help-the-Most/248227).
  23. The Times Editorial Board. 2020. “How do we keep coronavirus from ravaging L.A.’s homeless encampments?” Los Angeles Time March 20. Retrieved March 25, 2020 (https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-03-20/editorial-how-to-pre-vent-coronavirus-from-ravaging-homeless-encampments).
  24. World Health Organization. 2015. “Best Health Practices for the Naming of New Human Infectious Diseases. Retrieved March 28, 2020 (https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/163636/WHO_HSE_FOS_15.1_eng.pdf?sequence=1).