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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.
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