Responding to COVID-19: New Trends in Social Workers' Use of Information and Communication Technology

Faye Mishna, Elizabeth Milne, Marion Bogo, Luana F. Pereira
2020 Clinical social work journal  
AbstractCOVID-19 changed the context for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use globally. With face-to-face practice restricted, almost all communication with clients shifted to ICTs. Starting in April 2019, we conducted semi-structured interviews with social workers from four agencies serving diverse populations in a large urban centre, with the aim of exploring social workers' informal ICT use with clients. Approximately 6 weeks after the cessation of face-to-face practice in
more » ... 2020 due to COVID-19 measures, we re-interviewed social workers (n = 11) who had participated in our study. Second interviews were based on a newly developed interview guide that explored social workers' use of ICTs with clients in the context of COVID-19. Analysis of transcribed interviews revealed that the context of COVID-19 had generated two main themes. One, a paradigm shift for social workers was characterized by (a) diverse ICT options, (b) client-driven approach, and (c) necessary creativity. The second theme entails the impact of this transition which involved (a) greater awareness of clients' degree of access, (b) confidentiality and privacy, and (c) professional boundaries. We discuss these themes and sub-themes and present implications for practice and research in a Post-COVID-19 world.
doi:10.1007/s10615-020-00780-x pmid:33250542 pmcid:PMC7683585 fatcat:2qodoyy7svbrdjvsxqghhxgylq