SOCIAL WORK AT THE INTERFACE OF COVID-19: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY AT A UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Keywords:COVID-19, psychological distress, social work, student interns, university of technology
AbstractThe aim of the study was to explore the roles of social workers at a university of technology in KwaZulu-Natal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions, the study confirms the pivotal role of social workers in dealing with the psychological distress caused by illness, the loss of loved ones, economic insecurity and violence. While participants expressed a lack of preparedness for the significant mental health burden caused by the pandemic, existing expertise allowed them to offer counselling and support to offset the isolation and anxiety that many students were facing. Participants also noted the importance of social work involvement in educational initiatives.
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