The social work practice with vulnerable families, young people and disabled children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latvia

Anna Broka, Hanna Mihailova

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

The objective is to provide knowledge about the complexity of social work practice with vulnerable families, young people and disabled children during the Covid-19 pandemics in Latvia. The context of the Covid-19 pandemics was based on systematic literature review, social policy analysis and secondary data analysis. The evidence about social work practice was obtained from the qualitative open-ended interviews (n=70) and online survey with social service providers (n=443) in Latvia (conducted in Jul - Sept 2020 in the “Life with Covid-19” VPP-COVID-2020/1-0013). The content analysis was applied in order to identify the most common themes and categories.  During the period from 2013-2018, and upwards the social services and social work practice with families and children has developed and can be characterized as rather expansive.  During the Covid-19 beside rather proactive policy measures mitigating primary health care impacts, social services and social work practice were shifted in between social, education and health care policy sectors. Availability of crucial social services for the vulnerable families, young people and disabled children were affected by three main conditions: (1) distance learning, (2) flexible work environment, and (3) unemployment. The crucial shortages were identified in supportive measures in case of domestic family violence (social rehabilitation), youth and young parents (family counseling) and families with disabled children. Poor technological equipment, closed day care centres and insufficient psychological (online) help as well as individual family assistance were the main issues that did not allow to fulfill individual social rehabilitation plans in the same scope.  Coping strategies of vulnerable groups were supported with diversified and individual flexible social work practice dominating by material support measures. Children, young parents and youth were mentioned as an important cross-sectoral target group in need for specific social services. Collaboration among authorities and partners shall be strengthened in social work practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages182
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare: Society Health Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
https://rw2021.rsu.lv/conferences/society-health-welfare

Conference

ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
CountryLatvia
CityRīga
Period24/03/2126/03/21
Internet address

Field of Science

  • 5.4 Sociology

Publication Type

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)

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