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Home > Arhiva > 2021 > Numar: 1 > Challenges for Social Workers in Residential Centres Providing Social Services in Western Romania During the Covid-19 Pandemic

 Challenges for Social Workers in Residential Centres Providing Social Services in Western Romania During the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Loredana-Marcela Trancă ( West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, No. 4th V. Pârvan Boulevard, Timişoara, România, E-mail:

This paper presents the results of a qualitative study carried out between April and June 2020, aiming to identify the challenges faced by social workers in non-governmental residential centres providing social services in Western Romania during the COID-19 pandemic. In order to achieve this goal, the present approach was aimed at examining the perceptions of social workers about the features of the social work process during the pandemic, exploring the difficulties faced by social workers during the period of isolation at work, and identifying strategies for adapting the responsibilities of social workers during the pandemic. The research method used was the semi-structured interview of 10 social workers who were isolated at work in one of the non-governmental residential centres in Western Romania during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The main results of the study highlight the rethinking of the functioning of the residential system adapted to the new and the development of working procedures adapted to the situational specificity, the emergence of new tasks for social workers, in particular related to ensuring safety and protection against the virus, and the lack of training courses during the pandemic to adapt social workers to new situations. The main strategy adopted by social workers during this period was to connect more with beneficiaries through activities to which, before the pandemic, they did not give that much time; to diversify the types of activities carried out with the beneficiaries with the aim of increasing group cohesion, improving conflict or tense states between beneficiaries, the use of interview and mutual emotional support with social workers from other residential centres, the diversification of intercollegiate and interinstitutional means of communication, and stopping home visits and reducing field work.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, pandemic, social service providers, residential social centres, social workers, social work, Romania