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COVID-19 What is working?

Social workers shared best practice and actions that were useful in supporting social work teams in the crisis

As part of the COVID-19 feedback survey over 1000 social workers share their experiences and challenges of working in the pandemic, best practice examples were also shared.


  • The development of clear HR messages and guidance e.g. pregnant staff, staff with underlying health conditions, caring responsibilities
  • Guidance on sick leave, dependents leave (especially as schools are closed), self-isolation
  • Clear statements about high standards of hygiene practice and equipment, safe visiting and social distancing, hand sanitiser (and on belt loop), cleaning desk before and after use (especially if you hot desk) including phone, keyboard, screen and mouse. 
  • If you are doing social distancing, these tips from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists may be useful
  • Request video supervision and video conferencing for assessments via secure video conferencing facilities
  • Inform your manager if you have underlying health issue, need to self-isolate or are concerned you may have Coronavirus


Prioritising of work

  • Agree guidance about home visits
  • Develop easy read information (hard copies) and on websites
  • Set up a traffic- lights system of immediate needs for those that require continued home visits
  • Consider ways of reaching hard to reach including homeless by networking with specialist provider services 
  • Move to meetings by video call or phone via secure video/phone conferencing facilities
  • Develop a checklist of questions to service users prior to visiting to establish if they have any presenting symptoms
  • Some home visits/assessments could potentially be done via secure video conferencing facilities.
  • Discuss daily team briefing meetings (video conferencing/phone via secure conferencing facilities.) and how to otherwise keep in touch as a team (e.g. via instant messaging services)
  • Seek and contribute to the development of local guidance
  • Ask commissioners to update information to providers and create list of voluntary (Including non-contracted voluntary organisation lists in local area offering support in response to Coronavirus

Keep talking to colleagues and keep in touch with them if you are working remotely

  • Internal weekly briefings
  • Checklists on intranet and e-alerts
  • Keep checking BASW webpages and public health information, and follow this as far as you can

REMEMBER: Join with colleagues to ask your employer for clarity about immediate plans for safety and prioritising work

Further information