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Social Work in the Time of COVID-19: A Case Study from the Global South

This article explores the experiences of social workers at a non-governmental organization (NGO) involved in disaster responses to COVID-19 in a rural and resource-challenged region of Cambodia. The views of Khmer and international social workers in the NGO were gathered through an internal auditing process utilising survey and structured conversation methods. Key themes related to the importance of prioritising the safety of staff and clients, effective communication methods, responsiveness of case management systems, public health responses and adapting to emerging needs. To ensure responsiveness to future disaster events consideration should be given in strengthening partnerships, ensuring case management systems are effective for current use but able to be adapted in new circumstances, and that preparation incorporates a focus on diversified funding streams and open communication channels between staff and management. These elements will enable social workers to continue their practice, reassured and with the flexibility required in the post-disaster context.

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Lee John Henley, Zoey Allen Henley, Kathryn Hay, Yary Chhay and Sonthea Pheun
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Journal article - open access