Perspectives From the Field: How COVID-19 is Highlighting Pre-Existing Issues & Long-Term Possibilities
A social services manager in Northern Saskatchewan has seen COVID-19 exacerbate the already difficult work that is being done.
“The work we do is always challenging but there are small wins, ways that workers can find satisfaction in their work such as a good meeting with a family, reunifying children, finding a unique and creative solution to a dilemma. During COVID the demand for creativity, unique problem-solving, alternate planning, etc has been so high that even when workers and/or families see successes, it is so exhausting that workers/families/youth are not feeling satisfaction/empowerment/relief in the ways that they did pre-COVID,” they explained.
There has also been many anxieties for the staff and the families they serve. Not only are they concerned about the physical risks of contracting COVID-19, but they have been experiencing increased stress with limited access to mental health support.
The manager has noticed the benefits of virtual communication to keep families connected when they cannot have in-person contact. When speaking of the benefits of virtual connection between children and their families, the manager expressed:
“this could have been happening all along in addition to in-person visits but was not a priority so was never arranged. Now it will likely continue after COVID and will be a regular consideration for planning for kids in care having meaningful contact with families.“