Why We Need SSW Research on COVID-19
We have received hundreds of valuable responses to our survey about school social worker experiences during COVID-19. Thank you! We understand that you likely have many other pressing concerns right now and appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences with us. We want to explain a bit more about why we’re so eager to get as many school social workers to participate as possible this month in this survey.
We’re in an unprecedented time. A 100-year global pandemic has closed schools, changed routines, and elevated stress levels. The police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor fueled our collective grief and anger. Amidst renewed calls for systemic change, many of us are asking what is an appropriate level of involvement for law enforcement in our society. At the same time, it’s important to reflect on the role social workers can and should play in making our schools safer and our society more just.
Data shows that our nation’s most vulnerable populations, including communities of color and low-income households, are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and related shutdowns (Godoy & Wood, 2020; Parker et al., 2020). Because social workers are trained to recognize how our environment affects our health and well-being, and to partner with marginalized and oppressed communities to increase equity, access, and opportunity, we are uniquely qualified to respond to society’s current critical needs. We’ve heard some great stories about how school social workers, schools, and districts are innovating to enhance care and support for students and their families during this time (Luskin Summit 2020), but we know even more is being done. We want to learn more about the innovative and incredible work being done so we can amplify that work in future research and policy advocacy work, and also on our sister social media platform SSWNetwork, which is free to join, and now has over 4,600 school clinicians on it.
As we all work to envision a more equitable society and realign our spending priorities, we need to elevate the voices of school social workers. We need to know where and how you think redirected funds should be invested. The data we collect will be used to collaborate with community leaders, youth, and parents to advocate for increased funding and services to meet their needs, and to inform political and educational leaders about your needs, concerns, and priorities as you continue to serve our nation’s youth. If you haven’t yet completed our survey, please take a few moments to share your thoughts and wisdom with us. We need your voice!