The Know-How Centre for the Alternative Care for Children at New Bulgarian University shared an article examining the state of social work during the current state of emergency in Bulgaria. They ask the question "Is it possible to limit human contact without breaking the human connection?" The current crisis related to the spread of the coronavirus has prompted us to look for new ways to continue our work in the future. Minister Denitsa Sacheva recently described the situation in her FB profile as unprecedented, MLSP (Ministry of labour and social policy of Bulgaria) postponed the award ceremony for social work. More and more professionals in the sector are beginning to implement the Home Office work mode, but how far can we effectively move forward with limited human contact in the field of social work?
Social work is based on human connection and close relationships
The circumstances of the most vulnerable to poverty and the health and social problems they are facing are now combined with the relentless attack of the novel virus. Social work is based on human connection and close relationships that are now being broken up. How and to what extent can we convey this vehicule of trust in a virtual room? The Know-How Center for Alternative Care for Children, NBU, and students from the Psycho-Social Interventions with Children and Families Master's programme are trying to achieve this.
This is a time for more guidance for individual and independent work
For starters, the day care center for children and youths with disabilities "Countless Miracles" (Bulgarian: "Безброй Чудеса), along with interns from the Know-How Center, will advise and maintain online contact with children and young people to provide guidance for individual, independent work, tailored to their capabilities. If there is something positive about a state of emergency, it is that it encourages the use of technological advances. Most trainings will be streamed online and research and focus groups will be conducted remotely as much as possible. The goal is to limit human contact without breaking human connection.
Do not interrupt the exchange of information
The KHC note that it is important not to interrupt the exchange of information. Field professionals, politicians and academics alike must continue to talk about the challenges we face and the protection we need now. Many social workers, as well as medical staff, will face the front line, supporting the most vulnerable. What can we do to protect ourselves? We need information, equipment, support. To this end, the KHC have prepared a survey to process the anxiety generated by this situation: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RGDF7JZ.
Collect facts and stories, they will be valuable in the near future
Emphasizing the need for mutual encouragement, the KHC are encouraging support for the "We Can Do It Together!" Campaign (in Bulgarian), which calls on all social workers and all support professionals, civic organizations and social services to show how they help Bulgarian society overcome the threat of the Coronavirus.