A social work roundtable examining impacts and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic


  • David B. Nicholas
  • Kelly Allison
  • Julie L. Drolet
  • Andrew Mantaluk
  • Kimberly Spicer
  • Haorui Wu




As have other disciplines, social work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Societal shifts and service provision gaps have emerged or been amplified over the course of the pandemic. An online roundtable was convened with five Canadian social work leaders to explore impacts of the pandemic on social work as well as to reflect on lingering effects of the pandemic and lessons learned for moving forward. Panelists’ varied substantive areas of social work practice and/or research included youth advocacy, healthcare, social work education and field education, and community development and disaster response. This paper offers a verbatim reproduction of the roundtable including panelists’ reflections on client and community experiences, social worker experiences, workforce impacts, shifts in the way service and practice are conceptualized and delivered, and implications for moving forward. Recommendations are offered in considered disciplinary, interdisciplinary and community advancement.