Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Heidemann, Gretchen


The purpose of this study is to identify personal and professional challenges that social workers faced while working in-person with clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This research utilized an exploratory qualitative design. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight participants. Participants were MSW postgraduates recruited through convenience sampling methods. Data was collected via in-depth interviews to identify universal challenges social workers experienced. Through thematic analysis of open coding, the following five semantic themes emerged: safety concerns/risks, ethical professional dilemmas, decreased ability to engage in self-care/increased acquisition of unhealthy habits, loss of connection, and emotional distress Through axial coding, it was found that all five semantic themes were connected to latent-level themes of resilience and uncertainty. Building on existing pandemic preparedness frameworks, these findings could allow for future research to formulate both individual and systems solutions of permeance.

Included in

Social Work Commons