Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie



As the COVID-19 pandemic has widely impacted society, it significantly limited social workers in performing their work. This qualitative study examined how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted social workers’ ability to provide services to their clients, to learn how they overcame obstacles, and what advice they would offer for future crises. The study provides future social workers and policymakers with the benefit of firsthand knowledge of barriers and adaptations discovered, in efforts to support vulnerable client populations. The data was collected through interviews of social workers who worked at human service agencies near the northern region of Los Angeles County, California.

Analysis of the interviews found that similar to what previous literature had stated, there were mental and emotional stressors for social workers due to multiple transitions and added responsibilities. Social workers were creative, compassionate, and courageous in overcoming obstacles for the good of their clients. The analysis also revealed many gaps in communication and support for social workers and their clients during the crisis. For future crises, the social workers suggest that agencies support them as they support others, provide the needed resources to them as well as the clients, and properly oversee the distribution of funds to this region. For an optimal outcome, it is also advised to respect social workers’ expertise in each level of service: micro, mezzo, and macro, but particularly in asset mapping and community organizing, by including them in the strategizing process.

Included in

Social Work Commons