Social workers’ adaptation in times of pandemic crisis: A Hong Kong case

Henry Wai Hang Ling, Michelle Shum, Chi Kin Kwan*, Mingdie Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Through the lens of the theory of planned behavior, this article explores how social workers adapt to a new situation due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three focus group sessions were conducted with 23 social workers from child and youth, family, and elderly services in Hong Kong. Three major themes were generated: (1) repositioning the social work profession, (2) renegotiating contracts with funders, and (3) exploring novel intervention methods. Implications of the findings are discussed. To ensure social workers can respond effectively in crises, an evolving nature of the profession is advocated to enshrine its spirit to serve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Hong Kong
  • crisis
  • pandemic
  • social work practice


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