Electronic Social Work in Botswana: A Response to COVID-19 Challenges and Beyond
AbstractContemporary social workers can provide services to individual clients by using online counseling, telephone counseling, video conferencing, self-guided Web-based interventions, electronic social networks, mobile apps, automated tutorials, e-mail, text messages and a host of other services (NASW, 2017). Notably, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic with its need for adherence to health protocols such as social distancing, decongesting of office spaces, restricted movements and lockdowns exposed ICT inadequacy of the social work profession in Botswana. During the national lockdown between April and May 2020, critical therapeutic services such as individual counselling, group counselling, case conferencing and therapeutic procedures for various cases were interrupted due to restricted movement. However, in some instances, meetings were held, further risking contact of the disease by social workers and clients. Nevertheless, the preceding experiences present an opportunity for the profession to brace itself and transform technologically. This paper demonstrates the possibility of social work in Botswana to embrace ICT for better service delivery.
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