Experts Discuss Self-Care and Social Work During Crisis


The foundation of the social work profession operates on six principles: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. Although the service principle is foremost, it is the one that most often conflicts with self-care. A recent SPS Health Section Connection newsletter article highlights self-care and social work during crisis. The authors are Cmdr. Stephanie Felder, PhD, LCSW; Lt. Christine Nappa, MSW, LCSW; BCD Peter J. Delany, PhD, LCSW-C; and Rear Adm Lt. Comm. Jamillah Bynum, MSW, LCSW. As agencies and organizations lean on social workers as catchall problem solvers, social work resources can be depleted, the authors say. “Thus, in these situations, it is critical for social workers to be aware of their limitations, set healthy boundaries for self-preservation, and ensure they engage in self-care to maintain their operational and clinical capabilities throughout the emergency and crisis response efforts.”

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