Social workers helping each other during the COVID-19 pandemic: Online mutual support groups

Elena Cabiati*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Social workers not only help service users, they also help each other, and they know the group as a space through which opportunities to give and receive help multiply. In Italy, the initiative ‘Social Workers Helping Each Other’ was launched to help practitioners stay resilient and mutually supportive during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these unprecedented and turbulent times, social workers have been called on to face new challenges and new concerns for service users and for themselves. The initiative consisted of online mutual support groups for social workers conducted through a virtual platform. Participants were 45 social workers divided into three groups on the basis of the social workers’ area of intervention. The author facilitated the groups, encouraging the development of reciprocal support dynamics typical of self-help and mutual aid groups. Group sessions were very rich in content, and the discussion focused on several topics following the participants’ needs. The content analysis revealed that the mutual support conversations among social workers focused on three main categories: practical and organizational; methodological and ethical; and personal and emotional. The groups offered supervision and mutual support based on experiential learning processes. The article presents the rationale, methods and outcomes of the experience. This initiative could inspire the development of online mutual support groups for social workers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-13
Numero di pagine13
RivistaInternational Social Work
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Online mutual support groups


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