A Social Work Approach to Knowledge Sharing During Times of Crisis
Keywords:Ageing, Education, Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing, Crisis
The coronavirus pandemic entered Australia as the country was emerging from many months
of catastrophic bushfires throughout the summer of 2019-2020. The unprecedented and rapidly
evolving nature of these disasters highlighted the need for timely, evidence-based knowledge
to support individuals and organisations responding to new, complex, and changing situations
in the absence of established research, evidence, and resources. Social workers are uniquely
equipped with knowledge and skills that enable us to understand and respond to diverse social,
emotional, and systemic variables within a wide range of environments.
This paper presents the reflection of two Australian social work academics who responded to a
call for knowledge to support work with older adults during the first months of the COVID-19
pandemic. This innovation drew on key social work principles as we challenged ageist discourses
and equipped practitioners with resources to respond to identified risks emerging from the
increased social isolation of older adults due to public health requirements. This reflection
explores the process of responding to the perceived need for information and guidance and
suggests a practice model for rapidly disseminating knowledge in a climate of change.
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