IFSW European member organisations contributed to the IFSW Europe Poverty Watch Report 2020 which is a part of the Poverty Watch Report 2020.
The Poverty Watch Report 2020 will be published by EAPN.
IFSW Europe’s main messages:
1.The impact of the pandemic has hit hardest the people with whom social workers often work – those who are already vulnerable, marginalised and living in poverty. The closure or curtailment of essential services makes it more difficult for people to get the support they need.
2. The needs and demands are exacerbated as people face unemployment, family stress due to confinement in the home, bereavement, ill-health, isolation, increased racism and prejudice, and lack the resources to overcome such challenges and disadvantage.
3. In many countries in Europe, the pandemic is exposing cracks that have been in the health and social welfare systems for years due to austerity and policies of marketisation and under-funding. The crisis has highlighted problems caused by a serious shortfall in the level of funding for social services and public health in most countries and by treating health and social care as separate and unequal systems.
4.The pandemic is demonstrating the serious consequences of health, social and economic inequality, as experienced by large numbers of people in our communities. It has become a social justice issue. It is impacting on human rights as well as the economy. The widening of already existing inequalities means that those who need most support through access to adequate health, social service, housing and education are not receiving it and are struggling most to deal with the catastrophic economic consequences of the pandemic. Economic health cannot be achieved without social health.
5.The organisational structure of health and social care systems varies between countries but in a pandemic health, care and social work staff groups face the same threats of infection. The distinction between what is termed ‘health’ and ‘social’ services also varies widely and is in many senses arbitrary. So, for example, the task of basic nursing in hospital can be the same as providing social care in a residential home or a private residence.
6.The IFSW Global study concludes that Covid-19 and measures to control and prevent its spread have restricted the services and responsibilities usually carried out by social workers, while generating new needs and demands. Underlying social problems and inequalities have been exacerbated, which current service provision or existing funding priorities may not recognise.
The final IFSW Europe Poverty Watch Report 2020 has been prepared by Fran McDonnell, IFSW Europe Representative to EAPN.
I would like to express my very great appreciation to Fran McDonnell, Ian Johnston and John Brennan and to all of you for providing your expertise and experience and engaging in such valuable work for our profession and social services:
- Herbert Paulischin on behalf of the Association for Social Workers in Austria (OBDS)
- Tatevik Karapetyan on behalf of Armenian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
- Sabina Rustamova on behalf of the Azerbaijan Social Work Public Union AZSWPU / AZSİİB
- Luke Geoghegan on behalf of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW)
- Birthe Povlsen on behalf of the Danish Association of Social Workers (DASW)
- Josien Hofs on behalf of the Dutch Association of Social Workers (BPSW)
- Céline Lembert on behalf of the French National Association of Social Workers (ANAS)
- Gabriele Stark-Angermeier on behalf of the German Association of Social Work (DBSH)
- John Brennan on behalf of the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW)
- Paola Pontarollo on behalf of the Association for Social Workers in Italy (AssNas)
- Andrew Azzopardi on behalf of the Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW)
- Adela Setet on behalf of the Association for Social Workers in Romania (ASproAS)
Ana Radulescu, President IFSW Europe