Beyond the pandemic: Exploring social work ethics and values as a contribution to a new eco-social world

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Partner that organizes the Panel: The Social Work Ethics Research Group (SWERG)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, social workers, along with many other professionals and citizens, had to rethink and reprioritise their professional values and ethics. Practices that might be regarded as right or beneficial in ‘normal’ times suddenly became wrong or harmful in pandemic conditions (e.g. visiting someone at home). Similarly, new policies and procedures introduced during the pandemic were beneficial for some people, but harmful for others. In what circumstances should policies be challenged or ignored? How can more creative, respectful and just practices be developed? What can we learn from the rethinking, reprioritising and innovation during the crisis of the pandemic for how we might respond to the climate crisis and other political, humanitarian or military emergencies?

This workshop will present examples of new configurations of values, and how they are influencing different ways of practising social work, with implications for all social and health care professions whose mission is to promote social and ecological justice in the ever-changing 21st-century world. We will invite participants to share their reflections and experiences and formulate recommendations to be taken forward from the Summit.


  • Sarah Banks, Professor at Durham UniversityU(K)
  • Teresa Bertotti, President of the European Association of School of Social Work (Italy)
  • Jane Shears, IFSW Ethics Commissioner (UK)
  • Michelle Shum, Assistant Professor & Director of Master of Social Sciences in Social Work Programme Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong)
  • Ana M. Sobočan, Professor (Assistant) at University of Ljubljana  (Slovenia)
  • María Jesús Úriz, Professor at Public University of Navarra (Spain)