I talk with Professor Lena Dominelli on Ukraine. We talk of her new book ‘Putin’s War in Ukraine’ and the challenges of reconstruction and disaster management. She is a qualified social worker and holds a Chair in Social Work at the University of Stirling. She was previously Co-Director at the Institute of Hazards, Risk and Resilience (2010-2016) at Durham University. Lena has specific interests in projects on climate change and extreme weather events including drought, floods, cold snaps; wild fires; earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; disaster interventions; ‘vulnerability’ and resilience; health pandemics; community engagement; coproduction and participatory action research. She has created green social work as a new paradigm for theory and practice. Her research on disasters includes funding from the ESRC, EPSRC, NERC, SSHRC, the Department of International Development and Wellcome Trust. Lena is a prolific writer and has published widely in social work, social policy and sociology including topics covering children and families, child abuse and domestic violence, masculinity, and older adults. She is Director of the MSc in Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid starting soon at Stirling. Lena currently chairs the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) Committee on Disaster Interventions, Climate Change and Sustainability and the Special Interest Group on Disaster Interventions for the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). She has been supporting social workers and providing guidelines on Covid-19 since early January 2020 beginning in China. Lena has represented the social work profession at the United Nations discussions on climate change (UNFCCC), since Cancun, Mexico in 2010 and was President of IASSW from 1996-2004. Her work has been recognised globally through various honours bestowed upon her.My current research interests include: Covid-19. Disaster Interventions including health pandemics, climate change, extreme weather events, flooding, droughts, earthquakes. Working with children and families, including child abuse and neglect. Working with older people, particularly around developing resilience in old age. Masculinity in disasters, including substance misuse and intimate partner violence. Globalisation, neoliberalism and social policy. Feminist Social Work. Anti-Racist Social Work.
Dominelli L (2022) Putin’s War in Ukraine: A challenge for social workers and others. University of Stirling Public Policy Blog [Blog post] 19.04.2022. https://policyblog.stir.ac.uk/2022/04/19/putins-war-in-ukraine-a-challenge-for-social-workers-and-others/
First paragraph of the book reads: Putin’s War in Ukraine. Words fail to describe the mixture of emotions and thoughts that crowd my mind as I listen to the horrendous stories narrated by social workers in Ukraine. I have been in contact with them since 24 February 2022 when they first contacted me to ask for help. Since then, I have organised the Social Work for Peace Virtual Network (SW4P) to respond to their expressed needs. SW4P is one of a number of social work groups offering support to Ukraine. Fortunately, I have had a generous outpouring of offers of help through it, and I thank the many social workers in the UK and elsewhere who have responded positively. Some have even stressed their willingness to go to Ukraine and contribute from the frontline – courageous beyond measure or foolhardy? It depends on your point of viewby
Professor Johnston Hong-Chung WONG is a welcome return guest. He co-founded —Social Workers Across Borders in 2005 and talks of social work in mainland China and Hong Kong. Since then, this ,mainly voluntary, charity, has responded to tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural disasters showing that social work skills are tranferrable into the front line and can help in the immediate aftermath of tragedy. It also demonstrated that they can operate in a humanitarian, neutral way. They can work alongside organisations such as International Red Cross, coordinating services and supporting the most vulnerable. The normalisation of communities after traumatic upheaval with professional assessment of need, crises intervention and the directing of resources to facilitate treatment. Ukraine does need enormous support immediately and, eventually, in reconscruction. We talk of this.
Social Workers Without Borders is a post-disaster humanitarian care organization, currently working in Greater China, especially the Mainland, and is committed to providing spiritual reconstruction and development of social work projects for post-disaster residents. Regardless of politics, race, religion or nationality, we are mainly professional social workers, uphold the belief that love knows no borders, provide professional voluntary services, and provide emotional and mental health to the vulnerable.
Johnston Wong, Professor in Social Work and Social Administration, started his career as a youth worker in Hong Kong. His early academic interests focused on youth and family work, branching out to psychological stress, unemployment and industrial social work. In Hong Kong he participated in various district and central government committees related to youth policies, education, social care and hospital governance. Since 2005 he was involved in many post disasters social work interventions and become the non-executive director of the Social Workers Across Borders. www.swab.org.hk In 2006 he joined UIC as a Faculty member and helped to design the Service Learning Scheme and Emotional Intelligence Programs as parts of Whole Person Education. Later he was appointed as the Chief of Student Affairs. He taught many courses like Social Work and Chinese Laws, Disaster and Emergency Management, Healthcare Social Work, Social Group Work and Crisis Interventions.
“Difficult, mothering challenging adult children through Conflict and Change”. is a new publication by Judith Smith just released by Roman and Littlefield.
Judith R. Smith, PhD, LCSW, is a senior clinical social worker, therapist, researcher, and professor at Fordham University. She is a leader in gerontological research focusing on women’s experiences as they age. She is a Fellow at the Gerontological Society of America and a Faculty Scholar at Fordham’s Ravazzin Center on Aging and Intergenerational Studies.
So many mothers have to manage through enormous challenges including, regular violence, from adult children with either mental health problems, substance abuse, profound learning disabilities or other chronic conditions. She offers real stories as learned experiences, shining a light on the shame, embarrassment and fear that pervades so many families.This is a book for all whether carers, or cared for and advocates structural change in what amounts to one of the most hidden challenges to our communities.. Judith takles these issues and looks for ways to improve social policy and treatment as well as basic awareness raising of the scale of the need.
Difficult is for parents, concerned family and friends, health and mental health professionals, and policy makers. The book provides resources for women to find social support, stay safe, and engage in self-care.