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