NASW Virginia: How is the pandemic affecting your daily duties and workload as a social work professional?
JEANNINE MOGA: “Given that I work as a private practice therapist and consultant, I have more flexibility than many social workers, so I have transitioned my practice work from home 100% of the time. I worked from home half-time before the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, though, so the shift hasn't been as disruptive to me as to some of my colleagues.”
What trends are you seeing among those you serve?
“This pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on most folks I work with: I am hearing about job losses and furloughs, which then make it difficult for folks to receive the support they need because they have lost insurance and/or cannot afford to continue to pay for mental health care.
“For those who have been able to keep their jobs but are doing so from home, so many of them are trying to juggle home schooling, child and elder care, and work simultaneously, making it so difficult to find time to manage their own needs.”
Are you offering any online services, and if so, have they been challenging and how have you adjusted?
“I am certainly offering teletherapy, online conferencing, and online training--and am more aware than ever about the digital divide that makes it difficult for people to access resources in this way. Not everyone has a working computer and/or good internet access, so I'm also doing a fair amount of phone consultations when there are no other viable options to provide services.”
Are you experiencing more demand for certain services or advice?
“No -- if anything, my caseload and project list have dwindled a bit due to the financial and employment fallout from the pandemic -- and this has me worried as a small business owner. I expect there will be a great increase in need as we move toward recovery, particularly given the chronic strain and complex trauma being experienced by so many people right now.”
How are you feeling individually about your efforts to serve and support others in light of this additional stress?
“It's critical that helping professionals, who are all managing their own personal challenges and responses to this evolving disaster situation, are prioritizing self-care and staying centered. It's a day-to-day struggle, for sure, and I'm aware of how important it is to make sure I'm rested, focused, and grounded if I'm going to be of service to my community.”
May 25, 2020
NASW Virginia Member Jeannine Moga, MA, MSW, LCSW, Details How COVID-19 Is Affecting Her Social Work