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Type Journal Article - Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences
Title Challenges faced by social workers dealing with victims and survivors of natural disasters
Author(s)
Volume 9
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
Page numbers 189-197
URL http://dx.doi.org/10.15604/ejss.2021.09.03.005
Abstract
Social work practice is a very unique profession and its domain of practice has grown beyond the known traditional one. Due to its wider scope, social workers are seen as frontline workers during natural disasters. The aim of this paper was to explore the challenges faced by social workers dealing with victims and survivors of natural disasters. The study adopted qualitative research approach and exploratory research design. Five social workers were purposively sampled to form part of individual semi-structured interview from Tzaneen Municipality. Data was collected until the level of saturation and analyzed thematically. The study revealed that social workers lack resources and proper training to deal with the victims and survivors of natural disasters. Moreover, the study found that there is poor inter-professional collaboration, role ambiguity and shortage of staff when disasters erupt. The study concludes that social workers are understaffed, have too much workload and are likely to experience burnout in their effort to assist victims and survivors of natural disasters. To that end, the study recommends that Department of Social Development should employ more social workers so that they can to respond during and after natural disasters.

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