Professional Volunteerism among Social Work Students as a Response to the Pandemic Crisis

  • Elsa Mary Jacob
  • Jonas Richard A
Keywords: Professional volunteerism, social work education, field training, COVID crisis, community engagement


The COVID-19 crisis halted traditional field training in social work education. However,
as educators of a profession with roots in philanthropy and volunteerism, the social work
schools in Kerala encouraged students to take up professional volunteerism (PV) in
response to the crisis as an alternative to the pre-structured field practicum activities.
This study explored the various voluntary activities the social work students are involved
in as budding professionals. They voluntarily dedicated their professional skills, ethics
and competencies through a continuum of five domains of services such as concrete
and practical services, psycho-education and psychological support, restoration and
rehabilitation services, welfare administration and self-reliance and sustainability
programmes. This study’s results highlight the significance of PV in social work education
to socialise students with diverse needs in society and capacitate them to ethically help
the individuals and community achieve well-being.