Alumni forums: forming a community of practice around the challenges of COVID-19

April 23, 2020

More than 50 Berkeley Social Welfare alumni and current students met on Wednesday, April 22 to discuss challenges and explore solutions to the impacts of COVID-19.

Director of Field Education Greg Merrill organized these sessions as a way for practicing social work professionals to connect with each other and share their experiences and best practices as social workers in the middle of a pandemic. The session consisted of a short overview followed by breakout sessions where participants were grouped with others in their area of practice (child welfare, aging, etc.)

This effort to create an online community of practice among social workers responding to COVID-19 was very well received. Participants -- especially those from outside the Bay Area -- reported feeling "energized" and "connected." One person summed up the evening by saying "It was special to meet as a group of social workers, making every effort to support others." Since current students were invited as well, the forum was also an opportunity to build professional connections.

Additional forums are planned for May 20 and June 24; contact for more information.

 identify professional challenges, build professional support, catalyze solution thinking, discover rich potential