Social distancing and social work field placements


  • Prospera Tedam Assistant Professor, Department of Social Wellbeing, United Arab Emirates University, and Honorary Visiting Fellow, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge



The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on social work practice placements around the world and in the United Arab Emirates is of concern to students, social work educators and service users. In this practice note, I focus on the impact of the interruption to social work practice learning for students at  the United Arab Emirates University and reflect on the introduction of 'social distancing', a health and safety strategy aimed at reducing the likelihood of the spread of the coronavirus. I propose ways in which students in school placements can continue to develop their social work knowledge and skills ‘from a distance’ and while physically absent from their practice learning settings


Ashencaen-Crabtree, S. (2008) Dilemmas in international social work education in the United Arab Emirates: Islam, localization and social need. Social work Education, 27, 5, 536-548. DOI: 10.1080/02615470701747808

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) Online at [accessed on 12.03.20]

Holtzman, D. (2017) Public health social work: an uncertain future. American Journal of Public Health, 107(Suppl 3), S221–S222.

Reluga, T.C. (2010) Game theory of social distancing in response to an epidemic. PLoS Computational Bioogy, 6(, 5, e1000793. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.100079




How to Cite

Tedam, P. (2020). Social distancing and social work field placements. The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 17(1), 51-56.



Practice Notes