Navigating challenges and fostering resilience: Changes in work practices of Italian residential child care professionals during the COVID-19 lockdown


The COVID-19 syndemic presented significant challenges to welfare communities. Drawing upon an online survey from 366 Italian professionals working in residential child care (RCC), this study investigates changes in their work practices during the COVID-19 lockdown, focusing on critical issues and useful emerging practices and competences. Analysis show convergences in the experiences of educators and managers and changes in educational and organizational issues in different phases of lockdown. Among the critical issues are children’s wellbeing, space reorganization, and the emotional costs of containing externalizing symptoms. Resources include communication with children and an increase in internal cohesion. The lockdown also brought expansion of professional competencies such as emotional support skills, adaptability, and creativity. Ultimately, our results highlight an organizational resiliency capacity of RCC units in the face of such a disruptive event. We discuss the implications for welfare community practices and propose areas for future research and improvement.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v10i1p1

Keywords: Residential Child Care; COVID-19 lockdown; Social and Community Psychology; Profes-sionals’ Perspectives; Narratives; Educators; Managers; Organizational Resilience


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