The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the social care sector with complex and challenging problems which have required social workers to solve problems, innovate and build resilience with an urgency not experienced before. At the Centre for Action Learning we believe that it is only by working and collaborating together that will we be able find our way through this crisis. As the majority of our work is in the support of social work teams, we agreed that we wanted to contribute something back to the profession with a piece of self-funded research which we present here.

Just over a month after UK lockdown began, we invited social workers from across the UK to participate in a study to document their experiences during this pandemic.  This study lasted six-weeks and was concluded on the 29th May 2020.  Our aim has been to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK social work and to use our findings to support the learning and development of the social work profession, social work employers, Government and policy makers.

Click on the image on the left to download our report.


As part of this research report we have compiled a range of resources to support to support social workers, social work teams, organisations and other stakeholders with their collaborative problem-solving activities.

Click on the image alongside each description below to download your resource.

Complexity Map

A large group, structured facilitative process to generate a shared sense, context and background for a particular initiative, challenge or issue before agreeing priority areas for mobilisation and action.

World Cafe

A simple, interactive, table-top group exercise to explore key questions and encourage large group dialogue and understanding.   Other resources are available from the World Café website.

Problem Brief

A personal reflective worksheet to help you understand, frame and communicate a problem or challenge that you are facing.

Thinking-Feeling-Willing Sample Questions

A range of sample questions from a model developed by the Centre for Action Learning to support critical enquiry and reflection.

4 (+1) Learning Log

An individual or collective tool to reflective on past experiences, actions, knowledge, understanding and experience to agree on next actionable steps.

A Guide for Effective Virtual (Remote) Group Meetings

A guide developed by the Centre for Action Learning to support effective virtual meetings.

Action Learning Facilitator Pack

A series of hand-held cards produced by the Centre for Action Learning to guide action learning set facilitators facilitation of action learning sets.

Purchase yours here for £11.20 per pack (plus p&p)

Centre for Action Learning (C-ALF Learning Ltd) © 2020.

Unless otherwise stated, resources developed and created by the Centre for Action Learning are made for non-commercial distribution (with reference to Centre for Action Learning – C-ALF Learning Ltd) to aid workforce development  Any other copying requires the permission of the Centre for Action Learning (C-ALF Learning Ltd).

GDPR – To help us understand the impact of our research report we are tracking the total number downloads from this page, including associated resources.  We do not keep any record of individual downloads or individual users.