Development of Digital Social Work in the Early Phase of COVID-19 Pandemic in Slovenia and Finland

Vera Fiorentino, Vesna Leskošek, Sanna Saraniemi, Marjo Romakkaniemi, Timo Harrikari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


The chapter compares digital social work between Finland and Slovenia after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The pandemic forced social workers to expand the use of digital devices, which highlighted the basis of digital social work; the equipment needed, the know-how and attitudes on using them, and their applicability in the context of social work. Interest turns to this phase of change.

We ask (1) how the pandemic has affected the uptake of digital devices in Slovenia and Finland, and (2) what kind of possibilities and obstacles social workers saw in using digital tools in encountering service users. In both countries there were preconceptions for and against the digital implementations of social work services.

The results reveal that the technical development is also a social phenomenon. The digital leap happened in both countries after the outbreak of the pandemic, but one of the main differences seems to be that in Finland it developed more quickly. This may be due to the infrastructure in Finland, which enabled faster expanding of the usage of digital devices in social work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Work During COVID-19
Subtitle of host publicationGlocal Perspectives and Implications for the Future of Social Work
EditorsHarrikari Timo, Joseph Mooney, Malathi Adusumalli, Paula McFadden, Tuomas Leppiaho
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-37437-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-21539-6, 978-1-032-44891-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Field of science

  • Social work
  • Social policy


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