Deadline 30 Jun 2022

Digital Social Work: challenges and opportunities in the XXI century

Digital methods came up as an innovative and reliable field of interaction, research and action, generating a new enthusiasm and gaining the trust of many social researchers, especially those most attentive to technological developments, in a society in which online spaces are also used by people to build cohesive communities and strong social relationships regardless their geographical, social and cultural belonging.

Also social work practices and social work education, traditionally based on face-to-face social relationships, has been pushed to integrate communication technologies, that are offering newpossibilities, as well as challenges for social work practice (Dominelli, 2005; Csiernik et al., 2006;Hill & Ferguson, 2014; Mishna, Bogo, Root, & Fantus, 2014; Banzato et al., 2002; Rideout, 2008;Lopez & Marcuello Servos, 2018). The introduction of numerous platforms, whose use exploded during the quarantine, provided opportunities previously underestimated if not ignored, to meet and interact with people in various frames. Digital methods offer a wide range of new possibilities for sure, but they also have their own limitations and boundaries and, above all, present to social work research and education new epistemological and methodological challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an already ongoing process of digitization within social, education and health services. This complex interaction creates a strong sense of the highly dynamic state of the field of social innovation. What we see instead is a set of fluid and continually changing ‘spaces’ shaped by the interaction of ‘sectors’ of active inclusion services that are themselves loosely-bounded. The measures introduced to tackle the spread of the virus imposed rapid transformations and, in a few weeks, digital technologies were integrated into all aspects of professional life, showing positive and negative effects (Lopez et al., 2020). Digital technologies have helped professionals, providing virtual bridges and building connections. However, several challenges arose in different workplaces, and for the social work profession as well, mainly due to alack of preparation and digital inequalities as a widespread issue in the country.

Scholars who are studying the topic of digital social and educational service are invited to submit papers in which they report on the epistemological, methodological research carried out on the application of ITC to social work practices and social work education, as well as issues relating to professional ethics in the digital environment and the challenge of access to services and rights in contexts of inequality linked to the digital divide.

Important dates

June 30, 2022: Articles submission deadline

September 30, 2022: Notification of article acceptance (with any requested changes)

October 15, 2022: Final article due (with any changes)

December 20, 2022: Publication of the issue


Guest Editors:

Antonio Lopez Pelaez, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)

Roberta T. Di Rosa, Università degli Studi di Palermo


Articles can be written in Spanish, Italian, English

Author Guidelines:

Download the pdf of the Call here