eCite Digital Repository

Staying connected during a global pandemic: telephone support for vulnerable populations


Venville, A and Willis, K and Adler, V and Kostecki, KC and Rollins, W, Staying connected during a global pandemic: telephone support for vulnerable populations, Australian Social Work pp. 1-12. ISSN 0312-407X (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 Australian Association of Social Workers

DOI: doi:10.1080/0312407X.2021.1959937


This qualitative organisational ethnography explores and analyses the ways in which a local government-provided volunteer telephone support program for vulnerable and older members of the community quickly adapted to continue working during the pandemic. Thematic analysis of data collected through researcher participation in 26 weekly zoom debrief sessions with local government staff and volunteers captures the experience of providing telephone support during a pandemic. Three key themes emerged as integral to the shaping and reshaping of the service: (1) the importance of care and relationships in service provision; (2) the need for flexibility to make service change; and (3) like a beating heart, the regular calls became part of the rhythm of life, providing certainty for staff, volunteers, and those they called. This program offers a model for best practice in low cost, low risk, place-based interventions that can increase social connection for vulnerable community members.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:volunteers, social isolation, pandemic, local government, telephone, support, ageing; older people, loneliness
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health and community services
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Kostecki, KC (Dr Tina Kostecki)
ID Code:152503
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Social Work
Deposited On:2022-08-19
Last Modified:2022-09-16

Repository Staff Only: item control page