Social Work Warriors and COVID-19

Sheryl KubiakHello all,

To ensure the ongoing safety of our Warrior community, our Social Work building will remain closed with faculty and staff continuing to work from home whenever possible. We are still here and available via email (sswadmissions@wayne.edu) or phone (313-577-4409) for questions and resources. Please don't hesitate to reach out to schedule a phone or virtual meeting with an advisor. 

We are however planning for the restart of limited on-campus operations in the fall and are working to ensure our students, faculty and staff are supported when the need to visit campus arises. We are therefore permitting building visits on an as-needed appointment-only basis. If you need a face-to-face meeting please work with that faculty or staff person to make necessary arrangements or contact or Office of Admissions and Student Services at sswadmissions@wayne.edu or 313-577-4409. 

Although we are excited about the completion of our building renovation and student spaces within the SSW, the use of our building during this time comes with new important safety measures intended to minimize risk for the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and wellness of our Social Work family. We have implemented the following WSU return to campus guidelines:

  • No visitors: Non-essential visitors are not permitted on campus. Visitors to the School of Social Work will be accepted on an individual appointment basis only. If you are looking to meet with an advisor, visit our Student Services page for links to schedule a virtual appointment or contact sswadmissions@wayne.edu or 313-577-4464 for additional information. If you need to meet with faculty or staff, contact them directly to coordinate. 
  • Wear a face-covering: Face coverings must be properly secured and worn over your mouth and nose at all times while on campus and in the SSW building. 
  • Maintain social distance: Keep at least six feet of physical distance with others while on campus. Our common spaces including all conference rooms, the SSW technology lab and lounges will be off-limits. All meetings should continue to be conducted virtually, even if all attendees are on campus.
  • Hand-washing: Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds several times throughout the day.
  • Refrain from sharing items and using common areas: Common areas — including our student lounge and conference rooms — will be off-limits for the foreseeable future. Refrain from sharing textbooks, papers, pens, study materials, or unpackaged food or beverages. 
  • Keep campus clean: The Facilities team has installed hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout campus and custodial crews will regularly disinfect and clean the School of Social Work building and common surfaces. 
  • Classroom safety: Furniture in classrooms has been arranged to facilitate social distancing; we request that students do not re-arrange the furniture and comply with all posted guidelines in campus buildings, classrooms, laboratories and common areas.

If the instance arises where you need to return to the SSW building, all faculty, staff and students must complete the following before heading in:

  • Schedule an appointment: Contact the individual in the SSW you need to meet with directly or contact our Office of Admissions and Student Services as sswadmissions@wayne.edu or 313-577-4409 for assistance.
  • Take the Warrior Safe training: Take the three training modules to learn more about COVID-19 and how to be Warrior Safe on campus.
  • Complete the Campus Daily Screener: Beginning 48 hours before your return, complete the online screener each day before coming to campus.
  • Know before you go: Before you leave, visit the Parking website to know which lots and structures are open, and the status of campus shuttles.
  • Bring your OneCard: Please have your OneCard with you when you come to campus to assist with verification and building access as needed. If you need a replacement or new card, visit the OneCard website.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all adjust to the "new normal" and work together to refine the procedures, which will ensure we remain Warrior Safe and Warrior Strong. For additional information on the campus restart visit the WSU Coronavirus  website.

Wishing continued good health to you and yours,

Sheryl Kubiak, Dean


Supporting our Detroit area community

It is important to all of us as social workers that we contribute to the well-being of the community and support one another during this time. We have launched the following initiatives to assist our fellow Detroiters.

  • COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Support Hotline – We have partnered with the College of Nursing and additional WSU departments to offer a hotline service for healthcare workers in Metro Detroit.  The goal of this project is to offer support and resources to these front-line healthcare providers to help them through these very demanding times. Hotline services are free, completely confidential, and anonymous. The hotline (1-888-910-1636) is open Monday - Saturday from 5 am - 9 pm. Learn about volunteer opportunities.
  • Social Work Warriors In Action Support List - Amid the pandemic, we are making efforts to support agencies and community partners challenged by the consequences of self-quarantine or with limited access to necessities. There are several agencies in need of assistance.  We have organized a list of needs that will be updated weekly with new organizations. If your organization is in need of a resource and you would like to be added to the list, please contact Kendra Wells at kendrajwells@wayne.edu
  • Detroit Community Resource List – The SSW has compiled a list of resources (health, mental health counseling, unemployment, housing, energy, food, water, emergency financial assistance, transportation, child and youth learning, and internet and cell phone services) for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties. This will be updated regularly as contacts and resources become available.
  • COVID-19 patient improvement and well-being initiative – Activities are being organized with Detroit area hospital partners, local organizations and Social Work students to assemble care packages for those currently in the hospital experiencing loneliness and anxiety. Care packages will include donated items such as books, cell phone chargers and iPads. We are also partnering with local agencies to print and hang artwork in the rooms of those isolated in the hospital. 
  • COVID-19 mobile testing sites - Social Work students and faculty have assisted in the phone case management portion of the WSU COVID-19 mobile testing site project to help individuals who test positive for COVID-19 manage barriers that arise when isolating themselves and family members. 

Social Work Warrior expertise

We have a plethora of experts within the School that can provide support to our community throughout this time. We have published the following COVID-19 related tip sheets to support our community and have additional resources in the pipeline. Please share these widely!

Additional Resources:

Self-care

This is an unprecedented time in everyone's lives and it is easy to put self-care on the back burner. I encourage you to take a moment and peruse some of the resources below. As Social Work Associate Professor Suzanne Brown and Part-time Faculty member and yoga instructor, Caitlin Brown noted in their recent blog Managing anxiety during the COVID 19 outbreak, "In the end, while we may have little control over our circumstances, we do have control over our responses. Compassion, presence in the moment, altruism, and action align with our social work values, and offer powerful responses to our present circumstances."

Stay connected

I encourage you to regularly check this page for updates on resource and volunteer opportunities. We have also created a Student Hub page to provide Social Work students with up-to-date information on our weekly virtual student town hall events, resources, field updates, student support and more. Wayne State has established a comprehensive COVID-19 resource page and NASW and NASW-MI have materials online specifically related to social work and COVID-19. We will continue to share information on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages – please follow, like and share. 

Upcoming events

During this time, we are shifting gears and working on ways to stay connected with our community using virtual platforms. Please stay tuned as we work to provide resources, information and ways to connect via virtual live events and online materials. I encourage you to check our website, social media pages, and your email for information on new upcoming virtual events and the many opportunities available for you to stay in touch.