students on Zoom
Students working to create the Social Work Student Survival Handbook COVID-19 Edition.

With practicum sites closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students needed another way to accrue field hours and maintain academic requirements. Graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work created the Social Work Student Survival Handbook COVID-19 Edition, a resource guide for social work students to finish out the semester successfully.

The survival handbook is published online and available to all social work students. It is regularly updated with academic resources for students and the most current COVID-19 information.

The survival handbook helps students foster social support, streamline access to resources and information relevant to classes, personal safety, health and well-being, and provides opportunities for students to receive or create field hours.

social work student survival handbook
Social Work Student Survival Handbook COVID-19 Edition.

“We hope our fellow classmates feel a sense of solidarity and community,” said Rosanna Prieto, a master of social work candidate. “With so many COVID-19 emails, notifications and announcements it can be overwhelming, so we wanted one place that has all the updates for them. We created a space for their voice, experience and ways to support each other.”

The project started with Lilinoe Kauahikaua, a master of social work candidate and vice president of the Department of Social Work Graduate Student Organization (DSW-GSO), sending out the kāhea (call) to her hui (group of friends) Nā Koa Hoʻokaulike. The survival handbook grew as a student-led initiative with the UH Mānoa Women’s Center, Mālama Project, DSW-GSO, DSW Nu Sigma and other individual student leaders. The entire project has received guidance and support from the School of Social Work faculty and Dean Noreen Mokuau.

“Right now, a portion of information is relevant specifically to UH Mānoa social work students,” said Prieto. “But we hope this handbook translates to support for all students and families touched by COVID-19 in some way. We’ve provided information from financial assistance to free subscriptions to exercise programs. People across the country are coming together to support each other and we invite those who feel called to participate in this effort to reach out. This really is a time of kākoʻo (support) and mālama kekahi i kekahi (taking care of one another).”