Interval House

Mohawk College, Interval House of Hamilton partner to benefit frontline social workers 

Mohawk College researchers are working with Interval House of Hamilton to improve the well-being of frontline social service providers post-pandemic.

This innovative applied research project will examine the impact of COVID-19 on those workers at the Hamilton-based shelter that serves women fleeing from relationship violence and abuse. Working with their staff, the research team’s goal is to provide insights that will guide the creation of a Wellness Toolkit to bolster the well-being of staff who have been dealing with the increased intensity and volume of cases that emerged during the pandemic.

“Due to the pandemic, frontline workers supporting at-risk individuals have endured many obstacles as they navigate various restrictions and closures. The pandemic [also] caused a surge in the number of women seeking shelter and increased the complexity of their needs.” says Christine Sager, Academic Coordinator of the Social Service Worker Program, who will be leading the project with her colleague Ian Degeer.

“This work will open doors to improvements in the field by developing the Wellness Toolkit as a best practice resource that will help staff [here] and [at] other organizations,” says Sue Taylor, Executive Director of Interval House of Hamilton.

The research team will include student researchers from Mohawk’s Social Service Workers Program, who will gain hands-on experience working on applied research during the project.

“Another important component of this project is student participation, as they support the process and learn the ins and outs of applied research in this field,” continued Sager. 

Mohawk College’s Centre for Emerging Research Initiatives has received federal funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grant program to support this project with the women’s shelter. This grant offered by SSHRC in Canada helps researchers and partners from different sectors collaborate to solve societal problems and create benefits for society.