This article draws on findings of an international study of social workers’ ethical challenges
during COVID-19, based on 607 responses to a qualitative survey. Ethical challenges included the
following: maintaining trust, privacy, dignity and service user autonomy in remote relationships;
allocating limited resources; balancing rights and needs of different parties; deciding whether to
break or bend policies in the interests of service users; and handling emotions and ensuring care
of self and colleagues. The article considers regional contrasts, the ‘ethical logistics’ of complex
decision-making, the impact of societal inequities, and lessons for social workers and professional
practice around the globe.