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5Social Work And Technology

SOCIAL WORK AND TECHNOLOGY – REFLECTIVE ESSAY

In the context of social work service, technology refers to the electronically mediated ethical activities that help social work deliver its mandate. Technology has tremendously revolutionized the social work sector. In the practice of social work, advanced technology has provided effective ways of delivering quality work, which has eased operations and service handling in the sector. This has seen an increase in the living conditions. The wide coverage of technology in the various sectors of the economy has led to more opportunities for the social worker.

The evolution of computer technology has brought a revolution in the way social workers deliver services to their clients. Additionally, online counselling and social media also has a great contribution to social work services. Personally, as a social worker, technology enabled me to safeguard proficiency and competency while delivering services to clients at the disability day center. Quite often, the proficiency I have has seen it that I seek appropriate training to stay put with emerging technological trends in social work. The trainings have well equipped me and my teammates with relevant knowledge and skills to ensure code of ethics and standards observed at the disability day center.

Generally, use of technology in social work has benefited me with engagement in further education to improve on my professional knowledge and skills. Appropriate knowledge and skills result to better service delivery and competence.

Equally well, as a social worker I need to be conversant of the ethical challenges and limitations that can arise from use of technology in social work. The technology used in practice need to evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of technological mediums and only make use of technological practices that are appropriate to clients’ interests and sensible to cultural practices.

Social work service users on the other hand, have benefited from technology by getting quality services provided by competent workers. Additionally, the clients in social work service also use technology in their personal lives, which facilitate the awareness and effectiveness of the appropriate and current technology used in delivering services to them, considering ethical and professional issues.

Clearly, as a social worker I made practical use of technology in the disability day center, it was essential that I inform clients about the type of technology they use, policies, limitations, and benefits that the clients may drive from the technology. As suggested by (Bryant, 2015), some of the issues I had to address clients included social justice and ethical issues such as confidentiality.

In using technology in social work, I enlightened clients on privacy and confidentiality. I had to make it clear that clients understand concerns regarding confidentiality derived from the technology use in practice and advocate for policies required to administer these issues. Henceforth, I maintained the confidentiality of information administered to clients using technology. The clients should understand the limits of confidentiality that apply to the form of service delivered to them using the technology practice in their service.

Equally well, as a social worker I had to only disclose the confidentiality of a client with the consent of the client or when required by the court order. This is because as social workers we have respect on matters pertaining client confidentiality. We do not solicit confidential information from clients not unless for delivering services to the client. Once the client provides the information, standards of confidentiality apply by protecting the identity of the client.

Additionally, as a social worker at disability day center I enlightened clients on incorporating social justice by use of risk management strategies such as use of passwords, firewalls, and encryption of emails to ensure end user security.

Credibility of ethical practices in social work serves a great importance especially when using social media as suggested by (Kaldy, 2013). The services delivered through technological practice in social work should observe the ethics of the social work profession. Social workers should practice ethics such as ensuring confidentiality of information when delivering services to clients using technological practices. Additionally, I advocated for ethics such as educating the clients about responsible service practices.

It was important to practice diligent customs and ethics when using social media services to support service delivery to my clients at disability day center. It is essential that when using social media services, I authenticated the credibility of the information before referring clients to make use of the service.

The practical use of social media such as Facebook, twitter, and blogs has significantly risen over the past years as explained by (Osis, 2015). As a result, social media connect millions of users globally. Professions make use of LinkedIn as a professional social media, which incorporate social workers at an alarming note. Therefore, it is significant for social workers to ensure ethical considerations regarding use of social media and the professionalism used in service delivery in social work through it.

Ethical considerations pertaining use of social media has a great implication on service delivery as suggested by (Kimball, 2013). As a social worker therefore, I explored considerations of situations that may arise from social media practices such as responding to a client on Facebook or twitter, googling a client or an employee to get their personal information.

The code of ethics addresses how social workers should regard value of social justice when using technology. As a profession, I had responsibilities of promoting social justice and advocating for policy measures, programs and resources for the well-being of clients according to (Chernack, 2011). Social workers should consider essential principles of professionalism when using technology to serve clients in social work by giving serious considerations on client confidentiality and integrity.

Technology in social work has revolutionized best ways in which social workers deliver services to clients. Additionally, technology has also enabled social workers to administer agencies and provide relevant education to practitioners in social work according to (Magrabi, 2015). Conversely, despite the dramatic development, technology has compelled challenges to social workers, which include education to gain effective and appropriate skills and knowledge, management to use various technologies in administrative work to manage client data, and lastly research to guide social workers on choice of practice interventions.

Technological practices used in social work provide support and guidance to social workers. The diversity of social work service to clients requires advocating of ethical credibility of technology used in practice. The ultimate goal of technology practices in social work is to provide effectiveness in service delivery.

References

Bryant, L., Garnham, B., Tedmanson, D. and Diamandi, S., 2015. Tele-social work and mental health in rural and remote communities in Australia. International Social Work, p.0020872815606794.

Chernack, K., 2011. Professional boundaries in a virtually boundary-less e- environment. Retrieved August8, p.2012.

Kaldy, J. (2013). Social Media: Is Practitioner Posting Problematic? Caring for the Ages,14(10), 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.carage.2013.09.001

Kimball, E., & Kim, J. (2013). Virtual Boundaries: Ethical Considerations for Use of Social Media in Social Work. Social Work58(2), 185-188. doi:10.1093/sw/swt005

Magrabi, F., Baker, M., Sinha, I., Ong, M.S., Harrison, S., Kidd, M.R., Runciman, W.B. and Coiera, E., 2015. Clinical safety of England’s national programme for IT: A retrospective analysis of all reported safety events 2005 to 2011. International journal of medical informatics84(3), pp.198-206.

Magrabi, F., Liaw, S. T., Arachi, D., Runciman, W., Coiera, E., & Kidd, M. R. (2015). Identifying patient safety problems associated with information technology in general practice: an analysis of incident reports. BMJ quality & safety, bmjqs-2015.

Osis, J., & Pelling, N. (2015). An Exploration of the Prevalence and Nature of Facebook Use by Australian Psychologists and Counselors. International Journal of Mental Health44(1- 2), 124-138.

Appendix — Technology Diary

Technology used for work

Communication Technology used in personal life

Web browser, Email, Facebook, Video conferencing, you tube, Word processor and PDF reader

Facebook, twitter, email, newspaper Quora, You tube and Whatsapp, instagram.

Monday notes

The first day of the week, I first check the email inbox to confirm the mails that I have received from clients and work place, and then check the Facebook messages on the Facebook page of work place as well as the twitter Account. I proceed to reply the urgent messages. I finally finish the day on social media by passing the information to the relevant authority through email and Facebook messages.

Web browser, Email, Facebook, Video streaming, Word processor and PDF reader.

Facebook, twitter, email, Blogs, You tube, Quora and World wide web

Tuesday notes

Checking on viral video on You tube as well as making my review on it. I also read other peoples reviews. Post the new campaign poster and after I get the full details of the viral video, I post the information on Facebook page.

Wednesday

Email, Word processor, Pdf reader, Presentation

Email, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Whatsapp

Wednesday notes

Full time at the Disability Centre therefore created time to interact with clients and shared my professional communication tools. Later checked emails twitter and Facebook inboxes.

Thursday

Skype, Facebook, Email, Word processor, and Pdf reader

Newspapers, Email, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and Blogs

Thursday notes

I respond to client follow-up through Skype call. Call goes through but confidentiality does not allow us to talk much. We set an appointment date to meet with the clients and discuss about the intended services.

Web browser, Email, Facebook, Word processor, PDF reader and Presentation

Facebook, twitter, email, newspaper, TV online and Whatsapp

Friday notes

Twitter trends and my favourite series is back. However, an article on the same found on Quora attracts thousands of comments from the clients and my fellow social workers. Some insightful some insulting, all lessons though.

Saturday

Checked Email

Facebook, twitter, email, newspaper websites, Blogs, watching radio and TV online

Saturday notes

Going through the Facebook posts and Twitter trends

Checked email

Facebook, twitter, email, Skype Mobile games

Sunday notes

Time with family and friends through Whatsapp calls as well as Skype video calls. Interesting times