The COVID-19 pandemic has shed fresh light on the ways that social media and digital technologies can be effectively harnessed to support relationship-based social work practice. However, it has also highlighted the complex risks, ethics and practical challenges that such technologies pose.
This book helps practitioners and students navigate this complex terrain and explore and build upon its multiple opportunities. It uses real-life examples to examine how practitioners can assess the impact of new technologies on their professional conduct and use them in a way that enhance public confidence and relationship-based practice.
The authors explore how digital technologies can support multiple areas of service including social work with children, families and adults, mental health social work, youth justice and working with online communities. They also consider regulatory questions and provide a roadmap for good practice.
“This book takes social work on a journey to critically reflect on the possibilities, risks and realities of digital practice and relationship-based approaches and how technology enhances these and gives us new insights into people’s lives. A must-read for digital social work.” Mark Harvey, Chief Social Worker for Adults, England
"In a world where we no longer think twice about increasing our digital use, identity and presence we find new opportunities, ambitions and risks both positive and negative. For social work the dawn of social media, big information and new digital cultures has seemed rapid and all encompassing. Whilst we immerse ourselves in our own interactions with this word have we really considered the role it plays on our professional lives, or do we build a professional wall and cling on to ‘practicing our way’?
This book takes us on that exact journey, challenging us to consider our professional role in use of the digital options before us, both in practice but also in our responsibilities within our personal lives. Personal lives that are not so personal anymore and can be viewed not just in your local communities and those we serve, but across the world. The challenge of reforging a professional identity and new approach to practice is explored, challenged and reflected upon in this book. Giving practitioners the opportunity to consider and apply new thinking to the way in which we fulfil our social work roles.
In addition the book explores, in depth, the role of relationship based approaches and how technology can not only enhance this but can give us new insights into peoples lives at a personalised level that we have not had the opportunity to have before. It also allows us to consider how we approach these personal interactions via tech. How does Egan’s skilled helper model translate when applied via video link? How do we understand the issues of body language or environment over text or Instagram? Exploring these issues is the first step to understanding our role in a current and future digital world, one that will move without us if we don’t seek to improve our knowledge and interactions within it. This book seeks to not only do this but take social work on a journey that recognises and critically reflects on the possibilities, risks and reality that digital is here to stay and it does that with skill and accessibility." Mark Harvey, Chief Social Worker for Adults England
“This is a very timely and helpful book, exploring both the challenges and opportunities in seeking to use digital technology and social media to support social work practice and professional development.” John Devaney, University of Edinburgh
“Helps social workers to understand the complexities around the use of social media, both positive uses and the possible pitfalls and risks. A publication like this which seeks to address current issues and prepare people for the future is essential.” Fran McDonnell, Former Policy Manager at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW)
“Great social work practice will always be child- and familycentred, relationship-based and founded on consent, openness and respect. This book offers reflective and helpful ways for achieving that in digital context.” Yvette Stanley, Ofsted National Director for Social Care
Claudia Megele is the Assistant Director of CAFCASS and the National Chair of the Principal Children and Families Social Worker Network. She is also a Fellow of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and was previously the Head of Service for Quality Assurance, Practice and Improvement at Hertfordshire County Council.
Peter Buzzi is the director of Research and Management Consultancy Centre and the Safeguarding Research Centre. He is also the National Research Lead for the Principal Children and Families Social Worker network’s national research and practice development project.
1. Introduction ~ Claudia Megele and Peter Buzzi
2. Digital Professionalism and Social Media Ethics ~ Claudia Megele and Peter Buzzi
3. Social Media and Social Work with Children and Young People and Looked After Children ~ Claudia Megele and Sherry Malik
4. Social Media and Adult Social Work ~ Peter Buzzi and Sharon Allen
5. Social Media and Mental Health Social Work ~ Ruth Allen and Peter Buzzi
6. Social Media and Youth Justice: Challenges and Possibilities for Practice ~ Naomi Thompson and Ian Joseph
7. Social Media and ‘Communities of Practice’ and ‘Communities of Interest’ ~ Claudia Megele and Peter Buzzi
8. Social Media and Social work Regulation ~ Claudia Megele, Lyn Romeo and Peter Buzzi
9. Future Technology and Social Work and Social Care Practice and Education ~ Claudia Megele and Peter Buzzi