“The social work profession strives to strengthen the welfare of individuals, groups, and/or communities who suffer from poverty, social intolerances, and unequal human rights. Social Work’s Code of Ethics core values include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence (National Association of Social Workers, 1999). The deployment of technology in social work is driven by access and equity, greater flexibility, and economic or geographic restraint (Jones, 2010). The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Association of Social Work Boards have developed standards for technology and social work practice (National Association of Social Workers & Boards, 2005). These guidelines were established so the core values of social work would be the main motive for implementing technology when fulfilling the needs of individuals, groups, and/or communities.
The role of the social worker is evolving, and social workers will need to adjust to the changes in social work practice in the technology age. The problem is technology training has not been openly available to illustrate how social workers can use technology for clinical practice and community service. The standards are available to demonstrate the importance of implementing technology from an ethical point of view. However, there is very little training emphasizing how technology can be utilized from an applicability standpoint for the helping profession.
I am proposing a collaborative infrastructure to administer technology training for the social work profession. This training focuses on learning to identify, apply and incorporate technology approaches to provide social workers methods of accessing and protecting of data, outreach to geographically challenged clients or communities, and provide a set of skills and knowledge with the focus of the social workers goals at the forefront. A goal of this course is to build knowledge between social work and technology. Practical technology tools for social workers will also be introduced. Social Work and Technology course is intended for social workers interested in understanding how to appropriately use technology for clinical practice and community service in social work.
Jones, P. (2010). Collaboration at a Distance: Using a Wiki to Create a Collaborative Learning Environment for Distance Education and On-Campus Students in a Social Work Course. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 30(2), 225-236. doi: 10.1080/08841231003705396
National Association of Social Workers, & Boards, A. O. S. W. (2005). NASW & ASWB standards for technology and social work practice (p. 22).
National Association of Social Workers. (1999). Code of ethics. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/Code/code.asp.