Once again, we reach that time of year when #MacroSW chat will take a moment to have an open mic session as friends, colleagues and students to talk about what’s most important in our profession as social workers and allied colleagues. The topic? Whatever we please! While we are at it, let’s all share best self-care practices that have been helpful for the summer season and during this tumultuous season of change. Share what you have tucked away in your beach bag, favorite summer comfort foods, music selections, best summer beverage selections, as well as “staycation”, sabbatical and or travel plans. Bring your best memes and gifs suitable for the occasion.
MacroSW will break for the month of August resuming Thursday, September, 8, 2016.
#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com
Social Workers & Community Psychologists, Allies from Intersecting Domains
With pressing social issues and conflicts around the globe regularly calling out for intelligent, effective, and compassion solutions, the need for greater cooperation among diverse disciplines in the fields of community-related work is stronger now more than ever. Fostering interdisciplinary collaborations can go a long way in creating the macro-level societal change that impacts those issues. But as can be the case in academic fields of discourse, professionals hunker down in their “advocacy silos” (in the scientific professional, this can be called “stovepiping”) not aware of the larger context of other related fields and their resources, their interdependent relationships, and the great potential for healthful, societally beneficial collaboration.
Two fields in particular — community psychology and macro social work — share overlapping values and each field has unique talents and resources that they can share. How are the practices of macro social work and community psychology similar yet distinct? What can social workers and community psychologists do to collaborate for macro-level social change? Join us for a Twitter chat on Thursday, July 21, 9-10 p.m. EDT, for a discussion on these and other questions and related topics, including sharing of resources, practices, and research across these disciplines that are at the intersection of social change and working toward greater community well-being.
Rachel L. West (@poliSW), L.M.S.W., Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant, ACOSA (@acosaorg) Board Member, & Instructor at Stony Brook University-School of Social Welfare
Peter Charles Benedict, M.A. (@petebenedict), Outreach and Communications Specialist, Society for Community Research and Action (@scra)
Taylor Scott (@jtaybscott), Administrative Coordinator, Society for Community Research and Action
Jean Hill , Ph.D. (@jeanhillnm), SCRA Past President, and Director of Institutional Research, New Mexico Highlands University
James R. Cook, Ph.D. (@jimcookuncc), SCRA Past President, and Professor of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Questions we will consider in this twitter chat
— What is community psychology and how is it distinct yet similar to social work?
— What are the primary goals and motivations of community psychology?
— What resources (practices, research, etc.) does community psychology offer?
— What resources does macro social work offer?
— What questions do you have about either community psychology or macro social work?
— How can social workers and community psychologists better work together to share resources and collaborate?
— What were some good collaborations you were a part of, and what were the benefits?
— What types of circumstances have you found yourself in that would have benefited from a collaboration, and if it didn’t happen, then why not?
The Society for Community Research and Action (@scra), a division of the American Psychological Association, is an 1,100-member professional organization devoted to advancing community research and social action, and it also serves and supports many different disciplines engaged in community work. SCRA members are committed to promoting health and empowerment and to preventing problems in communities, groups, and individuals. SCRA’s vision is to have a strong, global impact on enhancing well-being and promoting social justice for all people by fostering collaboration where there is division and empowerment where there is oppression. Learn more at scra27.org.
The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the sniper attack on Dallas police is stirring racial tensions and left us saddened, grieving and questioning how we move forward to create more just and safe communities. We are loudly saying enough is enough across social media and in quiet conversations with friends, family and colleagues. We’re tired of condolence statements and outraged by the little or no action by elected officials and leaders in our communities.
Social workers are uniquely equipped and want to constructively solve these challenging problems and create real solutions. After all, it’s in our DNA to act, advocate and heal, whether it’s through smarter gun control, access to mental health treatment or legislation, political participation and policy work. We will tackle inequities still prevalent, unacknowledged and exploited for political purposes. Many right now are fighting the good fight, and we’re ready to roll-up our sleeves to do more but how, when and where we can jump in is a big question for some of us.
Our #MacroSW group will direct our activities to engage our vast network of social workers who are ready to go beyond conversation to action and plug into current advocacy activities happening in communities. We will be sharing on @OfficialMacroSW about events, letter writing campaigns, or policy initiatives that need our support and participation. Also you can:
Join and contribute to this Google document which will curate an ongoing list of events, activities, petitions, rally dates, etc. on a national and local level in which you can actively participate in to make a difference. This crowdsourcing effort will create a robust listing of places you can plug into and apply your social work expertise.
Got an idea for chat for us to discuss an advocacy effort? Contact us by direct message on @OfficialMacroSW, comment here or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know so we can schedule time in our weekly chats and offer our platform to curate the best ideas and research to help your cause.
Post on the #MacroSW hashtag anytime to continue to collaborate and have conversations. Please share resources and ideas.
Check out the new public list, Stop the Violence, on @OfficialMacroSW that curates a collection of resources, organizations and individuals who are also taking action.
It will take all of us in big and small ways to change our country’s current path, and as social workers, we will do what we have always done, give people who can’t speak or act for themselves a voice.
(Note: The post that is reblogged below is by Laurel Hitchcock. Laurel is one of the nine #MacroSW partners who rotate as host of our weekly Twitter chats. Her blog post below is a good introduction to our July 14 chat, hosted by @ubssw and @officialmacrosw. We find it especially useful due to her use of a specific example – one of the standards on social work education – and the NASW interpretation of the ethical use of technology. This example underscores the importance of feedback to NASW on the draft for these standards.
The task force that wrote this draft of the standards includes the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). This is the first update on Technology Standards since 2005.
Please join us for the July 14th chat. Your comments and tweets will be included in the comments that our #MacroSW Chat group submits to NASW before the deadline on the 20th.)
I am so pleased that the draft Technology Standards for Social Work Practice have been released for public review. NASW, CSWE, CSWA, and ASWB developed a task force to collaboratively draft these technology standards, which you can access the draft standards here.
I am working with several groups to provide comments to the task force and, I also plan to submit my own comments. Once adopted, these standards will be considered a model for best practice in social work. Given the important legal and ethical role that practice standards have in the professional lives of social workers, I believe it is essential to offer constructive and timely feedback on this document. I want to encourage everyone in the social work community to review and submit their feedback. You do not need to be a member of any group to offer feedback. The timeline is short for submitting comments – the one-month comment period closes July 20th.
Here are some highlights about the document. The draft standards and their interpretations are 82 pages. If you do not want to read 82 pages, you may want to know that these standards cover the following:
Section 1: Provision of Information to the Public
Section 2: Designing and Delivering Services – Part A: Individuals, Families, and Groups and Part B: Communities, Organizations, Administration, and Policy
Section 3: Gathering, Managing, and Storing Information
Section 4: Communication with and about Clients
Section 5: Social Work Education (especially distance education)
Overall, I applaud the effort to revise standards that are over a decade old and no longer relevant to many forms of technology commonly used by social workers in their professional lives. It is a challenging task to write effective and informative standards that will help social workers navigate the use of technology in practice with the fast pace of change in digital and social technologies. A definite strength of the committee’s work is that the standards strongly reflect the NASW Code of Ethics, with multiple references to the Code throughout the standards.
However, these standards are also very specific, providing detailed directions on how social workers should use technology in an ethical and professional manner. For example, under Standard 5.10: Educator-Student Boundaries, the interpretation of the standard recommend that “to maintain appropriate boundaries with students, social work educators should avoid the use of personal technological devices and accounts for professional (educational) purposes.” As a social work educator, I agree that all educators should maintain appropriate ethical and professional boundaries with students and colleagues, but I should have the choice and autonomy in how I establish and maintain those boundaries. I’d like to see the evidence that using my personal smart phone to answer calls or texts from students violates an ethical boundary. In fact, I believe it makes me more accessible to my students. I started using text messaging with students many years ago, after working for a semester with a student who had a hearing disability. Texting was easier for the student to ask me questions, and allowed us to communicate outside of class without an interpreter. As a result of this experience, I developed guidelines for texting with students which I still follow today.
Further, many of the standards address the use of technology in practice settings without recognizing the parallel situations such as the “in-person” equivalent or the use of more commonplace technology. Considering Standard 5.10 as described above, this would suggest that social work educators should never give out their home phone to students or call students from their home phones. Further, this interpretation would suggest that educators not answer emails or access their institution’s learning management system from a home or personal computer or tablet. All of these options are impractical to me, and would result in an undue burden for the educator, especially adjunct educators who often use personal technology to communicate with students.
I would like to see these standards modified to offer practical, clear, and realistic guidelines that can be adopted and operationalized by both social workers and social service agencies across all practice settings. One of the groups I am working with to write group feedback has drafted this statement, which I believe provides an ideal general recommendation for how the draft standards can be re-framed:
The guidance provided by these technology standards should support aspirational goals related to technology use in our profession (including access, innovation, and consumer protection and voice), and encourage thoughtful and professional judgment related to technology use, while not directly specifying how one should carry out their use of technology in social work practice. To do so, limits innovation and will cause those who already practice outside the scope of these standards (or will in the near future as these standards become dated) to seek identity alignment outside of social work.
While you may agree or disagree with my interpretation of the draft standards, I urge you to read through the standards and give your feedback. This is your opportunity to join the conversation and give back to your professional community.
If you are interested in working with a group to provide feedback, here are two options:
Participate in the #MacroSW Twitter Chat on July 14th at 8:00 PM CST/ 9 PM EST when we will discuss the draft standards from a macro social work perspective. We will share the transcript with NASW.
Here are the details about how and when to submit your individual feedback:
TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE – Draft released on 6/20/16
Description from NASW: The draft Technology Standards in Social Work Practice were developed jointly by the National Association of Social Workers, Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and the Clinical Social Work Association to create a uniform set of practice guidelines for professional social workers who incorporate technology into their services. The draft standards were developed by a task force comprised of representatives from each of these social work organizations.
Request from NASW:
Your comments and feedback are requested to help make the technology standards a model best practice document for social workers. Please consider the following questions as you review the standards:
Are the standards easy to comprehend?
Are there any concepts that require clarification?
Are the standards applicable across social work practice levels and settings?
How relevant are the standards to current social work practice?
Submit your comments no later than July 20, 2016. Comments regarding the content of the draft standards are preferred rather than edits.
Here are two additional questions specific to the July 14th #MacroSW Twitter Chat:
What are ways you think macro-level social works should use technology?
What perspectives do social workers bring to the use of technology in the 21st century?