Technology is no longer an optional part of social work practice. Videoconferencing, online social networking, social robots, digital documentation and storage, texting, mobile apps, and other forms of technology are used in many realms of social work practice. The recently published Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice offers a roadmap to think critically about our social work roles in relation to how we use technology now and in the future.
Join us on Thursday, July 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific) for the #MacroSW chat with Dr. Allan Barsky (@drbarsky), a member of the Social Work and Technology Practice Standard Task Force and an ethics expert. We’ll explore our views about the new technology standards, share ideas about implementing them in social work practice, and discuss what might be added to the standards at a later date.
Allan Barsky is Professor of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University. He chairs the NASW Code of Ethics Review Task Force and was a member of the Social Work and Technology Practice Standards Task Force. For more information, please visit www.barsky.org and follow on Twitter @drbarsky.
Questions to Explore:
- How do you think the standards will be useful in your work?
- Which macro issues do the standards deal with effectively, and which ones could have also been addressed?
- How do you think the standards deal with ethical issues such as confidentiality, dual relationships, free speech, and boundaries?
- What are the ongoing ethical issues that the social work profession should address as the use of technology grows and changes?
- How can the standards be used to more effectively adapt and deal with issues related to technology?
As a profession, we can hope the technology standards will spur on tech adoption and guide social workers to be conscientiousness as technology transforms areas of practice. At the same time, we could think about the ways that our professional associations could be doing more to encourage social workers to explore the full potential of new and emerging technology.
The art of the possibility is vast and wide in terms of what technology can help social workers accomplish. This chat aims to be yet another starting point for continued conversations about how the technology we use in practice will continually evolve.
The Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice was developed by representatives from National Association of Social Workers, Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and the Clinical Social Work Association, as well as consultations with social workers from various backgrounds. In the summer of 2016, the Task Force solicited feedback and comments from the social work community. This feedback contributed to many changes that were incorporated into the final version that was approved by all four national associations.
New Technology Standards for Social Work: Ethical Implications by Frederic G. Reamer, PhD
Social Media & Social Work Ethics: Determining Best Practices in an Ambiguous Reality, Harbeck Voshel & Wesala
Ethics Alive! Respect in Social Work Advocacy, by Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD and Laura Groshong, LICSW
Barsky, A. E. (2017). Social work practice and technology: Ethical issues and policy responses. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 35(1), 1-12. doi:10.1080/15228835.2017.1277906