• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become an integral part of social and working lives. Within social work ICTs play a vital role, helping professionals to store and share information and contributing to new forms of practice. This book goes a step further than simply describing ICT skills, but asks why ICT is used and how this affects practice and the experience of people who use services.

The book has a practical focus and includes guidance on:

  • Best Practice for Social Work and ICT
  • ICT Use in Social Work
  • Service Users, Carers and ICT
  • Technology and Professional Practice
  • ICT and Social Work Agencies
  • Social Work Programs in the Virtual World
  • ICT and Practice Based Learning

Written in a student-friendly style, Social Work and ICT is interspersed with activities and exercises to enable students to develop their skills and knowledge. Each chapter also includes a ‘Taking it Further’ section with useful websites, suggestions for further reading and ideas to improve practice. The book has been designed to enhance professional practice and it will be essential reading for all undergraduate programs in social work.

Introduction
Introduction

It has become commonplace to talk of ‘the IT revolution’, and to compare it with the industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries — so rapid, so widespread and so profound have been the changes brought about by recent advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs). It seems that, in a very short space of time, computer-enabled communication and information storage has become an integral part not only of many people's working lives, but also of the fabric of their social lives and their leisure activities. Increasingly we work, shop, play and socialise online.

Given that social work is, according to the UK Department of Health's careers website, ‘all about people’ (Department of Health, 2007) it should not be surprising that ICTs have also ...

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