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.
Chapter 1: Best Practice for Social Work and ICT
Best Practice for Social Work and ICT
In this chapter we make a set of suggestions as to how ICTs may be used to further the aims of social work in ways that accord with the values of the profession. Some of these suggestions are based on research findings that are discussed more fully later in the book, whilst other suggestions are, we acknowledge, rather more tentative in nature. We give some indication as to which is which.
Our ideas are framed as being about best practice in social work. The concept of ‘best practice’ is widely used in healthcare, as well as in business management and in the world of ICTs, to mean the most efficient and effective way ...