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.

Service Users, Carers and ICT

Service users, carers and ICT

We aimed in Chapter 1 to set out the basis for a good practice model for social workers in relation to technology in general, and information and communication technologies in particular. Part of our argument in that chapter was about the importance of practice-led technology rather than technology-led practice and thinking. A common way of tackling the field is by reasoning ‘Technology claims to offer A, B and C. How can we apply A, B and C to social work?’ We describe this as a technology-led approach. This approach is not without merit in certain cases, in that it may push towards new ways of imagining technological challenges to existing practice. But it may also mean ...

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