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.

Technology and Professional Practice

Technology and professional practice

Social workers, so it has been expressed by UK higher education authorities, should have knowledge and understanding about ‘the implications of modern communication and information technology for service delivery’ and ‘should be able to use C & IT methods and techniques for a variety of purposes including professional communications, data storage and retrieval and information searching’ (Quality Assurance Agency, 2000: 3.1.2 and 3.2.1). The Benchmark reference to ‘professional communication, data storage and retrieval, and information searching’ indeed includes important implications of ICT for social work practice, but it is far from comprehensive or adequate. In this chapter we aim to set out a vision for ICT and social work practice that follows from the pathway we have trodden ...

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