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.

ICT and Social Work Agencies

ICT and social work agencies

In Chapter 2 we considered how ICTs have become an integral part of the basic elements of social work practice: in social work assessments, case recording, and so on. In doing so we reported on the claims made for the use of ICTs in these areas, but refrained from discussing in any depth the emerging critique of the ways in which social work practice may be changing as a result. In Chapters 3 and 4 we looked at the impact on service users and on social workers of the increasing use of ICTs and included some of this critique. In the current chapter it is time to draw this material together and to consider ICT use ...

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