The use of technology is reshaping how every industry operates and social work is no exception. The rise and importance of new technologies are changing the way services are offered and how social workers interact and communicate with their own service users. It’s important social workers keep up to date with the ever changing technology environment, therefore, we take a look at the importance and effectiveness of technology in social work.
The incredible advance in technology over the past two to three decades has affected every area of social work practice, from how an individual practitioner operates on a day-to-day basis to how service users or employers interact with social workers on a global scale.
The role of social media and other communication tools (such as FaceTime and Skype) in today’s society has significantly improved the communication experience for social workers. Platforms such as WhatsApp and other messaging tools makes it easier to keep in contact with colleagues, employers and service users on a regular basis, LinkedIn makes it easier to search for new jobs and network professionally within the social care arena and Twitter provides an interactive platform to keep up to date with the latest news within the social work industry. For service users requiring support, they can search and find social workers around their local area and could perhaps receive services such as psychiatrist and anxiety counselling online, without even revealing their identities.
Social Work Globalization:
Social Workers would usually deal with issues affecting their immediate surrounding communities. However, with the development of social sites, such as Skype and Facebook Messenger, it is now possible for a social worker in Bournemouth, for example, to offer their services remotely to a client in Manchester, without incurring large expenditure. This is a fantastic way for social workers to keep in touch with their service users without having to step out their front door and offer them a point of contact whenever required, wherever they are.
The NHS Digital survey of 584 social workers found that 42% of social workers that use mobile technology during meetings with service users improved the quality of their interaction. It has been extremely beneficial for social workers to use technology to take notes on or even record a conversation during meetings. This way, particularly with recorded conversations, social workers do not miss anything that has been said by their candidates.
As technology continues to be an important part of our lives, it is important to assess the future changes and advances in how technology impacts the social work field. There have already been many technological advancements emerging in the social work field which has had positive implications for social workers, although automated interventions, that do not require direct involvement of social workers, and wireless technologies are helping to facilitate and develop the field.
The development in technology will perhaps change the future of social work and the next 10 years will undoubtedly change the nature of professional social work practice in countless ways. Therefore, the role of social workers will need to adapt and adjust to the new demands for practice in the digital age. It is important social workers acquire and maintain technological skills and competencies that enable them to keep up and adapt to the ever changing environment.
If you are looking for your next social work role, Pertemps Professional Recruitment offer a variety of roles across the UK and promise to provide you with a dedicated consultant throughout your whole recruitment process. For more information, why not contact us on 0203 897 1477 (London Office) or 0161 509 1045 (Warrington Office) to speak confidentially with one of our consultants. Alternatively, please visit our jobs page, where we have a range of social work vacancies we are currently recruiting for.