5 Tips for Integrating the Latest Technology Into Your Social Work Profession

5 Ways to Use Technology in Social Work

  • Research
  • Data Management
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Communication
  • Multiculturalism

When it comes to uses for technology in social work, the strides taking place are enormous. Today's social worker has the opportunity to connect with both clients and administrative workers in ways previously unimaginable. To ensure proper use of technology, the National Association of Social Workers and Association of Social Work Boards created an industry-wide standard for proper implementation of technology in the social worker's environment.

An article from the Pew Research Center pointed out the ways that more than seven out of ten online users are connected via Facebook. At one time, Facebook was the domain of mostly younger users. Times change and so does the demographic for online services. Older people have joined the ranks of Facebook.

This gives social workers a tremendous opportunity to connect with clients.

Facebook provides a common ground for discussion and also allows clients and social workers to potentially share common interests. This helps create a stronger bond and increases the odds for positive experiences.

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1. Research

Technology gives social workers access to information previously unavailable to them. It also allows them to stay up-to-date on various trends and subjects that previously took months to appear in academic journals.

Thanks to technological advances, social workers in the most remote parts of the country can access webinars and online education courses that allow them to both improve themselves and to gain valuable insights into the people they assist.

2. Data Management

Client management software is an integral part of the social worker's life. Rather than being buried beneath a pile of towering documents and scattered pages, client management software allows the social worker to take the raw data they are dealing with and put it into a manageable form. At the same time, the data can be placed into various spreadsheets that show trends and past histories that can be invaluable when the social worker is attempting to make a decision on the assistance a client needs. Reminders can be set up to help a social worker keep track of their clients and to ensure they remain in constant communication.

3. Employment Opportunities

For a vast number of social workers, finding the right job often begins online.

Thanks to the various employment sites such as CareerBuilder and Indeed and Monster, social workers can discover job listings they might never have uncovered. For many social workers, it's vital to locate the right employment opportunity in order to maintain both personal job satisfaction and still maintain gainful employment.

4. Communication

One of the most common uses for technology in the social worker is found in communications. Today's technology allows social workers and client to engage in meaningful discussions and problem-solving dialogues at any time and from any distance. At the same time, communication between social workers on opposite ends of the country takes place practically instantly and valuable information and observations can be used to enhance the social worker-client experience.

5. Multiculturalism

One of the greatest aspects of social work is being able for the social worker to connect with a client. At times, clients appear outside the scope of the social worker's realm of experience. This can lead to cultural misunderstandings and a breakdown in communication between worker and client. Using modern technology, the social worker has the chance to learn different aspects about a client's environment, making them more apt to be able to connect and relate to problems the client might be having.

It is becoming a smaller world each day, thanks to modern technology. By learning and implementing the various uses for technology in social work, clients gain advocates they trust and connect with, enhancing the lives of both social workers and themselves.