#1: Learning Goals and Course Rationale

#1: Learning Goals and Course Rationale


by Sean Erreger


Learning Goals

    1. Students will state 3 ways technology is impacting ethics in social work practice.


    1. Students will state the new Ethical and Technology Standards related to building a professional social media presence.


    1. Students will name 4 ethical considerations prior to launching a social media presence.


    1. Students will name 3 benefits and 3 risks of a social media presence for social workers.


  1. Name 5 ways having a social media policy can reduce the risk of ethical violations and/or increase fidelity to ethical practice.


Course Rationale
Using the new NASW Technology Standards of Practice, NASW ethical standards, social work journal articles, and social media best practices from other professions; this course will provide a framework on how social work can be better prepared for the ethical challenges facing social workers utilizing social media. You will see how a social media policy is necessary for social workers developing a social media presence and it can reduce ethical challenges.

One has to weigh the benefits with the potential ethical risks. This training is intended to help you maximize the benefits of social media without placing yourself in ethical risk.

For the purposes of this course social media will be defined, at minimum, as a website and a blog being attached. If you are to venture into this space, thinking carefully about best practices and developing a social media policy is key. You can apply this to expanding your presence to any social media network including but not limited too; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and SnapChat.

A Growing Need

Technology is creating growing ethical challenges for the field of social work. It is incumbent on us to be aware of the ways technology is exposing ourselves and our clients to risks. Conversely, technology is creating opportunities for social workers. We are able to accelerate communication, aggregate data, and find new ways to meet clients where they are. Community organizers are able to use websites, email, software, and social networks that bring people together. Technology is making the world smaller for our practice both on the micro and macro level. As a byproduct social work is presented with opportunities to implement technology to better service our clients, families, and communities.

Trade Organizations Providing Guidance
To reflect the growing needs of our profession, The National Association of Social Workers has updated both the “Standards of Technology for Social Work Practice” and the “Code of Ethics” to include aspects of technology. The way social work does business is changing. Technology is become ubiquitous to social work practice and it is impacting everything from billing to client engagement. On the macro level technology is making us rethink how we view communities. The National Association of Social Workers and other trade leaders such as The Council on Social Work Education and the Association for Social Work Boards have recognized the need to give guidance around new technology. This training focus on guidance given on social media and it’s practical implications.

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