Social Media and Social Work Practice Ethics and

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Social Media and Social Work Practice: Ethics and practice issues Digitalisation, Media and Social

Social Media and Social Work Practice: Ethics and practice issues Digitalisation, Media and Social Media in Social Work Making Research Count University of Central Lancashire 22 nd January 2016 Dr Joanne Westwood Head of Social Work: School of Applied Social Science University of Stirling

Ethics in social work • Professional boundaries and relationships • Personal information and who

Ethics in social work • Professional boundaries and relationships • Personal information and who has access • Confidentiality/privacy for service users • Information sharing with other agencies • Conduct • Integrity • Honesty

What is social media ? “web-based tools and technologies that support online communication and

What is social media ? “web-based tools and technologies that support online communication and information sharing” (BASW 2012 p. ) “web-based services that allow individuals to o construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, o articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and o view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. ” (Boyd and Ellison 2007, p. 209)

How are professional bodies responding? “Social workers should ensure they maintain appropriate professional and

How are professional bodies responding? “Social workers should ensure they maintain appropriate professional and personal boundaries and take responsibility for recognising ethical dilemmas presented by the use of different types of social media” (BASW 2012. p. 4) “Social Networking Sites are a part of registrants and students everyday life. We do not have any concerns about you using these sites, so long as you do so within the standards that we set”. HCPC (2012) The fastest growing subject of conduct referrals to the SSSC is online behaviour (SSSC 2012)

What ethical issues are there for using social media in social work practice? •

What ethical issues are there for using social media in social work practice? • Individual: practical and resource concerns about workload, always being connected, information overload, boundaries, privacy, speed of exchanges and changes in social media platforms, (Bucher et al 2012) online/offline identity • Organisational: managing the changes in how we communicate and interact with service users, confidentiality, data protection • Cultural: Resistance, mistrust and reputation management are obstacles which affect development and growth of social media in LA’s (BDO 2013)

Ethical Issues 2 • Ethical : Professional value base, ethical dilemmas and ethical social

Ethical Issues 2 • Ethical : Professional value base, ethical dilemmas and ethical social work practice • Social Media has vastly increased personal information online: service users can find out about practitioners and vice versa. • Harbeck Voshal and Wesala (2012) – “ we need to expand the way we think about social work ethics to include online social media” (p. 67) – No global standards to guide us – Be proactive rather than reactive and mindful of the ethical and professional responsibilities (p. 68)

Ethical issues 3 • Students we are training have grown up with these “new”

Ethical issues 3 • Students we are training have grown up with these “new” technologies • Students discussing cases with other students on social networking sites • Practitioners making very public statements about service users • Social work bloggers: are they perceived as representing the profession? • Practice educators play a key role in informing student SWs about agency/organisation policies regarding social media in practice

How is the social work profession responding? The Guardian http: //www. theguardian. com/social-carenetwork/2013/jul/23/social-workers-social-media-challenge-perception “presenting

How is the social work profession responding? The Guardian http: //www. theguardian. com/social-carenetwork/2013/jul/23/social-workers-social-media-challenge-perception “presenting an honest picture of what we do is essential for restoring confidence in our profession” Singh Cooner (2012) Social Work Social Media App https: //sites. google. com/site/socialworksocialmedia/ “resolving life like ethical dilemmas”

Social media users: • What type of users are students? Practitioners? Academics? – Are

Social media users: • What type of users are students? Practitioners? Academics? – Are you a digital resident or visitor? (White and Le Cornu 2011) – Do you embrace and employ? – Or do you resist and reject? – A necessary evil? More work? Opportunities for innovative practice?

Student SWs and social media Students are sophisticated users of social media for their

Student SWs and social media Students are sophisticated users of social media for their learning and development and are able to bring their knowledge and skills into practice (Westwood, Taylor and Mckendrick 2014). Project at the University of Stirling: (POSM) Professionalism on Social Media: students develop and evaluate their online professional profile, work through an online module which covers issues about the content, privacy, global and permanent nature of their online profiles (Westwood, Mc. Call, Matthews and Needham on-going)

Social media in social work education: issues for social work training • Identity with

Social media in social work education: issues for social work training • Identity with purpose: on-going monitoring, cultivation and evaluation • Behaviours discouraged offline should be discouraged online • What is the appropriate use of social media during business hours for personal use? • Implications of social media profile content for the professional role • Are social workers ever “off duty”? • Is it acceptable to “Google” service users? • Who do we accept as friends on social media platforms? • What happens if we ignore friend requests from service users? • What organisational policies are in place to address these issues and what policies do we need to develop? • If information is online and public is it “private”? (Harbeck Voshel and Wesala 2012)

Opportunities for using social media in social work: professional practice • Updates for service

Opportunities for using social media in social work: professional practice • Updates for service users about services/changes (change of venue, delays, new services etc…) • Virtual meetings with colleagues and multi agency forums; e. g. using Adobe Connect which audio records the meeting for later playback • Generating new ideas: discussions leading to changes or developments in practice • Enabling dialogue with social work practitioners, academics and service users!! • Awareness raising about your service • Helpful information for service users and stakeholders • Recruiting social workers

Opportunities for using social media in social work: professional development • CPD: engagement with

Opportunities for using social media in social work: professional development • CPD: engagement with research and accessing information • Online professional profile: All about you/your organisation • Instant and speedy access to the latest resources about policy and practice issues • Support networks for social work practitioners/communities of practice • Selecting knowledge • Managing time and making study time • Accessing Apps designed to augment knowledge and understanding: https: //itunes. apple. com/gb/app/understandingchild-development/id 721681546? mt=8 (child development, substance misuse and others under development)

Opportunities for engaging with service users about services they receive. • Health: Patient Opinion:

Opportunities for engaging with service users about services they receive. • Health: Patient Opinion: feedback which is shared by patients about their health care experience using a web based system • Private/closed groups for training or development activities (Aberdeen FB for Foster Care recruitment and training) • Lothian looked after children service use FB to maintain connections with care leavers

The service user feedback App 1 • Social Work: the Service User Feedback App

The service user feedback App 1 • Social Work: the Service User Feedback App – Designed to respond to the need for service user evaluation of social work intervention (Westwood, Dill, Campbell, Shaw and The Learning Pool ongoing) – Blueprint came from a design by a SW practitioner for inspection regimes requiring a systematic approach – Paper based evaluation systems unreliable and archiving issues – Uses SMART technology to gather feedback at the end of a meeting or visit – Service user contribution to the development of the survey – Quantitative data stored centrally about the service – A tool for social work agencies/organisations to improve and develop services – Improve service user experience

The service user feedback App 2 • Ethical considerations at each stage of the

The service user feedback App 2 • Ethical considerations at each stage of the planning and development process – What happens to the data? (service users and social workers) – Will negative feedback impact on the individual social worker? – Who accesses the evaluation data? – Is the survey anonymous – Will completing the survey affect services I receive? – What will “management” do with the data? – Will the social worker know what I have said about them?

Summary • Social media /digital technology is here to stay (Mishna et al 2014)

Summary • Social media /digital technology is here to stay (Mishna et al 2014) • Moving forward we can expect an increase in the integration of these technologies in social work and health care services • Proactive approach to identify the ethical issues this poses for our work with service users and with other agencies • Shared ownership across agency (Lothian/Aberdeen) • Engaging with service user and service user led organisations when developing social media policies • Being informed • Start small and with caution • Questions? ? • Thank you for listening

Contact details: joanne. westwood@stir. ac. uk (E mail) @jlwestwood (Twitter) joannel. westwood (Skype) 01786

Contact details: joanne. [email protected] ac. uk (E mail) @jlwestwood (Twitter) joannel. westwood (Skype) 01786 466335 (‘phone) Research: – https: //www. researchgate. net/profile/Joanne_Westwood

References 1 BASW (2012) Social Media Policy. http: //cdn. basw. co. uk/upload/basw_34634 -1. pdf

References 1 BASW (2012) Social Media Policy. http: //cdn. basw. co. uk/upload/basw_34634 -1. pdf BDO (2013) Following the Trends. http: //www. bdo. co. uk/sectors/public-sector/localgovernment/our-research/social-media-within-local-authorities/following-the-trends Boyd, D. M. , and Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210 -230. Bucher, E. , Fieseler, C. , and Suphan, A. , (2013) The stress potential of social media in the workplace. Information, Communication & Society Vol. 16, No. 10, December 2013, pp. 1639– 1667 HCPC (2012. ) Focus on standards: Social Networking Sites http: //www. hcpcuk. org/Assets/documents/100035 B 7 Social_media_guidance. pdf Harbeck - Voshel, E. , and Wesala, A. , (2012) Social Media & Social Work Ethics: Determining Best Practices in an Ambiguous Reality. Journal of Social Work values and Ethics. Vol. 12 No. 1 pp. 67 -76

References 2 Mishna, F. Bogo. M. , Root, J. , and Fantus, S. ,

References 2 Mishna, F. Bogo. M. , Root, J. , and Fantus, S. , (2014) Here to Saty: cybercommunication as a Complement in Social Work Practice. Families in Society. The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. 95 (3) pp. 179 -186 Singh Cooner (2012) Social Work Social Media App https: //sites. google. com/site/socialworksocialmedia/ SSSC (2012) What is social media http: //workforcesolutions. sssc. uk. com/new/docs/What_is_Social_Media_-_transcript. pdf White, D. A. and Le Cornu, A (2011) Visitors and Residents: A New Typology for online Engagement: First Monday 16 http: //firstmonday. org/ojs/index. php/fm/article/view/3171 Westwood, J. , Taylor, A. , and Mc. Kendrick D. , (2014) Student social workers use of social media: a cross national survey Westwood, J. , (2014) Social Media in Social Work Education. Critical Publishing. Northwich. UK