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Social Media: social workers’ views on its applications, benefits and drawbacks for professional practice

Grammenos, Sofia and Warner, Nell ORCID: 2022. Social Media: social workers’ views on its applications, benefits and drawbacks for professional practice. Practice: Social Work in Action 34 (2) , pp. 117-132. 10.1080/09503153.2021.1972092

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Awareness about current use of social media in social work and its benefits and drawbacks is lacking. An online questionnaire collected data from a sample of 569 participants within social work across different local authorities. Nearly a third (30%) of participants said that they had used social media to ‘look up’ families they support, while less than half (47%) felt adequately trained in using social media in practice. Participants felt social media helped practice by facilitating communication both with professionals and with service users, but hindered practice by disseminating a negative portrayal of social workers, and by enabling users to identify them online, making them vulnerable. Opinions varied on whether it was acceptable to ‘look up’ families. Results highlighted a digital difference in social work with both age and professional role being influential in the way social media is used. Findings indicated a need for clearer guidance to enable a standardised code of practice, awareness of this guidance needs to be raised and the guidance regularly updated.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Publisher: British Association of Social Workers
ISSN: 0950-3153
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 19 August 2021
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 14:59

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