The growing nature and complexity of technology integration

Being a social worker in the 21st century involves adaptation to the growing nature and complexity of technology integration. In this activity, you will review resources that provide information about the benefits, drawbacks, and complexities of using technology in social work practice. Then you will apply a critical perspective to your current and potential future use of technology in your role as a social worker. You are encouraged to be particularly mindful of the application of ethics to choices about technology use.

Resources
File: How to Engage in Substantive Discussion Post.pdf
Website: National Association of Social Workers
Article: Practice Innovation through Technology in the Digital Age: A Grand Challenge for Social Work
Article: Boundaries of the Social Work Relationship Revisited: Towards a Connected, Inclusive, and Dynamic Conceptualization

Background Information
Social workers often feel concerned about the growing use of technology, expressing specific worries about technology taking away from the value of face-to-face interactions. Simultaneously, technology opens many doors to resources and connections for practitioners, agencies, and clients, if used effectively. For example, the modern world in which family members are often geographically distant creates particular barriers for the aging population; the supported use of video chatting and email exchange has allowed family members to stay connected and support their loved ones when living farther apart physically.

The integration of technology into practice does call attention to the need for further clarity around professional ethics. As an example, social workers increasingly experience clients wanting to connect on social media, which may threaten professional boundaries. In response to the prevalence of these complexities, the National Association of Social Workers has developed specific standards related to technology. There is also a benefit to consulting with peers and practicing social workers about the use of technology in their practice and continuing to develop appropriate professional boundaries and protocol.

Instructions
Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
Read the How to Engage in Substantive Discussion Post.pdf document and apply the guidelines to your weekly discussion posts.
At the NASW website, review the “NASW Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice.”
Under the Resources tab, select “NASW Standards.”
Select the term “NASW Standards” on the page.
Scroll down to find the “NASW Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice” link and select it. Discuss what would need to be done to ensure the practice would implemented ethically.
Read the following articles:
“Practice Innovation through Technology in the Digital Age: A Grand Challenge for Social Work”
“Boundaries of the Social Work Relationship Revisited: Towards a Connected, Inclusive, and Dynamic Conceptualization”
Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following prompts:
Apply what you learned from the readings to demonstrate how you could use technology to enhance engagement in practice with individuals, families, groups, or communities. Give at least two specific examples of client populations that can be better served through the use of technology, as well as which tools you propose.
Identify at least two ethical concerns you have about utilizing technology in your social work practice, and provide suggestions to address these concerns. Incorporate and reference the NASW Code of Ethics, course resources, or other professional sources to support your ideas.
Identify and describe at least one novel technological method you would like to implement at your current practicum setting with individuals, families, groups, or communities, noting how it could enhance engagement.

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