No new Mail!

One useful tool Social Workers have, is knowledge and information. Being able to access information to aid assessments quickly helps to develop and maintain relationships. Whilst also making these assessment more accurate and essential to the families it involves.  

The note book and pen is a useful tool, it allows thoughts to be noted and reflected upon.  Its a tool that can be given to a child to help them express what they want to say.  It does have its weakness that in our changing world of social work that with office space shrinking and storage space non existing.  Keeping notes and finding them again is becoming difficult, with pressure mounting for them to be added to our computer systems, quickly.

I had been quite lucky with a 3G laptop and being able to access our systems where ever I might be.  It enabled me to be able to retain knowledge that with everything else would have been to to much to manage.  It meant that instead of delay I was able to get information and send information without having to go back into the office first.  It not only helped me but the agencies that I was working with, and promoted working relationships.  

This may not sound like modern technology, but for me and my practise this was a useful tool in getting information quicker.  It enabled me to be a more mobile working social worker and saved me time especially if I had to go out of county for a visit or if I had to sit in court all day waiting for an hours direction hearing.  As we waited for this to be trialled within the service, the spirit of the trial was lost.  Instead mobile working became flexible working from home and now the contract has finished so has my mobile working.

Being able to access your e-mails and respond to them is an important part of a social workers job.  But being able to access the child’s electronic file is also important, and would help practitioners to double check information and make decisions and risk assessments faster.  

Computer programmes has been previously developed to enable young people to share their views for Looked After Children’s Reviews.  An idea that recently seems to have disappeared where I am.  However, with smartphones and apps there is a chance for further development in this area of engagement.  Not just with Social Work, buts Schools and maybe CAMHS to.

I have had no information as to why this was stopped or whether any thought had been given to this.  Instead I found one e-mail saying we maybe be allocated Blackberries! this may mean I am losing my hot desk or it may mean I have to learn a new password.  I also hope that Social Work loses its fear of technology and learns how to communicate through this medium to safeguard the vulnerable people we work with.

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