its not often that I get asked to review websites, mainly though I am asked to review pathway plans, care plans or assessment of needs or Core Assessments. So I write this with a little bit of excitement, and nervousness not only with the worry of the wonderful person that asked me to do this but also of all the people that may have their own view and decide to differ from my own.
So I here I go…………….
socialworkhelper.com describes it’s self as..
“a free social networking community created exclusively for social work, social care, and human service professionals and students”
Created by Deona Hooper, MSW a Social Worker who has gone on to get a second degree in Information Technology. Deona explains that she created this website ” as a place where students and professionals could connect and get immediate feedback to a question or concern, without the usual delays you may have on twitter or bloggersphere”.
It is also very exciting as the website is still in its infancy but already had a varied selection of professionals and students as it members. And I am now one of them, I have to be honest I am now a geek that does almost everything from my generic mobile phone (iPhone) and was disappointed that I could not access the content from my phone. The thought of sitting in front of the computer when I get home is not something I enjoy. So prefer the casual use my phone allows me, but don’t let this put you off.
However, Deona has been kind enough to upgrade the site to allow for ease of access for the professional on the go who can not get to their desktop. This has enhanced the user experience of this site socialworkhelper.com Thank you Deona
The registration process is quick and easy and soon you have full access to the community. I have kept my Twitter name @SimplySW for the site. And I had considered whether I should shed the mask and step out as my true identity, but aired on the side of caution not wanting to risk the young people I work with or the organisation being identified.
What Deona has created is very interesting and complex, I doubt that I would have the skills to do the same. The site has the ability to allow you to connect to your favourite social networking sites whilst communicating with other professionals and students safely. Moreover, If you are someone who has thought about blogging but has not wanted to do so openly their is a chance to do so on the socialworkhelper community site.
What I do like about this site is the potential that it has, an acknowledgement that social work is no longer a profession relying upon a note book and pen. A profession that has suddenly become technologically aware, and as daft as this may seem I still hear some social workers ask how to switch the computer on!
Social work is a fast piece of intervention that should take place before the crisis has occurred, and the need for this intervention takes place on many different levels. The first is the political level ensuring that the government in each respective country continues to have the social needs of the country at the heart of their policies. Which is where socialworkhelper.com and twitter can have a voice for the College of Social Work or BASW or the International equivalent to allow Social Workers to share their thoughts and allow these thoughts to be snow balled into action through free speech.
At the next level social networking allows the work of social work to be shared with others, the pressures, strains and challenges the dilemmas and risks that are taken to allow families to stay together whilst battling their own demons.
However, what I would like to see is what these guys at Social Work/Social Care and Media have done, their ability to stir up enthusiasm and discussion has been exciting and fast paced. From the student to academics to the professional. The discussions have been relevant and important and allow free involvement from anyone who has a view, and is able to share it in 140 characters or less.
Combine this with what Deona has created on Socialworkhelper.com and there maybe something beautiful created for the future of social work in the social media. Of course there is always going to be competition and an already established forum is the Community Care space. However, what this lacks is the ability to join in with Twitter and Facebook and allow for instant messaging with a group of people in discussion.
I guess the message is take a look for yourself, and if you would like a venue where you want to talk about social work or social care. Then this is definitely the place you will want to check out. Maybe we will have a chat there about social work!