Social work, technologies, Covid 19

Taylor-Beswick, Amanda ORCID logo ORCID: (2021) Social work, technologies, Covid 19. In: Turner, Denise, (ed.) Social work and Covid-19: lessons for education and practice. Critical Publishing, St. Albans, UK. Item availability may be restricted.

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This short chapter employs a pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post pandemic frame to contextualise an aspect of social work’s response to COVID19, a digitised response to the global crisis that continues to alter educational methods and approaches to practice in the field. It was the measures put in place to control the spread of the virus that forced social work to seek digital alternatives to face-to-face, in-person or proximal practices. In common with most human service professions, this pivot online has not been without tension; gaps in digital knowledge and infrastructure, and the absence of digital leadership and funding are amongst the many difficulties the profession is experiencing. Literature working at the social work and technologies intersection offers insights into the significance of this current shift in practices and methods (see for example: LaMendola, 1985; Toole, 1987; Rafferty, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2014; Sapey, 1997; Peckover et al., 2008; Rafferty and Waldman, 2006; Rafferty and Steyaert, 2009; Baker et al., 2014; Ballantyne, 2015; Robbins et al. 2016; Turner, 2016; Taylor, 2017; Taylor-Beswick, 2019; Goldkind et al., 2020). Of particular relevance is the troublesome nature of technology acceptance and adoption, described as being hindered by the mismanagement of information and communication technologies (ICT’s) in the field (Peckover et al., 2008; Rafferty, 2014). Associated with this is a distinct lack of attention to ICT’s and digitalisation within prepandemic social work education, which has ultimately created a lag in the progression of digital capabilities and digital development across the profession (McAuliffe and Nipperess, 2017; Zgoda and Shane, 2018; Taylor-Beswick, 2019). Whilst there had been an obvious and pressing need for the profession to advance its digital practices, the current global crisis has further highlighted the consequences of the lack of digital advancement in social work. The urgency to respond to the pandemic has offered little opportunity for digital development, criticality or analysis. Technology adoption has therefore involved a wide range of commercial platforms, with notions of free and functional convenience often usurping privacy and ethics (Goldkind et al., 2020). An acknowledgement of all of this in no way diminishes the extraordinary efforts within education and practice to address the significant challenges that COVID has presented.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Critical Publishing
ISBN: 9781913453619
Departments: Professional Services > Vice Chancellor's Office
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 20 May 2024 19:55
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 20:00
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