Saturday, October 27, 2012

Resistance is Futile

Conversations inevitably come up on various online and in person chats about integrating technology into a social worker's practice. (Okay, I instigate them.) Quite frankly it is amazing the amount of clinicians, case managers, program directors, and directors in a stage of denial about this transformation of society. I hear many reasons why technology is not an issue.

"I work with immigrants."
"People with mental illness have other issues to worry about."
"I do not want to be tech support to my clients."
"My client population will not understand...isn't capable...doesn't have access...can't speak English" Fill in the blank with said excuse.

Technology manifests in many forms, evidence based practices, education, apps, connection through social media, communication (texting and e-mails), therapy tools, empowerment, employment, advocacy, ethics, policies and procedures, are just a few areas to consider.  I understand change is difficult. As an educator, I am constantly having to update my skills in technology just to keep up with the twenty somethings going to school. I feel like I am in a constant state of guilt/incompetence, acceptance, frustration with trying, then on to the inevitable understanding and integration. Maybe this is where my dedication to the mission of educating social workers not familiar with technological mayhem starts.

I admit, being an ENFP temperament type gives me an edge to seeing the bigger picture of the impact technology could have on social services. Hence the blog, giving workshops, my research and a book, supporting this passion. I will not stop educating people through this process of change to see the potential technology serves. The world is open to us as social workers. Only we can close the doors to this new and valuable resource. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seniors and LGBTQ support in...Iowa?

Congratulations, Johnson County, Iowa. This progressive county addresses the needs of LGBTQ seniors in their area holistically and uniquely. A website, created by the county, outlines a "livable community" with resources, lists of upcoming events for LGBTQ seniors and allies, and services improving the lives of this neglected population. Creating websites makes resources visible. Many LGBTQ seniors suffer from the inequalities of law (not receiving partners medicare, pensions, tax benefits, social security, etc.), family isolation, and local intolerance. There are 3 million elderly LGBTQ person's in the United States with that number set to hit 4 million by 2030 (Cahill, South, & Spade, 2000). This is a generation of baby boomers, either growing up in fear of whom they love or fighting for the rights of who they love. SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Elders) are advocates for this population during this time of transition.

Link to Resource:

Johnson County Livable Community

SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Elders)


Cahill, S., South, K., & Spade, J. (2000). Outing age: Public policy issues affecting
gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders. Washington, DC: National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Caregivers Relief in Site

Caregivers are consistently under the  stress of knowing what is going on with a loved one being cared for in the home. What if you could offer the caregivers of elderly parents a way to monitor their family from their home or work computer? A new resource, eCaring, is starting to offer this service in different parts of the country. Information on the family member's activities, health condition and mental or physical state is on a computer program.The caregiver has the options of what train the health care worker to track; diet, activity, mental state, toileting, personal care, medical appointments, all in one program.  Home health care workers or aids input the information into a computer. If a health problem occurs, an alert would sound to the caregiver's phone. This type of program may alleviate much of the stress caregivers experience.

Start Using eCaring Now!

Link to Resource:


Saturday, October 20, 2012 a theraputic tool

No more buying magazines, glue sticks, scissors, and poster board for those vision boards, now we can use Pinterest. Pinterest is a picture pinning social network. I am a fan of vision boards. Clients can physically manifest ideas and have a focal point of positive vision. Clients can have a vision board categorized by career, self care, goals, family, any area needing focus. The vision board on this site is portable. Pinterest can go with the client on their phone or tablet. The website can be used to focus on affirmations, changing thoughts in moments of depression, or a meditation during the day. This site is an easy tutorial away from offering an alternative to those clients interested in homework with a technology twist.Are there any other ways you can think of using Pinterest?

Link to Article:

In Defense of Pinterest

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Technology Access through Libraries for Homeless

Do social workers reach out to local libraries to advocate for their client populations? Now the American Library Association has made it easier by providing a guide to address lack of services to undeserved populations. This comprehensive tool kit includes technology access and education, and how to outreach services to area agencies. It is great to see other services in the community addressing the digital divide in a concerted effort towards inclusion. Forward this link onto your area librarian to support services for vulnerable populations in your area. If you think of another creative way to utilize it, post it!
Link to Resource:

Effective and Proven Tools for Library Service to Poor and Homeless People