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.