5 Reasons Social Workers Need to Work with Social Media
While some social workers are afraid to get involved in social media, they don’t want to break down important boundaries between social workers and their clients. But there are professional ways to use social media to improve your knowledge, connect to your clients, and gather support from your colleagues. Here are 5 ways social media will help social workers:
1. Get Informed
Social workers can learn from reading books about social work, but the fact is, the field of social work changes as fast as people do. The best way to keep up with the changing practices is to stay plugged in to social media. You can follow Twitter feeds such as those from LSE Impact Blog to learn about the practices of other social workers in other areas of the country. If you’re working with people who have been affected by recent disasters, you can see what those affected are saying about their situations and emotions rather than depending on the ways in which various “local authorities” report those things.
2. Reach Out and Touch Someone
Social Media allows you to connect to your colleagues and to your clients. You can also connect with those who have disabilities or other limitations that prevent them from reaching out to social workers because they have a hard time getting around. If you’re listed in social media outlets, they can find you and get help when they otherwise wouldn’t get the help they need. Social media also allows you to connect with more people since it takes less time and energy than making several phone calls to check in on people.
3. Develop a Professional Identity
Social workers sometimes face the challenge of developing a professional persona. Social media provides a platform for the building of a professional. You can share useful links to credible organizations. You can show that a sometimes overlooked profession should get more attention and credibility. You can draw in the clients who best match the skills you have to offer. Many social work organizations, such as Advanced Social Work Practice Network, that connects professionals across the world.
4. Create a Discussion
One of the most positive aspects of social media is its ability to create a group discussion. When you form a discussion in social media, you are doing so with an audience. You are performing useful knowledge for clients, students, and coworkers. You also open up the ability for others who are often ignored or have a limited voice to get a platform for being heard. And representing the underserved is an ongoing interest for social workers.
5. Build and Support
Social workers and those they serve can often feel isolated and alone. Social media is a great platform for getting support and care when you need it. You can share your experiences and get feedback from fellow social workers who know what it feels like to face the emotional struggle of helping people who need a lot of emotional energy. Social media also serves as a way for social workers to keep in touch with former clients who feel supported by a simple positive comment or quick check in from someone who cares.
Social workers are ultimately centered on the same things as social networking; connecting and supporting those around them is crucial. Your life, your job and those you help could be better off if you just join up and participate.
Author bio: Blogger Robert Neff is an avid social media user. Social media has become a resource for many areas such as Social Services, where workers can communicate with each other and clients. If working with the public interests you as a career check out Case Western University and the programs they offer.