Episode 231 - Dr. Allan Barsky: Practice Standards on Social Work and Technology: Changes, Challenges, and Ongoing Debates

Monday, January 15, 2018, 8:44:32 AM

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In this episode, our guest Dr. Allan Barsky discusses updates and enhancements that were recently made to the practice standards involving the use of technology. He describes how the standards can provide guidance when utilizing technology in micro, mezzo, and macro level interventions and in developing policies that address the benefits, challenges, and risks associated with the use of technology in practice.

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Average Rating: 5stars  different forms of technology, Thursday, February 04, 2021

By L. LaBarge :

Dr. Barsky mentions that technology is not new; he goes on to explain the use of pencil and paper. That really made me think; it is true that social workers have been using some form of technology for a long time. There has always been policy surrounding the technology we did have to protect ourselves and our clients. Now with the advanced technology it is important that we create new policy to maintain the protection for ourselves and our clients. Dr. Barsky also mentioned that video or phone technology may not work for some clients, but it may work better for others. I was reminded of the clients right of choice. Workers should review with clients their options of ways to obtain services. If there are no options Dr. Barsky suggested carefully reviewing with the client confidentiality and informed consent. I really agree with that, that way the client knows what is going to happen. I think it is important to know that different forms of communication require different policies to again protect the worker and the client. If the client is not comfortable with that it may be best to refer the client to someone who would be better able to fit their needs.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a great overview of a growing modality of social work, Thursday, February 14, 2019

By Margaret Simkins :

I very much appreciated Dr. Barsky outlining the risks and benefits of using online technologies in social work in regard to accessibility, confidentiality, safety, and security for clients and practitioners. Since this recording, the NASW has updated practice requirements of online work in the Code of Ethics, and Dr. Barsky’s analysis reflects many of the changes. I loved his suggestions of trying out tools with agency members (role-playing) before using with clients and talking to people who have used tools to see what works and what challenges them.

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Average Rating: 4stars  just because we can, doesn't mean we should, Thursday, February 07, 2019

By barbara popa :

Doctor Allan Barsky (2018) clearly expresses the many facets of using technology in social work practice including relevant examples of situations in which a social worker might find themselves. The interview expresses a strong emphasis on the need for professional boundaries when using social media, describing this as "layers of responsibility" noting the "permanence of what we put out there."
A social worker should be aware of their own competence, knowing their limits, and making referrals if needed stated by Dr. Barsky (2018) as "cultural humility."
The interview discussion covers topics like context, in terms of social media being a global technology and the intricacies involved as perception of a topic in one country could be illegal or offensive.
The takeaway is just because we can, doesn't mean we should. Having a "global voice" can be powerful and should be used ethically.

Episode 231 - Dr. Allan Barsky: Practice Standards on Social Work and Technology: Changes, Challenges, and Ongoing Debates. (2018, January 15). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from

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