The Social Media for Child Welfare Resource Guide
The National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data & Technology created this guide to help child welfare professionals use social media to advance the mission of their organizations. It includes the following sections: The Importance of Social Media; Getting Started with Social Media; Building an Effective Social Media Strategy; Current Social Media Tools; Caseworker Response to Social Media; Examples of Social Media Use in Child Welfare; Social Media Policy, Safety, and Security; Social Media and Human Resources Policies; and, Additional Social Media Resources. (August 2012)
- New Federal Guidance from the Children’s Bureau
- Social Media, Smart Phones & Safety: How Technology is Changing Child Welfare Practice (Conference Webpage)
This webpage from the University of Minnesota Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare provides materials from the conference “Social Media, Smart Phones & Safety: How Technology is Changing Child Welfare Practice,” which took place April 21, 2011. Visitors to the webpage can access conference video, handouts, and the 2011 edition of CW360. The keynote presenter, Dr. Dale Fitch, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Missouri, addressed concerns and hesitations of the child welfare field to use technology and social media and discussed opportunities to embrace these tools to the benefit of youth and families. The conference also featured a panel of current and former foster youth who discussed their thoughts and experiences with technology and social media use as youth in out of home placement. (2011)
- CW 360 – Child Welfare and Technology: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue
This resource comes from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare during the Spring of 2011. After exploring how technology can be harnessed to enhance child welfare practice, the resource discusses how the field of child welfare currently develops, utilizes, and evaluates its interaction with technology. Articles address challenges and opportunities related to social networking, mobile technology, data sharing, virtual visiting, etc. To access past issues of CW 360 click here. (2011)
- A Decade of Technology in Child Welfare
This article from Children’s Bureau Express summarizes how technology has been used throughout the past 10 years in Child Welfare, and how it has impacted the work. (2010)
- Child Welfare Social Workers’ Attitudes Toward Mobile Technology Tools: Is There a Generation Gap?
Child welfare workers currently have to serve more families with fewer resources. Child welfare administrators across the country have begun to recognize that access to emerging information technology can boost the efficiency of overtaxes workers. This study provides background information and shares findings related to: social workers’ experience and confidence with, and attitudes about, technology tools; the use of technology in the field; and the relationship between technology and connectivity, safety, productivity, and client engagement. This resource was authored by Whitaker, T.; Torrico Meruvia, R.; and Jones, A. and published by published by the National Association of Social Workers. (2010)
- Riding the Wave of Social Media
This page from Children’s Voice describes Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services (JFS), a CWLA member agency in Ohio, is using media tools such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, BlogTalk, RSS feeds, podcasts, and blogs. (2009)
- Social Media in Adoption Recruitment
The resource from Child Welfare Information Gateway details how social media can be used to promote collaboration with adoption agencies, advocates, and organizations and connect them to important information and services, and to begin dialogues with prospective resource families. These forms of communication make it possible for anyone to create, modify, and share content using relatively simple tools that are often free or inexpensive. It also provides examples of marketing ventures through social media that have been utilized by members of the Children’s Bureau’s T&TA Network.
- Child Welfare and Information and Communication Technology: Today’s Challenge
This article from the British Journal of Social Work, by Susan Tregeagle and Michael Darcy, discusses information and communication technology (ICT) usage in child welfare practice. ICT usage in contemporary child welfare practice reflects dominant managerial interests rather than those of the profession, and, importantly, of service users. Explicit use of ICT in the interests of service users remains embryonic, and professionals have been slow to capitalize on the communication potential of new technologies. Unless this situation changes, client participation and power may decline further and managerial interests increasingly dominate. ICT has the potential to strengthen interaction between families and workers and change the conditions of initiation, distribution and use of spoken and written ‘texts’ in social work practice. This could significantly affect the ability of service users to be heard and to influence decision making. However, the opportunities and limitations of computer-mediated communication are a relatively new area of study – their application to child welfare requires considerable care. Social workers should explore the advantages that ICT offers service users and challenge the digital divide which still affects significant pockets of service users, and reflect on our own role in this. This article asks why social work has been slow to capitalize on new approaches to communication. (2008)
- Mobile Technology Innovations in Child Welfare: The Simple Cell Phone
This resource from the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology discusses how the cell phone can be a device for collecting data, offering interventions to help families, and establishing ongoing lines of communication with agency staff.
- Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Child Welfare
This PowerPoint presentation, from a National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology webinar, provides a demonstration and overview of the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in child welfare. (April 14, 2011)
- National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology
The National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (NRC-CWDT), a service of the Children’s Bureau, provides a broad range of technical assistance to State and Tribal child welfare agencies and the courts on data and system issues to improve outcomes for children and families. The NRC-CWDT is comprised of a diverse group of consultants with a range of skills and experience from State Child Welfare agencies and technical information technology firms. Technical assistance is available at no charge to States, Courts and Tribes to improve the quality of data reported to the Federal Government in the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), Statewide Automated Child Welfare Systems (SACWIS) and the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). A major focus of the TA is in the preparation and improvement plan for the Child and Family Service Reviews. Visit the NRC-CWDT website for further information and to access resources and tools.