Weekly Social Work Links 30

As the days become more distinctly autumnal, I’m sharing some interesting links I’ve come across over the last week. As always feel free to share any other links you find that are related or interesting in the comments section.

I’m always wanting to find new blogs that are related to social work internationally so if you find one I haven’t noticed again, please leave a link!

Firstly, another plug for This Week in Mentalists – a now-traditional weekly round up of mental health related posts from which I stole my inspiration for these round up posts. Essential weekly reading for me and for all those who have an interest in mental health.

Indeed, it was through This Week in Mentalists that I came across the wonderful new blog ‘Veruca Salt’ who works in a CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service) Team and in which she discusses anger management. Rang a lot of bells with me. I really look forward to following her blog which she suggests in her byline, will share ‘views on children and adolescent mental health’.

Keep writing, Veruca, I think this one will be a corker!

I also came across this post on Blogher which is written by someone who worked as a social worker. The title says it all really ‘The Problem with handing out the Happy Pills’. She raises some excellent and thoughtful points about medication.

Social Work Soldier – another new blog I’ve recently found, shares her thoughts on her first weeks in a new job.

While Social Worker Mom looks for a new job.

And as the author of From Media to Social Work gets ready to embark on her course, she shares her thoughts of the shadowing experiences she has had over the summer.

The Masked AMHP shares part one of his ‘genesis’ story or how he got into social work. It’s a fantastic post!

On a related subject the Social Work Career Development shares some motivational quotes and asks for more examples from readers.

Social Worker in the South meanwhile shares a moving story which indicates the importance of this line of work.

and Going Mental explains that sometimes ‘the system’ works.

On Eyes Open Wider, meanwhile, some reflection and thoughts on what the innate sadness in some of the work that is done.

The Modern Social Worker shares a post about Eugenics, Race and a woman’s right to choose. Perhaps particularly timely as the abortion debate ranks up here in the UK.

SocialJerk has some fine posts as always including this one about the paranoias that exist about adults working with children and some of the absurdities that have arisen around these paranoias.

Community Care’s Social Work Blog has a post about a ‘game’ developed by the University of Kent to assist in training around child protection practice through the use of scenarios (I haven’t actually tried the game but would be interested to hear from anyone who has)

Nechakogal’s blog shares some relevant (and freely accessible) research on different subjects,  which is worth checking out. I’m a great fan of open access for research and papers.

How Not to Do Social Work shares his variation on ‘What I did in my Summer Holidays’ post with typical thoughtfulness.

One a completely different note, A Social Worker’s View draws our attention to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

And The New Social Worker Online Blog considers the impact on endometriosis.

The Social Work Tech Blog has a fantastically detailed ‘how to’ post about using technology to ‘observe’ sessions and to learn from them.

Finally congratulations to Gamer Therapists who has published a book on Video Games and Psychotherapy.

Weekly Social Work Links 29

After my absence last week, I’m back with some of the links I’ve come across that I’ve found useful over the last week (or two because I’m covering some of the posts I missed during my weekend away!) which relate in some way to social work – some more than others!

Enjoy and as usual, please feel free to add your own links in the comments section.

A Deck of Many Things has a great piece about multiculturalism.

Chris Mills highlights the rise in care applications in England and Wales.

The Masked AMHP has a fantastic post about what happens in CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) assessment. Highly recommended (as always with his posts!)

In a very specific post, Jamie Middleton explains about contingency plans for a ‘flu epidemic in compulsory mental health services in England and Wales. 

How not to do Social Work writes about ‘Good Enough’ parenting.

Social Worker Mom worries about becoming a ‘Mean Girl’ (can’t imagine that myself!)

And SocialJerk writes about ‘ghettos’.

Classroom to Capitol has a post about being unreasonable

Diary of a Social Worker has a post about eligibility criteria for his service and those who don’t meet it.

On another tack, Mike at Gamer Therapist explains why he says no to some referrals.

Social Work Career Development has a post about Gestalt Therapy and Dream Analysis (and being particularly unknowledgeable about both, it was certainly educational for me!).

Aunt Bertha writes about the importance of gathering data. A quick example of the importance of evidence bases to service commission and provision!

I know there are some fantastic posts that I’ve missed out but hopefully I’ll be able to pick up more next week.

To all in England and Wales, enjoy the holiday weekend Smile

Weekly Social Work Links 28

I’ve not been able to put together a ‘proper’ piece for this week but wanted to share just a few links I’ve come across.

Apart, of course, from my interview on the Jessica Kingsley blog with the author of ‘Social Work Under Pressure’  there has been a post from How not to do Social Work about the riots around England.

The Masked AMHP has a fine post ‘Does Mental Illness preclude a career in the Caring Professions?’.  Interesting how many people in the so-called ‘caring’ professions find it so easy to jump to conclusions.

Chris Mills explores a critical incident in Hull.

Jamie Middleton raises the possibility of ‘Undercover Social Work’.

Adventures of a (not so) Cheap Social Worker looks at issues and concerns about avoiding aggression and violence at work and shares ideas about minimising risks.

And Spinning Plates updates us on her first six months as a social worker.

Social Work Career Development has new learning experiences on her road towards finding employment.

Social Worker Mom has been dealing with stress.

Doris, at Hold my Hand has a sweet story about her work in a nursing home.

Awake and Dreaming discusses disclosure.

And SocialJerk explains the educational value of MTV for a social worker.

I’m sure I’ve missed out a whole swathe of fantastic posts and blogs so as always please do feel free to add suggestions and links in the comments.

Have a good weekend and a better week!

Weekly Social Work Links 27

A slightly truncated version this week because the last week has been a little distracting and we have a foster child who is likely to appear at any moment!

So please add any other links or sites you’ve seen that have been useful in the comments section.

I’ll start with a post by Malcolm Payne which highlights a short article in the Economist about waste in the US health care system. Really sobering though as our government tries to privatise our own health service. Scary stuff.

I can definitely relate to some of the thoughts expressed at SocialJerk about cities, poverty and working through the summer and the little things, like monkeys, that can bring pleasure.

On Awake and Dreaming the author shares ten things she has learnt. It’s a good exercise.

Therapydoc at Everyone Needs Therapy shares some thoughts about confidentiality.

Doris, at ‘Hold my Hand’ remembers a colleague at the Nursing home where she works.

And A Case Manager’s Verse reflects on what it might be like to have a ‘secret shopping’ experience with users of the services we provide – and as someone who experiences the ‘client’ side of social work in my role as a foster carer – I’d say it definitely adds a very interesting perspective..

I have to admit to being faintly baffled by the ‘debt ceiling’ issues in the US despite my.. er.. A level economics but I did find this post by (Not So) Cheap Social Worker on ‘How the Debt Ceiling affects MSW (and other Graduate Students) to be interesting to give me some more insight into some of the issues.

At Do No Harm, Fareez writes about many changes that are happening in his life and with his work.

Dorlee has another interview up on her blog about Social Work V Psychology and an interview with a practitioner who is trained in both.

Finally, a mention for Community Care’s podcast which helps keep me up to date with social work/social care related news on a weekly basis. This week, they cover the strikes by social workers in Southampton.

Great work from them and good luck to all those in Southampton.

Definitely a great supporter.

As for me, my posts my be a little more sporadic while we have a child in placement but I’m not going anywhere.. in fact, I’m sure I’ll find many many more things to say about the dichotomy between practitioner and ‘client’.

Rankings and Musings

Quick post today as I have a few things on the go.

So, Wikio sent me their top 20 UK Health Blogs and again, I’ve made the list. Thanks to everyone for your support and do check out the other sites there – there are some real gems and it’s a pleasure to be among such fine company.


1 PsyBlog – Psychology Blog
2 Sarah Boseley’s global health blog
3 A boy with Asperger’s
4 Dr Grumble
5 Maternity Matters
6 Bad Medicine
7 Where Are My Knees?
8 Confessions of a Serial Insomniac
9 Fighting Monsters
10 Purple Noise
11 frontierpsychiatrist.co.uk
12 National Death Service
13 The Voyage
14 Aspergers, family life and me
15 Bah! to cancer
16 PlanetOutreach-ASD
17 the DeafBlog
18 Carers blog
19 Lake Cocytus
20 DPAC

Ranking made by Wikio

I also was interested in this post from Community Care about crafting in care homes.  I wish there were more personalised activities (or any activities beyond the ‘singalong’ and ‘bingo’ ). It does raise important issues about the sense of self and differing interests and pursuits that one has when one might need residential care and why we make assumptions that what is enjoyable for one person would be enjoyable for the next, just because they are the same age.

With the move towards self-directed support in care provided at home, I wonder when residential services will also pick up.

On a related issue, I caught this link yesterday on Twitter about a care home which has installed touch-screen computers. For me, it’s an obvious step to take but its’ a shame it had to be provided by a grant and not by the provider service themselves – seeing how much they charge for placements!

I wonder how much these private companies are subsidised by these types of grants…

Still, it is good to see some different ideas about ‘activities’ in care homes and a challenge to the assumption that older people just want to sit around and sing ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’.

Weekly Social Work Links 26

After my somewhat truncated break, I’m back (not that I ever went away but that’s another story for another day!).

Nectarine at Going Mental has to deal with too many consent forms. It’s an interesting take on the invasive nature of forms.

The Modern Social Worker has a piece religion and spirituality and their place in understanding cultural competence.

SocialJerk looks at dealing with the present rather than trying to fix the past. For me, that’s one of the keys of my work and the difference in the way I work and the way a psychologist might work with someone. I deal with the ‘now what?’.

Social Worker Mom is weighing up the pros and cons of her job – I really know that feeling – I do it quite frequently regarding career planning and looking at where I am versus where I want to be so can empathise wholeheartedly.

The Diary of a (Not So) Cheap Social Worker weighs up the pros and cons of moving out of her parents and finding an apartment of her own.

Here’s a great post that is from the week before last but it has some really useful links – as always from the Social Work Tech Blog – this post is about digital resources on the web.

And ever at the cutting edge,   Gamer Therapist looks at some specific uses for Google+.  I have to admit, I’m still finding my feet with Google+ – I am not wholly convinced by it yet but as always see potential and reserve a ‘wait and see’ policy – definitely worth reading the post if you want to find out more about it and a context in which it might be better used.

As a case in point, Dorlee publishes a post about evidence-based practice with information sourced from Google+.

And the Masked AMHP has posted a two part story – Part One here and Part Two here – subtitled Lenny : A Life and Death in the Mental Health System – as always with his posts, it is both poignant and valuable.  Very highly recommended and beautifully written.

How Not to Do Social Work looks at the new Advanced Social Work Professional role and whether it will do what is promised namely, keeping good practitioners on the front line.

A Case Manager’s Verse shares a story about the importance (and usefulness) of boundaries.

Peter at Child Protection Lessons draws on a report about links between mental health issues and child protection.

New BSW has been struggling with the heat – and finding it difficult to work. As for air conditioning, I’m glad it isn’t mandatory here! Sometimes I quite like Britain’s temperate climate..

The New Social Worker Blog also has talk of the heat in New York as well as the changes in state legislation which now recognises same sex marriage.

Congratulations to Doris at Hold My Hand who has just had her book – How Sweet Nursing Home –  about stories from working an a nursing home, published. It’s available via Amazon.com  but doesn’t seem to be available direct in the UK – still, quite an impressive achievement!

The last link and in the spirit of This Week in Mentalists ‘wild card’ is a non-social work post but a post from an ClaireOT about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). I know some OTs are much more involved in this than social workers (judging from my ‘social media’ presence!) but I think it is a fantastic way to share resources and build information.

I am all for creating different kinds of social work/social care MOOCs. Maybe that’s another project for another day but do go and read Claire’s post if you have any interest in the possibilities of technology to create and grow learning collectively.

Weekly Social Work Links 25

A day late this week (although my original intention which might not have been very clearly stated) was always that it would be a ‘weekend’ project rather than a specifically Saturday project! This was a fairly emotionally trying week for me at work with the shadow of an unexpected news which shook me a fair bit. I couldn’t really face doing a round-up post yesterday but here’s my attempt for today. Apologies to all those wonderful posts that I miss out – please feel free to add them in the comments.

DorleeM has a useful and interesting post/interview which, in its course, define ‘racial microaggressions’.  I think it reflects a lot of issues around self-definitions, respect and empowerment.  It’s interesting to see the different uses of language as well – which is an aspect I’m particularly curious about with the use, in the United States of the term ‘Persons of Color’ (spelling intentional) where we would, in the UK refer to Minority Ethic groups. I have a difficulty with definitions related purely to ‘ethnicity’ as it seems to imply there is an intrinsic difference but am equality uncomfortable with ‘color’ being a sole redefining factor as an extrinsic difference.  Maybe that’s a thought for a post in itself but I think back to the ways that language defines our thought processes.

This post is actually from last week but I am including it because it’s a new blog I found from a Social Work Student (about to qualify) from Australia who is writing about some of the challenges of finding a job – it certainly seems that some issues are international in scope.

And another new blog to ‘turn up’ is Inspired Social Work written by a Hospital Social Worker in Canada – she writes over two posts, some hints for if you ever find yourself in hospital – part one is here – and part two is here. Again, very transferable guidance!

If there’s one post that really riled me this week, it was this one. I don’t want to go into deep explanations as to why as I hope it is obvious but I think it is a poor indication of the expectations of students in the UK if they downplay theories and want to be solely taught how to process and complete tasks. As I said on Twitter, the training is a degree not an apprenticeship. Tasks can and should be taught by employers and we have too little genericism as it is.  It also makes me think about the purpose of university degrees. Are they to educate or to roll out ‘ready to employ’ graduates? There is an element of giving the rod rather than the fish here and we all have to take responsibility for our own learning but the theories give the profession important boundaries and guidelines – otherwise we just complete task after task without a wider context and that becomes dangerous.

How not to do Social Work expounds on the difficulties of keeping work fresh and the importance of training, reflection and resources.

S.Wangene  on ‘A Social Workers View’ writes about the moves to revise the international definition of Social Work.

Social Worker Mom identifies a problem and issue I’ve seen so many times but it never gets easier – Exercising the Right to Make a Bad Decision  . Although she has put it in the context of service users, I find myself doing it as well from time to time..

Meanwhile in Studentland – From Media to Social Work takes another step on the road towards her career change with her resignation from her job and  at a Deck of Many Things, thought turns towards Dissertation subjects – along with a useful analysis – coming from someone who is trained and worked as a scientist – on the differences between ‘research’ in science and social science.

Malcolm Payne poses an interesting question ‘Why do we expect the truth from case records?’  As I’ve had to do a lot of case recording analysis this week, it certainly rang some bells with me about assumptions and again, the language we sometimes use. Interesting.

Adventures of a (not so) cheap Social Worker comments on news that Charlie Sheen is going to be playing a Social Worker in a new TV show.

And Social Jerk in a timely fashion, spreads a bit of social work magic into Harry Potter’s obviously too prosaic world.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.