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 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.

Weekly Social Work Links 24

The spectre of sickness has cast a shadow over my household this week. Fortunately I have more or less escaped the worst ravages but it’s been an interesting week work-wise and I hope to come back to some of the themes over the next week.

As for the rest of social work blog land, there has been much going on as ever.

SocialJerk has a new director who wants to make changes.

And How Not to Do Social Work meets a local council Cabinet Member for Childrens Services who demonstrates they learnt all they know about social care from the press.

Dorlee reflects on the first month of her job search.

And From Media to Social Work reflects on her first shift in a homeless project.

On another note, The New Social Worker has a fascinating article about the use of Facebook and Social Networking by Social Workers and some of the ethical considerations.

And this was an important news week in the UK for social policy and social care with the Dilnot report being published. Malcolm Payne covers the issues thoroughly on a few posts on his blog – worth reading through them.  This one focuses on carers and advocacy.  This one on the issue of quality of care which seems to have been lost amid the discussion of cost and this related post on whether we would pay insurance for care that is not top quality.

and worth looking at the comments thread here for more discussion about Dilnot and the repercussions.

Moving back across the pond, Social Worker Mom raises an absolutely crucial skill to have as a social worker – being able to tell your manager when you are ‘at capacity’.

And Social Worker in the South explains some of the ways she keeps going through the week at work.

Going Mental is counting down to her holidays..

And Diary of a Social Worker returns after a break.

Weekly Social Work Links 23

I’m coming in a day ‘late’ with this week’s round-up post due to some sickness in the household. The benefits are that I can now pick up some of the great posts that were published yesterday. Might well stick to Sunday in the future!

As always, please feel free to add any posts I may have missed out in the comments or links to other sites (preferably related!) that I haven’t come across.

Have a nice rest-of-weekend!

I’m starting with a post from Awake and Dreaming about discrimination and difficulty faced through the stigma of mental illness herself and some reflections on how it affects other people.

Via The (Not So) Cheap Social Worker, in a post about social work and the laws of economics the author links to an interesting post by Dr Lynn K Jones who writes about the poor wages that social work has attracted in relation to education and qualification level. It’s fascinating to read the US perspective – not least because I think I’m very well paid as a social worker!.  Maybe it’s about salary expectations..

How not to Do Social Work had a glimpse into the appeals of gang culture to children in care – probably something that’s a lot more prevalent in my ‘patch’ than his by the sounds of it but there’s danger, as he points out, in complacency.

On the day before the Dilnot Commission reports on a plan for future funding for care in the UK, Do No Harm has a post about the Singaporean system and the Maintenance of Parent Act where ‘children’ can be compelled to pay for their parents’ support. He writes, giving an example

She has children but is not on good terms with them in spite of the fact that they are working. When applying for financial assistance, she is informed that she should be able to request for regular income from the children, and that she should apply for maintenance should the children not be providing for her. Only when children are unable to support, or the court decides that there is no grounds for the children to care for their parent, would financial assistance be provided.

I doubt that would go down well with the middle-class electorate here. Do read the post though, it challenges some of the assumptions we make about care for older adults in society.

Meanwhile, SocialJerk reflects with pride (pun intended) on the New York State Legislature’s acceptance of same sex marriage.

Dorlee has another interview on her site, this time with someone who does Family Therapy. As ever, a great read!

Social Over(Worker) shares a painful story about adoption from the viewpoint of the sibling of an adoptee.

From Media to Social Work shares her thoughts more extensively about this story.

Meanwhile the author of Deck of Many Things, a social work student, shares her thoughts about transferable skills after coming into social work from a different profession (IT related) and multi-faceted and thoughtful approach to systems theory – showing, in itself, the importance of different backgrounds in the tapestry of the profession.

Finally, I want to add a link to one more site, After Alice,  which will be particularly interesting/useful to UK social workers who are involved in the roll out of personalisation (as I am and I make no apology!). It is this blog of a support planning officer and I really look forward to following and reading it.

Enjoy Sunny Sunday!

Weekly Social Work Links 22

A quicker than usual version for this week as I’m a bit pushed for time this morning so apologies in advance for any omissions but as always, if you see something I’ve missed, please feel free to use the comment section.

A post from The Masked AMHP is always a treat – this week he turns his attention to a question I sometimes ask myself – Why be an AMHP?

And a new and interesting looking blog about a soon-to-be social work student ‘From Media to Social Work’ about a career changer (yes, I know it’s obvious from the title!) finding difficulty securing voluntary work.

Congratulations are due to S.Wangene at A Social Worker’s View who reaches her first year anniversary of her blog from Kenya.

And to Fareez at ‘Do No Harm’ from Singapore who celebrates five years of being a social worker! He shares some things that have kept him going in the job for five years (and it isn’t just chocolate.. ).

SocialJerk shares some of the ‘joys’ of working with schools.

And How not to do Social Work shares some of the frustrations of social work and the systems that grow around it.

Nectarine at Going Mental shares a link to a campaign to change the FBI’s definition of ‘rape’.

The Nudge Patrol discusses the importance of professionals taking therapy. Interesting – I’d venture a guess that approaches to this might be culturally different in the UK.

Mike Langlois shares some thoughts about ‘safe places’ which we might be kidding ourselves about to the detriment of those we work with and for.

Malcolm Payne asks if all practice in a religious social work agency has to reflect that religion. Great piece.

Meanwhile Dorlee continues with her job search and shares 20 questions every interviewee should know the answers to. Best of luck to her.

One of the reasons for the rapid round up is that I wrote this weeks ‘This Week In Mentalists’ while will be available at some point here. (it hasn’t published yet at the time of writing but it’s a great site so explore all content there in the meantime!)

Two round-up posts before 9am on a Saturday. Phew. I’m off to enjoy my weekend and wait for the so-called heat wave!

Have a good weekend all Smile