Weekly Social Work Links 20

So another weekend, another series of links that I’ve found in and around the social work blogging networks.

I want to start with a few new blogs I’ve come across.

Unsettling Social Work is written by an academic who is primarily concerned with the sociology of social work – last week he shares his thoughts on Cameron’s mission to save children from sexualisation and commercialisation.

CPEA Nose  ‘a bloggers slant on health, social care and children’s services’ gives his take on Winterbourne View

And Full Care Order subtitled ‘Reports from the Front Line of Child Protection in Ireland’ gives us some background about Child Protection Myths and Reality

And back to some of the regulars –

Malcolm Payne on St Christopher’s Blog shares an interesting study from the Nuffield Trust about the use of social care and in-patient hospital care for people at the end of their lives.

Another fantastic post at Social Work Tech Blog which shows some of the possibilities of incorporating technology into practice – this time the author takes us through the process of how he made psychoeducational videos for sharing and he shares the videos he made. Really very impressive and as always, he makes us more aware of the untapped possibilities of using technology increasingly in practice. Particularly as we (in the UK) have quite narrow definitions of what social work practice is at the moment – I suspect that will change substantially over the coming years.

This link about a Social Work Rescript on the Centre for Welfare Reform  was shared with me by Shirley Ayres over the week. I highly recommend it as it’s a useful ‘reminder’ about ways of working.

Social Jerk shares her ever amusingly truthful take on unsolicited advice.

How Not to Do Social Work shares his thoughts about the difficulties of finding work and particularly how that affects children leaving care.

And at Social Work Career Development, Dorlee shares her learning from her first week of job hunting.  I find her posts very inspirational and positive. I would recommend them to anyone looking for work in any field.

S.Wangene from Kenya expounds on the importance of safe sex.

Social Worker Mom shares an update of her week.

And at the New Social Worker Blog, Kryss talks of some of the difficulties of practising what you preach regarding self-care.

Finally another non-social work specific post but a great insight into the Neary case  from The Small Places – worth a read and a save if you are involved in working with the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in particular – or want to know more.

And with that, I’m off for the weekend again. If you come across any interesting sites or links that I haven’t picked up on, please do share with me!

Have a good weekend!

Carers, Conferences and Random Blog Search Terms – a Friday Special

Yesterday, I was sent an email by someone associated with Age UK to draw attention to the information on their website for carers. I get a number of requests from various sources every week but having checked out the information, it is definitely worth sharing and I will be adding the site to my ‘resource list’ both on this site and at work – and on that note, I’ll be trying to update the links on the ‘more links’ tab so am happy to take suggestions of sites that people  have found useful.

Next week is the Community Care Live event at the Business Design Centre in Islington. It’s a conference over two days every Spring that us aimed quite specifically at people who are involved and work in social care and social work.  I’ve been attending this event most years since I started studying social work and am a great fan.

As a free event, it is pretty much unparalleled in terms of access to useful and interesting debates, workshops and networking opportunities for social workers and social work students.

I’m only able to attend on one day but I hope to feedback some of the information gathered about the sessions I attend and will be following closely those sessions that I’m not able to attend. I expect there to be great coverage over at Community Care.

Finally, because I haven’t done it for a while –  one of my favourite things about writing a blog is seeing some of the terms people use  to find my site – some intentional (I think I’ve seen every possible spelling of Munro possible) , some with familiar difficulties and some just.. well, who knows!

Here are a few from the last couple of weeks (spelling retained as original)

‘is it possible to feel good about my being a social worker and imbarassed at the same time’

‘explain why i cant login to my nhs computer via a council network’ (oh, I feel your pain)

‘hairy arm pitted women’ (?!?)

‘who benfited from the nhs 1990 community care act’ (Southern Cross)

‘dementia trampolines’

‘wonder drug for alzhimers’ (would be nice)

‘are hampster dagerus’ (no, they are wonderful!)

‘sex monsters’ (I usually get at least one of these per week – I love the internet, some things are so predictable!)

My most popular search terms after the usual ones of the blog name and people searching for ‘social work blog’ or ‘british social worker blog’ or other ‘expected’ ones are ‘no roads in the city of London’ or ‘which city has no roads’ or variations on ‘gifts for social workers’.

Just to end, I noticed as I was looking through the search terms that yesterday I passed 200,000 unique ‘hits’ on my blog.

Wow. Thank you to everyone who pops by and visits. I really do appreciate the support!

Happy Weekend!

Wikio Top UK Health Blogs for May

I have been given a sneak preview of May’s top Health Blogs in the UK from Wikio. There are some great blogs among them so I’d recommend having a nose around!  Mental Health related blogs are very well represented!

1 PsyBlog – Psychology Blog
2 Mental Nurse
3 Dr Grumble
4 Fergus’s Medical Files
5 Sarah Boseley’s global health blog
6 Confessions of a Serial Insomniac
7 Militant Medical Nurse
8 Fighting Monsters
9 Where Are My Knees?
10 National Death Service
11 If Narky, Feed Profusely
12 Purple Noise
13 The Voyage
14 Bippidee
15 “Not Another Nursing Student Blog…”
16 frontierpsychiatrist.co.uk
17 Aspergers, family life and me
18 the DeafBlog
19 Bah! to cancer
20 A boy with Asperger’s

Ranking made by Wikio

Social Media and Social Work – Part 2 Social Bookmarking

Bookmarks made of strings. Spin.

Image via Wikipedia

Social Bookmarking is a way to share links (or ‘bookmarks’) with other people or ‘on the internet’ rather than locally on whatever internet accessing device you are using.  The first ‘weblogs’ or ‘blogs’ as they became were social bookmarking sites. They were ways of sharing with others links that you found interesting or useful.

As  a disclaimer I’d say I’m not an ‘expert’ in social media but this is a personal exploration of how I use these tools to help me both in my practice and to keep up to date with issues for the purposes of writing my blog (although those two things can’t be kept separate!) as well as keeping track of interesting random things I find online that I want to come back to whether academic articles, newspaper articles or recipes to try!

Delicious is probably the best known social bookmarking site. It’s future is also somewhat uncertain as Yahoo (who own it) want to close it down or sell it so bear that in mind when I write about it.

It allows me to mark and bookmark sites and pages of interest and create ‘tags’ for them. For example, I have a ‘socialwork’ tag that has all the pages and sites I come across on my random forays through the web that I can come back to when I am writing or thinking of writing a post but also it allows me easy access to the sites that I read most frequently.

I have a ‘newspaper’ tag to group together the journals and standard sites I read and a tag for policy information. The advantage of holding this information online or ‘in the cloud’ is that I can access these bookmarks from any computer I use.

You can add more than one ‘tag’ to each site or post.

The social part comes in that people can share their bookmarks with each other.

My bookmarks are here but tread carefully. I tend to save mostly for myself and my tagging is a bit haphazard (I have a special ‘todo’ tag that means I intend to read a particular article, for example!). I also have some other, random sites in there but you might get an idea of how it works.

This post explains ways of using delicious but it is more adventurous than I have been. I use the Firefox addon.

Pinboard is very similar to delicious but it is a paid service. There is a one-off charge of about £5 (depends on exchange rate) and allows for an online backup of bookmarks and easy tagging. I probably still use delicious more but I signed up in case delicious disappears as I could port over all my saved bookmarks there.

I’ll group Tumblr and Posterous together. They are alternate blogging platforms that while allowing longer form posts referred to in the previous post in the series, seem to be better suited to sharing links, photos and ideas very much along the lines of the original ‘weblogs’.

I haven’t much experience of Posterous but have played around with Tumblr a fair bit.

Tumblr again, I often use as a bookmarking site as much as anything. I use it to put articles and information that I want to come back to but more traditionally, it can be used as a simple blogging platform. I assume Posterous works in a similar way. It is a good way of sharing links, commenting on articles and creates a ‘short form’ blog. Comments can be added via disqus. RSS feeds can be added as well.

I set up a Tumblr account here (although I have another private one!). As you will see, it is basically a mirror of this site so don’t bother following it but it is just as an example of the kind of thing that can be done. It is very easy to add posts direct from the browser (there’s also a firefox extension to Tumblr).

One of my favourite uses of Tumblr is a site set up by Malcolm Payne (of Modern Social Work Theory fame – is there any British Social Worker or Social Work Student who doesn’t have that definitive textbook? (if there is, go out and buy it! Now!)

Basically we live in times when sometimes we can suffer from information overload. We need to develop skills to sift through the information and find what is most important and relevant to us. Whether that is as social work professionals trying to keep up with the debates around us and find different views or whether it is about locating the best recipe for Lemon Linguine – sometimes we might surf past a site and want to keep record of it somewhere other than on the PC we are using at the time.

That, for me, is the beauty and use of these sites. I’m sure there are a million uses and I’d be interested to know how other people use social bookmarking sites and ‘short form’ blogs. If you have a tumblr or posterous site that you want to share, do leave a comment!

Next week – Twitter

See the my previous post in the series – Social Media and Social Work – Part 1 Blogs

Social Media and Social Work – A Series

I’ve had a ‘technology’ type post brewing inside me for a while and although I can’t promise this is the best researched and planned post, I thought it might be useful to share some of my practical uses and experiences with different social networks and sites and how I have used them. I realised though as I started writing my ‘definitive’ post on how I use and have learnt from ‘social media’ that the post was turning into a dissertation so I thought it best to break it down into more ‘manageable’ chunks.

So as a result of my overrunning initial post, I’ll be writing a series of blog posts which will explore my use of different social media with a particular regard of the implications for my practice as a social worker.

Part 1 – Long Form ‘traditional’   Blogs (WordPress.com/Blogger/Wordpress self-hosted)

Part 2 – Social Bookmarking and Tumble/Quick Blogging(Delicious/Pinboard/Posterous/Tumblr)

Part 3 – Twitter and Microblogging

Part 4 Social Networks and Forums  (Facebook and LinkedIn)


I’m intending to publish on a weekly basis on Mondays with the first part tomorrow – although as always and because I operate this site individually, I reserve the right to change schedules if something comes up!

I hope people will add and develop my ideas as I present them. I am very specifically writing about my personal experiences rather than definitive guides with the hope that it will encourage more people to take up some of the tools we have between us to ‘make a difference’ and make our collective voices heard in the government and media circles so that the fight for social justice and an understanding and appreciation of social workers and the work we do takes place on our own terms.

We are lucky to live in times when we have the means for taking up these fights on our own terms rather than being reliant on others to provide the tools and the ‘media window’ for us

I’ll add the links here as they ‘show up’.

Thanks 🙂

Weekend Links 6

As usual at the weekend now, I’ll just run through some posts that have caught my attention over the week relating specifically to social work and social care.

Hessian Pepper at The Small Places has a wonderfully useful summary and commentary on the MIG and MEG Court of Protection judgement which raises a number of questions about the definition of a Deprivation of Liberty. I would strongly advise anyone concerned with the Mental Capacity Act to follow his/her blog because I’m finding it a great resource!  Another great legal resource which has a broader remit but is a fascinating and useful read is the UK Human Rights Blog.

On How Not to Do Social Work,  there are thoughts and reflections on the transition into legal adulthood as an 18th birthday looms.

Social Worker-to-Be (who isn’t a ‘to-be’ anymore!) tells us about her first weeks as a Newly Qualified Social Worker.

SocialJerk deconstructs some of the toys she (um.. her clients?) use. Fantastic stuff. I quite like stuffed animals myself but they might not demonstrate some of the ‘interactions’ as well and anyway, I’m not the best at passing toy judgement!

Kyrss on The New Social Worker Blog had an interesting idea of writing a ‘Valentine Letter’ to ‘Social Work’. I’m not sure might would have been so poetic.

At Always Something to Complain About, the focus is on paperwork and it’s clear that some issues really are truly international.

Malcolm Payne at St Christopher’s Blog has a fascinating post about the Ombudsman Report into End of Life Care that was published this week from a perspective of a Palliative Care Practitioner.

Nancy Smyth at Virtual Connections has a fantastic post about using therapists using social media with trauma survivors. It’s a really interesting perspective and  as social media becomes increasingly a part of the mainstream ‘life’ we live, we do have to think about how it is used at work.

Another interesting post is the ‘Behind the Scenes at the Social Work Podcast’ episode and interview with the founder. As I’m thinking and planning a podcast myself, I’ve found it very timely.  My respect has increased no end after trying to edit even 5 minutes of audio myself last weekend!

Finally, on a lighter note, Jontybabe tells us 5 things that make her feel good..

And in that spirit, here are my five (excluding the obvious family and friends!)

1. Waking up on a Saturday Morning and realising you have a full weekend ahead.

2. A good novel that you can’t put down

3. Chocolate. Any form really (although I was too scared to try Marmite Chocolate so that might have to be qualified – now why did I never think about a Chocolate Blog.. oops, getting distracted).

4. Travelling to a new places

5. Learning new things.


Slightly dull post here but I needed more space than Twitter would allow! I’m in the process of trying to update my links and blogs on the sidebar.

If your blog has disappeared and you are still updating it and want people to visit – let me know, I’ll ‘unhide’ it.

If your blog has never appeared, it might be that I don’t know about it or have been caught up in a rush of ‘things to do’ and may have missed it so let me know in the comments.

If you know any other good sites/links that could help people (or just me!) then also add them here and I’ll try and update the ‘other links’ page as well.

I do try to check the blogs and sites I list and tend to list the ones I like to visit but if there’s something I’ve learnt over the last few years, it’s how quickly sites grow and shrink, come and go and there are thousands more than when I started out

Usually oversights are simply just to lack of awareness or lack of time on my part..

Thanks in advance for the help!