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 21

First week at home for a while. It’s again been a bit high in the stress stakes but it’s getting a bit boring saying that now. At least there’s a weekend to look forward to and here’s a selection of some of the posts by social workers that I caught during the week. Please feel free to add if I’ve missed any that you’ve spotted and I’d like to point your collection attention to  This Week in Mentalists (TWIM) which is where I got my inspiration for these posts from. It covers a round up of posts from mental health related blogs and is utterly fantastic.

JaeRan Kim shares some really useful and interesting thoughts about the ways professionals use social media and assumptions made about professional-professional communications as opposed to professional-client communication.

The Masked AMHP asks Should People be Stopped from Committing Suicide? – a great post and one that contains questions we genuinely discuss in our team meetings so it had a particular relevance for me.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Payne extensively sums up some of the issues with the new Health and Social Care Bill in the UK – post so-called ‘listening exercise’  and where the Future Forum report may take us.

SocialWrkr24/7 has an extensive post on Birth Family Bias in ‘the system’. She makes some excellent points.

And similarly, Peter Choate in Child Protection Lessons draws on a report about kinship care and keeping children within the (extended) family.

And Social Worker in the South shares a poignant insight into the lives of two children whom she encountered on the same day in very different circumstances.

How not to Do Social Work shares his experiences in Court.

Social Worker Mom shares her reflections on her week – which has some quite eerie parallels with my working week in a different country, thousands of miles away!

And David at Life of a Social Worker has an interesting way of recording every life he has touched through his work.  Sometimes we forget what we do and whom we affect on a day to day basis.

And SocialJerk is frustrated (rightly) by acronyms and jargon.

Moving to a more macro level the Modern Social Worker has a fascinating post and maps (that I played around with extensively – I think I might be able to find my way around Hartford, Connecticut quite well now!) about the availability and access to different social services.

Dorlee shares another of her interviews with a Clinical Social Worker who uses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) as a form of psychotherapy – I had never come across it and it is both interesting and educational to read about.

And to sum up Carer’s Week in the UK – Community Care have published a ‘Carer’s Wall‘. It makes interesting reading.

That’s it for the week. Have a lovely weekend! I know I intend to..

Wikio Top UK Health Blogs – June

I’ve been given a preview of the rankings for UK Health-related blogs for June 2011 by Wikio. I’m very honoured to be among them. Definitely worth checking out for a wide variety of views. Good to see Mental Health well-represented!

1
PsyBlog – Psychology Blog

2
Dr Grumble

3
Where Are My Knees?

4
Militant Medical Nurse

5
Sarah Boseley’s global health blog

6
Fergus’s Medical Files

7
A boy with Asperger’s

8
Confessions of a Serial Insomniac

9
Fighting Monsters

10
National Death Service

11
Purple Noise

12
If Narky, Feed Profusely

13
Aspergers, family life and me

14
Bad Medicine

15
frontierpsychiatrist.co.uk

16
Bah! to cancer

17
the DeafBlog

18
Lake Cocytus

19
Carers blog

20
…My little corner of the net to talk about…

Ranking made by Wikio

Some links for the weekend (pt 2)

It’s about time for another round-up post. I’m working on a fortnightly schedule now – far more manageable. In no particular order a delve inside what has emerged to greet me from Google Reader.

Amy, at Amy’s Life in Brief, explains who her hospital social work team relocates to a Portacabin. OK, she calls it a trailer, but I figured they’re the same thing! And by the way, what is it about social work teams and portacabins. One of the teams in a hospital I worked near had their team in a portacabin too! Brr..

Antisocial Social Worker explains how he  is going back to college and introduces some of the electives on offer to him (or rather, not on offer to him). But then explains in more detail what he will actually be studying. ‘Advertising as Commentary’ class sounds really interesting!

At Awake and Dreaming she is warned of the possible dangers of assumptions of safety by her supervisor and in turn, it serves to warn a lot of others, me included, of the assumptions that we sometimes make about our own safety and the importance of being aware of potential harm.

Blue Jean Social Worker prepares for a possible march on Washington as a part of the ‘Vote Out Poverty’ campaign. A gentle nudging reminder that I should involve myself a little more in macro politics, perhaps. Then, in a move of genius that works wonderfully, she explains how some business models of communication can be transferred into a social care setting.

Burnt Out Betsy, apart from having the matter of a hurricane to contend with, also has to deal with a disappearing colleague.. who sees colours..

Dom Care Dragon who has managed, in a few posts, to bring me to tears almost every time she writes, explains one of the reasons she does what she does and in the way that she does.

Adiemus at Skills for Healthy Living presents a fascinating piece about patient confidentiality in New Zealand and the issues about communication between medical teams and how it affects her work.

Illusive Joy takes us through a day in the life of a prison social worker. Fascinating stuff. I am always impressed by the variety and content of work there. I wonder if I would be able to do that.

In It’s a Mean Old Scene, Silvawingz ponders on the nature of suicide and a really interesting point about whether social commentary is better served by art and protest, rather than news reporting *cough* Daily Mail..

LCSW Mom, at Just when I think I’ve seen it all (great name for a blog!) explores the plight of a man has to make a decision between food and medication. I try not to look at our own system through rose-coloured spectacles, there are enough problems and difficulties with the NHS – but at least people aren’t driven to this – it is a very stark picture.

Prin at Prin’s Links for Social Work Students is preparing for new social work students to find her and her wonderful resource site!

Well done to Aethelread for reaching his sixth month of blogging. He looks back, in what I found to be a fascinating post about stats and links and blogging in general (and thanks for sending me readers, Aethelread!).

David Brindle on the Guardian’s Joe Public Blog writes about the status of the Social Care Minister and whether the brief actually deserves higher status on the British political stage.

Peter Beresford in the Social Care Expert’s Blog about the interesting position of Adult Social Work in the context of the new personalisation agenda.

Finally, LA Lady on Real Life in Lower Alabama, explains the real value of the work she does. Remarkably simple – exceptionally moving.

Back with more in a couple of weeks. Have a good weekend!

‘New Media’ and Social Work

One of the main reasons I starting writing this is because I wanted to be reading a blog by a social worker in the UK who was currently practising as a social worker. Doing the kind of things that I was doing.

I’m pretty sure I’d have been more than happy to chime in and comment. But I couldn’t find any. So I started writing the kind of things I’d want to read about. It’s very selfish really – but very good for reflecting on some of the work as it happens. I think it’s actually something that helps me manage some of the frustrations as well as I have an outlet.

There are a few US based sites though which, the more I read and discover, make me realise that actually, though some of the details, issues and practices change, the underlying structures and reasons why, don’t really.

tomswift46 tomswift46

The first one I found was Blue Jean Social Work written by a US social worker who reflects on issues and work she (mm.. I’m assuming she is a she.. I’m not sure it is explicitly stated!) manages to draw very eloquently on the difficulties, challenges and sometimes, the joys that the work throws up.

Then, of course, Prin’s Links for Social Work Students which is well-established compendium of resources! I honestly don’t know how she has the time! But it’s much more than a list of sites – it is a personal journey and log where the character very much comes shining through – and intermingled with the social work links are links to music and my personal favourites which are the Mississippi facts and figures – for me, anyway, it’s a door into a different world – some familiar due to the work-based link but some completely different!

Amy’s Life in Brief relates Amy’s tales of a return to Social Work after a career break – it’s a log of some of the issues and dilemmas she faces in the work that she is undertaking. There is a more personal ring to her writing – certainly than mine anyway, and for that there is a lot of heart there.

Diary of a Burned Out Social Worker is a blog I found more recently. I have been enjoying reading and getting an insight into the life and times of the author. She (again, are we noting a pattern here!) brings a lot of her family into it and some of the work-based scenarios are intermingled. It’s funny sometimes to see how similar a lot of the work is, at the core, regardless of legal and cultural differences.

I only discovered Trench Warfare from Reas Kriocowl, the other day, or rather, I should say, she discovered me! But her observations have made me chuckle – no, actually laugh – more than a few times already. I recognise a lot of the conversations and interactions in the work I do possibly because of the setting she works in.

I’ve also come across Awake and Dreaming which has an interesting perspective from a newly qualified social worker who has just started the path towards..er.. enlightenment! Well, however it comes across she strikes me as having a good handle on reflection and thoughtfulness in any case which serve her extremely well in her career (I hope that doesn’t sound patronising – it isn’t meant to!).

And LA Lady, writing Real Life in Alabama who is a social work student, currently studying for her MA. Who reminds me that possibly my life revolves too much around work – some of those pictures can make me feel insanely jealous (beach, cake… )

edit (sorry.. I mixed up genders. I hope no offence was caused because it was most definitely not intended – not that being male is offensive.. I’d better stop before I get myself into more trouble)

Everyone needs Therapy. Initially I wasn’t sure if the name was ironic or not! But the quality of writing is very high. I have found the content too – dealing with both the personal and the professional.

Those are just a few of the blogs I’ve found written and compiled by social workers that I have enjoyed reading.

Then there are the blogs at Community Care.

This is a slightly different perspective as the are about social work related issues more than personal experiences.

The Social Work Blog does what it says on the tin really! Usually an issue is picked which relates to social work (in the UK!) and considered – and it can trawl up some of the more interesting or unusual pieces that might be more easily missed in the print edition.

Mad World has a similar role, but specifically concentrating on Mental Health policy and news and usually picks up on a few snippets to highlight.

Actually, my inspiration for this post came as I was listening to the Community Care Podcast which I’ve found to be useful and would definitely recommend. I know I have the The Social Work Podcast listed on the sidebar but it’s a bit drier to be honest, and having a focus that is so far removed from my own experiences, doesn’t seem to ‘speak to me’ personally. There is a more academic, therapy-based outlook.

Whereas with the blogs, I find reading about different systems interesting and thought-provoking – with podcasts in some way, I prefer to be able to relate me. Possibly the influence of having radio as a background pretty much throughout my life.

Personally I’ve found the process of writing and reading what others have written to be immensely valuable in terms of personal as well as, possibly, professional development (that waits to be seen really as sometimes I wonder if it makes me more likely to rant.. um.. I mean express my views forcefully).

Possibly because I’ve tended to be one of the younger members of the teams I’ve worked in – although that becomes more likely to change with each passing year (!) I haven’t seen much willingness to embrace technology in general in my workplace, let alone ‘new’ media.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a snapsnot of some of the links (and blogs I hadn’t got round to linking but had intended to) that relate specifically to social work and social workers – and if anyone becomes aware of any others, I’d be glad to know!