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!

PsyBlog – Psychology Blog

Dr Grumble

Where Are My Knees?

Militant Medical Nurse

Sarah Boseley’s global health blog

Fergus’s Medical Files

A boy with Asperger’s

Confessions of a Serial Insomniac

Fighting Monsters

National Death Service

Purple Noise

If Narky, Feed Profusely

Aspergers, family life and me

Bad Medicine


Bah! to cancer

the DeafBlog

Lake Cocytus

Carers blog

…My little corner of the net to talk about…

Ranking made by Wikio

Weekly Social Work Links 14

I know, not quite weekly as I was away last weekend and I’m off for the Easter break so I’m starting the long weekend with a few links from the last couple of weeks.

The Masked AMHP continues his series about Mental Health Tribunals with a post about nearest relatives and their roles in the process.

Dorlee at Social Work Career Development has a great post about ‘termination in therapy’. I still find ‘closure’ quite difficult so it was interesting reading about her reflections on this vitally important process.

SocialJerk writes a very touching piece looking back at someone she has worked with and still thinks about. I do that quite a lot as well.

Melinda Lewis in Capitol to Classroom shares her best career advice.

Nancy Smyth has a great post about skills for the digital age and how we need to adapt.

How not to do Social Work looks at ‘low risk’ placements and foster care. How risk is determined can affect the rest of a child’s life.

Social Worker in the South reflects on liking her job and being exactly where she is. I am fortunate enough to feel the same.

Mel at My Skim Cap writes about the ‘when people become numbers’ and hospital discharges. Some things are the same all over the world.

LCSW Mom at Just When I Think I’ve Seen it All writes a thoughtful post about a death.

Diary of a Social Worker writes about the public perception of social workers

Chris Mill’s Child Protection Blog looks at the increase in calls reported to children’s helplines.

Shirley Ayres has written about the ‘must attend’ social work conference this year on 4th July at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Looks really good. Would love to go but there’s no external training budget. Anyone want to sponsor me? Smile   (free places for service users/carers/unwaged)

On ‘A Social Workers View’ S. Wangene talks about the beauty of the night sky and noticing it. Speaking of which she has had a lovely redesign of her blog. Go and look!

Ladybird writes about some of the difficulties of writing anonymously and not writing what you want to share sometimes. Oh, I feel that pain!

My last post for the week is not from a social worker but it relates directly to my practice and is a fantastic post about whether the Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards are compliant with Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights. OK, it might have quite a specialist audience but Lucy’s blog is an absolute must-read for anyone working with the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act in the UK.

I’m away now for the Easter break. I can’t promise there won’t be any posts at all as sometimes I can’t resist but certainly any posting will be less frequent for the next week.

So happy Easter/Spring!

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

Weekend Links 2

A few social work related posts I came across over the last week that caught my attention

Life of a Social Worker writes about the stigma of being a male social worker

Going Public writes about the potential end of day care in the ‘new era’ of social care.

Malcolm Payne on St Christopher’s Blog has some fantastic posts about the Social Work slant on the Health and Social Care Bill and a look from the view of palliative care. Really, though, everything he writes is worth reading.

The Masked AMHP has a fantastic post (and story) about animals and Mental Health Act Assessments .

An interesting post on A Shameless Agitator’s Inner Dialogue about interdependence.

Social Jerk has a positive story.

Social (Over)Worker has another positive story about family reunification – It made me feel warm and fuzzy until I realised that stories like these will be really affected by the government’s cuts.  She also has a great summary of why adoptions can take so long.

Neurology Social Worker looks at some of the uses of technology for carers in the field.

On a similar theme, at Virtual Connections there’s a post about the  use of mobile devices in psychotherapy. Now, I don’t do psychotherapy personally but I am intrigued about some of the apps described. Personally, I find my android MMSE app the most useful for when I forget the paper version and want a rough idea when I’m out and about!

Classroom to Capitol had a great post on Martin Luther King Jr Day (or last Monday if you are in the UK).  It put the day in context for me.

How not to do Social Work talks about a difficult telephone call he took.

And to follow-up from last week, Social Worker-t0-be now has her CRB and is all ready to start work – good luck to her.

Do let me know in the comments if you came across any other great posts over the last week!

Weekend Links

I used to try to have a weekly round-up post of social work blogs. I gave up a couple of years ago because it took too much time up but I’m going to try again… simply because there is so much ‘out there’ now.

So here’s my pick of the week. I hope to put together ten each week.  I can’t promise I’ll keep it up but the intention is there.  I couldn’t quite limit myself to ten this week though.  I am thinking that generally, this is going to be a weekend pursuit of mine. It may or may not be weekly – depending on time available.


Functional Assessment – Has started a ‘Carnival of Social Work’. Go and look and read. I submitted a piece myself but that’s not the only reason I want to promote it. I really find the humanist/atheist outlook refreshingly positive.

Social Work Career Transition Blog – has the next in her series of interviews with Social Workers in different fields in the US. It’s an interesting perspective into the different types and ways that the social work profession is set up in the States.

SocialJerk – talks about housing. An old chestnut in  my own practice experience and while expressing some of realities of the housing problems in New York, I worry that it may be a foreshadowing of what could be to come in London when this government’s housing benefit changes roll into place.

Going Mental – in Canada, seems to be very slowly getting used to the the return to work after a break for the holidays..

St Christopher’s Blog – Malcolm Payne writes about the government’s Green Paper on ‘Giving’. It’s a great analysis

Everyone Needs Therapy – has an interesting analysis of the shootings in Arizona and the links between guns, violence and mental illness. An interesting look at a news story that hasn’t had as much coverage here. I can’t even pretend to understand any arguments that people should have the right to own guns. But it’s not my argument to have.

The Masked AMHP – has a great write-up of CTOs (Community Treatment Orders). I found it really useful. Another unmissable blog.

Classroom to Capitol – I loved this piece about ‘cognitive capital’ and what we might do with the amount of time that we spend in front of the TV. Very pertinent in right after Christmas. I really would like to spend more time pondering the questions she asks.

Social Worker-to-be (who is now qualified!) is still waiting for her CRB to come through before she can start work..

Social Work Blog – has mentioned me in the top 50 blogs by social work professionals. I feel a bit embarrassed to even mention and only do so because there are a heap of other fine blogs to check out from their site.

There are three new or relatively new UK social workers blogging and I just wanted to draw attention to them. Please go and read Smile

How Not to Do Social Work – is a blog from the assistant manager of a LAC (Looked After Children)’s team.

It’s a Crazy Life – has been around a while but more recently been resurrected. It’s a walk through the life of a social worker and mother/wife. Great take on things!

Social (Over)Worker – works in childrens’ services.


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!