Julius Witherspoon and Lee Stewart of Metropolitan Social Services in Nashville, Tennessee speak about the growth of the elderly population and ways agencies can meet this need. This video shows excerpts from their presentation, “Increasing Need for Home and Community Based Services for Seniors and Disabled Adults” at the TCSW Middle Region Fall Conference on November 2, 2012. Video by Russ Anthony 411 for Anthony-Denmark Communications.
“You are an advocate”, says advocacy veteran Gordon Bonnyman from the Tennessee Justice Center. He speaks to the audience about the qualities needed for being an effective advocate for people and causes. These excerpts are taken from his presentation “The Whys and Wherefores of Advocacy” at the TCSW Middle Region Fall Conference on November 2, 2012. Video by Russ Anthony 411 for Anthony-Denmark Communications.
Human trafficking is the subject in the latest video from Russ Anthony 411 and Anthony-Denmark Communications. Yvonne Williams of the Human Trafficking in America Task Force, Inc is the featured speaker. She and her husband, Marion Williams, were recognized as Advocates of the year at the TCSW Middle Region Conference on November 18, 2011. This video contains excerpts from the presentation Human Trafficking: Healing the Soul of America given at conference. Statistics, how to identify and become aware of trafficking and how to mobilize a movement to help stop labor and sex trafficking of women and youth are presented.
Social work and Information Technology has existed on separate planes. Sure, any modern public service organization should have access to qualified internal/external IT professionals. Chose the right IT staff that is the best fit for your organization and see employee performance improve with the use of computers and applications designed to meet program outcome measurements. Management will also have access to timely and accurate reports that can be used to tell the organization story to funding sources and governing bodies.
Choose the wrong IT support and see employees frustrated by inappropriate computer equipment that gets in the way of helping to meet program goals. Management would also be frustrated by not being to provide accurate and useful data.
These pointers are applicable to the very small agency that uses IT consultants to large organizations that have a central IT department with IT support personnel also stationed through the agency. For this reason, “IT support” could be an individual, a group, an outside organization or any combination of these.
1) Have a technology plan. Information technology professionals vary in areas of specialty. The key is to find the support with the expertise in the areas that are important to your organization. To do this organization must have a technology plan that describes your current focus and future growth. Then choose IT support that will help you achieve your technology goals. Sometimes agencies cannot control who provides IT support. Even so, having a technology plan will allow community service organizations to stay focused on important areas of need. This approach will not only be a better use of financial resources but will allow IT to spend time on the more critical aspects.
2) Know the difference between support and training. Know the difference between using IT support to address issues related to the installation and maintenance of your technology infrastructure and contacting IT to perform tasks that are found in the help menu, online or classes. This approach will not only be a better use of financial resources but will allow IT to spend time on the more critical aspects.
3) Using a go-between. “IT is IT and social work is social work”, except when organizations employ the use of a social worker technologist to liaison between the two professions. Social work technology involves using a social worker with computer/technical ability to address IT issues – with a social worker’s understanding of how the work is performed. Basic problems can be solved before accessing IT staff for higher level involvement – if needed. This approach will not only be a better use of financial resources but will allow IT to spend time on the more critical aspects.
Does your community service organization lack a solid approach toward using IT support? By considering these three pointers, your community service organization will be able improve your use of computers and technology. However, it starts at the top of your organization where management must show a commitment to do things in a different way.
RussAnthony411.org supports the use of technology by social workers. To see how other social workers are using technology, please also read my blog post for additional resources.