Journal Article

Teaching Social Workers to Harness Technology and Inter-Disciplinary Collaboration for Community Service

Caroline Rosenthal Gelman and Carol Tosone

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 226-238
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Teaching Social Workers to Harness Technology and Inter-Disciplinary Collaboration for Community Service

Show Summary Details


Relatively little has been written encouraging social workers to use communication technologies for community service purposes, such as education and advocacy with general populations, and empowerment of individuals, groups and communities, especially marginalized and voiceless populations traditionally served by social workers, to tell their own stories using these media. This paper reviews relevant literature on the use of media in social work, presents examples of ways visual technologies have been used to serve populations-at-risk, and briefly describes a course jointly offered by a school of social work and a school of the arts intended to teach students the use of various technologies for community service purposes. The application of social work practice, theory, research and policy to media production reflects a little-explored potential modality for micro and macro intervention, and thus is an innovation in the field, combining service learning, inter-disciplinary collaboration and application of social work knowledge through technology. We also argue that social workers should become competent in using media to harness their power for intervention with and on behalf of clients, and to positively and actively shape the way clients and our profession are portrayed and viewed in the larger world.

Keywords: Communication technology; inter-disciplinary collaboration; service learning; community service; advocacy

Journal Article.  4725 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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