A divergence of opinion: how those involved in child and family social work are responding to the challenges of the Internet and social media

Simpson, Jenny (2016). A divergence of opinion: how those involved in child and family social work are responding to the challenges of the Internet and social media. Child and Family Social Work, 21(1) pp. 94–102.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12114

Abstract

This discussion paper suggests that there is possibly a divergence of opinion taking place within the field of child and family social work and that the stated positions are influencing how practitioners identify and deal with risks and opportunities afforded by the Internet and social media. The suggested divergence is examined and the conclusion drawn is that what is taking place mirrors the fact that the introduction of any new technology inevitably brings with it division and debate.

In seeking to understand the reaction to digital technology consideration is given to a series of wider social discourses on childhood and risk which includes the controversial notion that the profession is a harbinger of moral panic and that the management of risk has been broadened from child protection to child safety. The discussion paper concludes by calling for child and family social work practitioners to have a balanced debate that needs to be not only informed by current research but also by an open and honest discussion about personal use and an acknowledgement

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