August 12, 2008

Learning From Blogs

I had honestly never considered that social workers might be bloggers until just a short while before I started posting here. I had come across a social work blog a few years back while doing a paper on burnout, but I really didn't think much of it. I got the information I needed and moved on.

My first interaction with the community of social work bloggers that I've found here was with this post on New Media at Fighting Monsters. After finding this, I got more and more intrigued and hemmed and hawwed about starting my own. I had blogged before with limited success (being measured in how fast my interest waned) and didn't want to start until I was going to do it "successfully".

In my short time here, I feel I've learned a lot from all the other social work bloggers. However, I've found another resource for learning about social work from blogs.

In my quest to find MORE social work bloggers, I've used Google's blog search. When you use that page to search "social worker", you get the usual suspects, but I've also found some other interesting things. There are many mentions of people who have interactions with social workers and what they think about them. I think this is a valuable tool for us to learn how we're perceived and what we can do better...and also what we're good at!

I've found many examples, but this post on a blog titled Am I Still Ill? struck me as particularly important. In the post, the author states:
My son’s social worker is at fault, for not making the position clear to me when I saw him a few weeks ago. My son gets on very well with Robert, he is a genuinely nice guy. Maybe too nice to be a Children and Families social worker. As part of the job you have to do a lot of stuff that just isn’t nice, no matter what spin you put on it. I think he finds it hard to say the tough things that have to be said.
What great insight. And this takes me back to myself. I've been known to be "too nice". Will I be able to play the bad guy roles as well as the good guy roles? I think to do this, you have to be more and more comfortable with yourself (myself). I'm getting there. After reading this, I'll definitely be more aware that all the roles are important!

I'll definitely be checking in more in "other" blogs to see what other learning I can pick up.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this--I think your searches for posts about social workers are highly valuable. I am going to do some myself. And I agree that being firm about difficult truths does not come easily for me. I had to first go through the awful experience of having disappointed clients when I minimized problems, all in an effort to be nice. Like the blogger you found, it just made matters worse. There's nothing like getting feedback directly from clients, though, and blogs are a great source for that.

cb said...

I completely agree. I have been reading (as might be obvious from my links) quite a lot from users of mental health services in particular and I have no doubt that my practice has and will continue to change as a result. I think the resource that we have to communicate on different levels and behind a veneer of anonymity and equality which is not afforded in 'real life' is a new and wonderful way of learning and being aware of practice.

Simeon said...

I think it's really important to build a network of social work bloggers, as seems to be happening. Much of the comment about social work on the internet will not be positive so it's important to have your own voice. Our blogs aren't written by social workers but they are aimed at them and we're keen to get a conversation going with the social work bloggers out there

lcsw mom said...

I've had difficulty finding social workers blogging until I found your site. So thanks for being here. I work in the medical field and there is so much to write about, so much I'd like to pick other social worker's brains about but as a profession we don't talk to each other enough and come together to improve our public image and support each other. So thanks again and come visit my blog.

antiSWer said...

Thanks for coming by, lcsw mom. I'll provide a link for you on my site as soon as I can get around to it. Do check out the other SW bloggers and participate in the comments. There are many sharp minds in the SW blog world. :)

Zoe said...

Thanks Antisocial Social Worker for linking to me (I only just noticed!) It's really good to know that something I have written has been useful or struck a chord. It certainly is good to have a dialogue where one can. I wish you the very best in your chosen career and will try to read more of your blog.

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