The following resources help administrators, program managers, supervisors, and frontline workers address the benefits, challenges, and strategies for leveraging social media in child welfare. Additional ideas are also shared for developing effective social media guidelines and policies for agencies and programs.
701: Technology in the Workplace: Legal and Ethical Ramifications
Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (2012)
Includes information on how to identify the benefits and challenges of using social media in the workplace, assess for boundary/ethical issues when using social networking, discuss the impact of social media on a witness' credibility in court, and identify methods to develop and implement policy around social media in the workplace.
The 12th Annual Conference: Social Media, Smart Phones and Safety: How Technology Is Changing Child Welfare Practice [Video]
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2011)
Provides links to conference video and materials. This conference included presentations by current and former foster youth and a local child welfare agency that describe its experiences with social media and technology.
Friending Your Clients on Facebook: How Social Media Influences Child Welfare Practice (PDF - 1,300 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau (2012)
Introduces Facebook and other social media and provides suggestions for safe use of social media networks for child welfare professionals.
The Impact of Electronic Communication and Social Media on Child Welfare Practice
Master of Social Work Clinical Research Papers
Examines the impact that electronic communication and social media use has on child welfare practice with youth and families.
Protecting Your Tweeps: Using Social Media in Child Welfare [Video]
National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology (2012)
Addresses the chief concerns of agencies and courts for the safety of caseworkers, children, and families as they use these new technologies. Examples of policies are included.
Digital Strategy at HHS
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Offers numerous resources on how to best implement new technologies to communicate online. The website includes a standards and policies checklist, guidance on specific types of social networking tools, a webinar series, a blog, and more.
Ethical Use of Social Media: The Responsibility of Human Services Providers
Discusses issues to take into account when developing a social media policy for human service workers and how to measure risks against benefits.
Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook (PDF - 2,785 KB)
Assists nonprofits in developing policies for using social media and establishing social media strategies that strengthen brand loyalty, create compliant and consistent standards, and produce measurable results.
Supervised Visitation Program Guide for Developing Social Media Policy (PDF - 124 KB)
Institute for Family Violence Studies (2012)
Includes guidelines for policies to help maintain client confidence and confidentiality, guard the program's reputation, protect staff/volunteers, and maintain high standards of ethical practice.