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After two years of collaboration with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA), the National Association of Social Workers (2017) has recently released the NASW, ASWB, CSWE, & CSWA Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice (2017). The document includes an extended section related to social work education as well as a more delineated consideration clinical issues. The forward of the document explains:
NASW partnered with ASWB, CSWE, and CSWA to develop a uniform set of technology standards for professional social workers to use as a guide in their practice. The four associations formed the Task Force for Technology Standards in Social Work Practice and jointly developed the Technology Standards in Social Work Practice. The task force met for almost two years reviewing technology literature in social work services and emerging standards in multiple professions. The task force also reviewed relevant statutes and licensing regulations in various jurisdictions. Multiple drafts were prepared and a draft was released for public comment during the summer of 2016. Many comments were received from individual social workers, social work academicians, and groups including the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative (American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare) and representatives of a Web-based macro social work group.
The task force thoroughly reviewed and discussed every submitted comment and revised the draft accordingly. Based on the comments received, the task force established a sub–task force advisory group consisting of social work professionals with extensive technology-related expertise and experience. This group submitted a favorable review of the standards and offered recommendations that the full task force reviewed, discussed, and incorporated into the draft. In developing these standards, the Task Force for Technology Standards in Social Work Practice used several foundation documents, including the NASW Code of Ethics and the ASWB Model Social Work Practice Act, along with many other sources. The standards use a humanistic framework to ensure that ethical social work practice can be enhanced by the appropriate use of technology.
To download your copy of the NASW Standards for Technology, click here: NASW, ASWB, CSWE, & CSWA Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice
TBHI is Looking for Social Work Volunteers to Work on Standards for Technology Project
The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) seeks volunteers to help us review and integrate the NASW requirements into our telebehavioral and telemental health roadmap for evidence-based competencies for practitioners. A small TBHI group will meet weekly for 1 hour to review and summarize the new technology standards requirements with some of our other materials. If you are available to help with this project, and are a licensed social worker in the United States or Canada, please send us an email here. Include your Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter outlining your interest in working with us on this specific project.
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I am curious about the status of the TBHI initiative with social work volunteers. I am the Associate Director at the University of South Florida School of Social Work in Tampa, Florida and would be interested in a conversation about the progress/status of this very important development.
Look forward to hearing back from you!
Alicia Mendoza, PhD, LCSW
Thank you, Alicia. We will contact you privately.
Hello Dr. Maheu,
I am a private practitioner and Adjunct Faculty at Alabama State University, Department of Social Work who is currently enrolled in your Level II TBHI course. My concern is that taking the course may be a bit premature at this point as I am not certain that there are presently approved standards of the practice of telebehavioral health in the field of social work.
I would very much like to know the status of the TBHI initiative that is working with volunteers to develop standards with NASW.
Dr. Carrie J. Nelson
Thank you for your question. NASW has been at the forefront of developing both standards and guidelines for more than a decade. They recently published their newest standards in 2017, which they called their “Technology Standards.” Those were then adopted as part of the NASW ethics code in 2018. You may want to visit the NASW website to download your copy. The project that we developed here at TBHI was more focused on the practical application of those standards to everyday telepractice. The work completed by our group was then incorporated into our training in 2018. You can see the list of courses included in that training here.