Guest Post For HealthcareScene.Com: Building a Bridge Between #HITsm & #SWtech

The last two weeks have presented an interesting convergence of events. As a social worker attempting to keep up with the latest technology, I use several means. One of them is to follow two hashtags on twitter. #SWtech is a smallish group of social workers interested in the latest technology and its impact on our profession. The other is #HITsm. Readers of this blog are probably a more aware of this larger community. Networking with those on the #HITsm hashtag has helped shed light on the barriers and also innovations that drive health information technology.  This knowledge is something I have tried to bring back to the #SWtech group and my social media audience. The social work community has been little skittish about health information technology.  That privacy and cost often limit our ability to implement technology.

Find out more about how the #SWtech and #HITsm communities can learn from each other in my full post. 

 

Why I Joined The #SWKresistance

If you are on social media you might have seen the hashtags #Resist or #TheResistance. This symbolizes people who are more than unsatisfied with the Trump Administration.  Come to think of it, “unsatisfied” might be the understatement of the year. People are angry.  His proposed policies hurt many vulnerable individuals; Refugees, Immigrants, women, and people with Chronic Health conditions ( just to name a few).  Based on my work with vulnerable youth, policies effecting healthcare and education are alarming. It is for that reason I have joined and helping to organize The Social Work Resistance (#SWKresistance)

From the social work perspective, proposed legislation and already completed executive orders are disturbing.  Before I talk about how passionately about fighting Trump’s agenda, we need to do a slight disclaimer. President Trump spoke to a lot of under-served people. His voters felt marginalized or slighted.  I don’t think it’s fair to have a conversation without first acknowledging this.  However, the policies put forth seem to not benefit these individuals.  As social workers we need to respect these individuals but also present information in a competent manner.  This is the role of the “Social Work Resistance”. Their mission is to

To transform the social work profession to one that is politically active by educating social workers about policies impacting them and their clients, establishing social workers as credible voices for political change, and mobilizing the profession to take action against anti-social work policies.

Whenever I grapple with issues, political or otherwise, I find looking at the core values and ethics of social work helpful.  This idea was first brought to me be the Ohio Chapter of The National Association of Social Workers. In reaction to the initial executive order on the Travel Ban and suspension of the Syrian refugee program, they created this…

Even before him arriving in office, it was clear President Trump’s values conflict with social work values.  Just seeing it in black and white is helpful.   In looking at the core values of  service, social justice, dignity and worth of individuals, integrity, and competence. His policies and rhetoric often fly in the face of our profession.

New Justice Department policies call for harsher sentences for minor crimes are a blow to social justice. Healthcare policies effecting reproductive justice for women detract from the dignity of worth of individuals. The administration has often lied and talked about alternative facts. Proposed changes in the Environmental Protection Agency, Justice Department, and Health and Human Services devalue the competency of science.

If you are in social work practice, one of many of these policies will effect your population.  There continues to be an assault on Medicaid and this is what I am fighting for. This administration will have you believe that they would like to improve the situation.  I created this twitter moment about how inaccurate this is…

 

Also working with youth I am concerned about education in under-served communities and assistance with transitional age youth. Proposed changes in education seem to be an assault on this as well..

  Trump’s Budget calls for Deep Cuts in Education 

As a social worker, I suspect you have your shortlist of things the Republican administration will impact your practice. No matter who the President is, the one undeniable core value of social work is “Service“.

Being prone to complaining about The Trump Administration was not enough. I wanted to use my social media presence to attempt to take action for social work and the vulnerable people we serve.

The first initiative put forth to Resist for Social Work is fighting the proposed budget’s implications on Loan Forgiveness for Social Work. At this point, we need to fight for our profession so that we can fight for others…

Please go to the Save Student Loan Forgiveness for Social Work page to sign the petition and find out how proposed education cuts would profoundly effect our profession.

We will also attempt to continue to create a dialogue on how policies will effect us and the individuals we serve.  Please stay tuned to The Social Work Resistance on Social Media on…

Facebook 

Twitter 

and

Use the hashtag #SWKresistance to add things that matter to you (we will try our best to keep up)