Tools For Practice Tuesday: Prof2Prof

Last week I brought to you a review of a social media platform just for social workers founded by a social worker. This week is an other peer to peer solution but created for higher education. An added bonus is that it was also founded by a social worker.  As somebody just cutting my teeth with adjunct teaching, I found Dr. Kristen Slack’s solution Prof2Prof worth sharing. It is a platform where those in academia can share their work and find much needed resources.

Once registered, you can begin to look at the feed and viewing other entries …

The real power of the platform is to be able to also add your own resources. This seems to be at the soul of Dr. Slack’s founding of Prof2Prof. You have created wonderful resources, why not celebrate your accomplishments in one place.  If you there is something you have recently worked on you can add to the variety of resources below…

Despite being fairly new there already are many entries and a friendly search function as seen below. It also provides you with an opportunity to search profiles and find other people in your field…

Prof2Prof has just launched this summer already seems like a great resource. I look forward to seeing it’s growth and look forward to using it more as I venture into adjunct teaching and training opportunities.

If you are in higher education, I encourage you take a look at Prof2Prof. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



What is An API and Why It Matters to Social Work

Technology is making the world shrink and this is good thing for social work.  The more we can use technology to increase connectivity, the better.  Technology between this blog and other apps and services exists but quite honestly I have no idea how this works.  My interest in technology has lead me to want to learn a little more.

It turns out the “secret sauce” is what is called an API or Application Program Interface.  Googling information about this was quite overwhelming but I highly recommend your take the little under four minutes to understand what API’s are via  this MuleSoft video ….


You might be wondering, what does this have to do with social work? While some might be figuring this out and some might be tuning out a bit. You might be thinking, there is no way I am going to be programming. It’s an important bit of information technology we should, at best, be simply aware of.  To ponder how things can connect and this code can be plugged in to shrink the world is important. Social work should be a voice in developing these solutions.

The next level might be (where I am) is how to you get disparate systems within social work, healthcare, etc… to talk to each other?  Well… it gets complicated.  As a care manager there are three systems I enter data into. There is a medicaid database for enrollment, one for an initial assessment, and one for the electronic health record. The only one way connectivity between the three is the enrollment database “talks” to the EHR a bit.  But the initial assessment (about 50 question check boxes updated every six months) doesn’t talk to either.

These barriers seem to be at the state and regulatory level (way above my pay grade).  These are the things program designers and regulators should be thinking about. It is my experience they are not. As the MuleSoft video points out how can we create “butlers” or “concierges” between these systems. I would like to re-frame it and say that desperate electronic systems need social workers.

One of the companies that specializes in increasing connectivity between healthcare systems is Redox Engine. Earlier this week I ran across their blog post which talked about the unique challenges of creating API’s for connectivity.  If we are talking about HIPAA protected data then systems need to develop legal and security understandings.  There are other considerations such as narrowing the vast amounts of data between systems and make them usable for billing/clinical care.

Another project worth noting is Open Referral. They are attempting to “develop data standards and open platforms that make it easy to share and find information about community resources”.

These are conversations that social work should be at the table for.  We are oexperts in getting complex real life systems to talk to each other. We should be a voice in developing code to get systems to talk to each other.  So make friends with the people in the IT department, talk about barriers to connectivity. Get on the committees at work seeking to drive these solutions. Seek out people that are solving these problems. Be a voice for policy and regulatory changes.  Or for the really ambitious learn the coding yourself or partner with an information technologist to develop your own solution.

Technology continues to offer bright future for our work, however social work needs to be part of the solution. Having a butler between technology services is nice but having a social worker is better.



Everything You Needed To Know About Social Work In One Google Search

….Well… maybe…

The Google search auto-fill is often interesting.  There are often humorous examples posted on social media like…

I am not an expert on search but just a few observations from this. Google’s algorithm this is how people are talking about Charles Darwin on the internet.  This post was inspired by coming across this tweet…

I immediately started to wonder what people are asking social work can do…

Some amusing things in there but also some interesting asks.  Role clarification for social work is complex. The public often doesn’t always understand what we do. Sometimes even within our own profession we disagree what it is that we do.  However answering questions like “can we diagnose autism?” and “can social workers be school counselors?” can help the public come to a greater understanding of what we do. I also found “Can social workers be friends with former clients?” Not sure if this meant online or in real life but either way an important question.

Even more interesting was the search “Can Therapists…”

You can see some legit ethical questions (along with some silly ones). According to Google algorithms, these are the burning questions the public wants to know.  I would encourage you to Google your profession and ask what it “can” do.  It was fascinating to see how people are talking about it and the conversation continued on twitter..

This would be an interesting class assignment at the graduate and undergraduate level. On could go deeper into the search results and write about that.  Also if you are a blogger with writers block this may be good fodder for a post (very meta because you are reading this post now).  It may be helpful for organizations to craft a marketing campaign. Do a search “Can <your organization>?>

I also encourage people to Google themselves to assess what people could be saying about them. This is a good practice to manage your online reputation.  It is interesting how Google can tell a small but important tale about you, your organization, and your profession.

Would also like to hear stories of what other people have learned from Google searches. Please feel free to comment below, tweet me at @stuckonsw or also email