SW7807 SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY ASSIGNMENT
Developing a Personal Social Media Ethics Policy
Social workers are quickly discovering that a social media policy reflecting current ethical standards can simultaneously protect clients and practitioners. A carefully constructed social media policy that social workers share with their clients can prevent confusion and minimize the likelihood of ethics-related problems concerning boundaries, dual relationships, informed consent, confidentiality, privacy, and documentation. Ideally, a comprehensive social media ethics policy should address the most common
forms of electronic communication used by clients and social workers: social networking sites, search
engines, e-mail and text messages, location-based services, and consumer review sites (shared by Dr.
(1) Reflect on the questions and then use the following outline to develop a professional policy statement on each item below (1-2 paragraphs). You can use parts of the example provided as long as you cite; (2) briefly reflect on what ethical considerations influenced this policy (eg: Not accepting a client’s friend request is to protect the boundary of the professional relationship). This
can be a few brief sentences. The purpose is for you to link the policy to social work ethics; and
(3)the last part is a brief reflection on your professional thoughts regarding social media/technology.
• Social networking sites:
Friending” on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
o Boundaries issues
o Rejection issues
o Privacy issues (e.g., acquaintances in common)
o Dual Relationships
o Personal Disclosure
• Search engines:
To Google or not to Google
o “Curiosity” searches
o Crisis searches
• E-mail and text messaging:
• Electronic interactions
o Privacy issues
o Documentation issues
• Is the email communication for administrative or therapeutic purposes?
• How often must I check my email messages? (provide clients with written and verbal information
about your policy)
• Does email communication fall under HIPAA?
• What are the confidentiality and privacy issues?
• Do I need to document emails in the clinical record?
• Office hours and outside of office hour parameters?
• Should you have a separate personal email to keep business and work issues separate?
• Location-based services:
o Are clients aware of the privacy risks in regards to apps such as , Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt when
attending agency services
• Consumer review sites:
o How to avoid challenges related to public disclosures eg; Business review sites (e.g., Yelp,
• Briefly summarize your professional thoughts and concerns regarding social media and social work
practice (1-2 paragraphs) and how this assignment will impact your practice.
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