Social Services: Advantages, Disadvantages, Helpful Digital Tools

A social worker’s mission is to find solutions to help people in difficulty like the disabled. They listen, support, accompany and advise these people according to their demands and needs. Their job is to collect the data necessary to understand their situation, to analyze their demands, and find the solution to their problems.

The social worker may be confronted with very different situations: indebtedness, regaining autonomy in everyday life, unemployment, administrative procedures. The social worker must surround himself with other people in relation with his patients and family.

Skills, pluses and minuses of social work:

  • Skills. To be a social worker, you have to be optimistic, human, patient and love the contact, you have to have some legal notions and you have to know how to listen to others.
  • Disadvantages. This is a very tiring job because many people have problems and we must try to solve them as quickly as possible. But it’s not easy because we do not always find solutions to their problems.
  • Advantages. The advantages of this job are that we have a lot of contacts humans. We can have satisfaction when we manage to help people in difficulty. We are faced with very different problems, which makes it possible to not always do the same thing.

There are several front-line social service initiatives, aimed at meeting the needs of vulnerable patients and provide them with a regular source of care, effectively improve the continuity of care and access of these groups to regular and related front-line services. An interdisciplinary teams provide front-line social services and mental health for homeless men and women as well as street youth.

Digital tools of social workers

Digital technology promotes the implementation of new recognized online services. Social workers have a range of digital tools that are constantly evolving with business applications: activity monitoring, contact management, folders and communication tools at a distance with the accompanied persons and the partners (sms, emails, social networks).

Other tools aim to improve the consideration of situations, to promote the inclusion of people through access to new service offerings. Can be cited for examples:

  • Digital safes that preserve and protect personal documents or confidential.
  • Geolocation that tries to promote contacts and meetings with people who are to the street or to secure the movement of disoriented people.
  • Multiple applications supporting social intervention are used in all areas: budget management support, online translation services, rights simulators …
  • to new tools using artificial intelligence associated with algorithms that will allow tomorrow to offer new services: the development of support robots, interactive communication and surveillance systems (currently used by dependent people).
  • Each organization develops its digital tools without always questioning the consequences of their set up. If some of them are useful and of interest, others may sometimes going against the emancipation of the person and his autonomy.

The introduction of digitalization to the field of social services is supposed to improve the daily life of people and the functioning of public and private organizations. It also aims to achieve savings

scale for the organizations that use them. However, the automation and standardization of certain numerical procedures are likely to produce unexpected effects and pose organizational problems, legal issues as well as ethical conflicts.

Communication and exchange tools to secure social workers are driven to use digital “platforms” that are specifically dedicated. It is necessary for the institutions to associate them from conception with use and their evaluation. The main exchanges are now carried out by couriers who use the systems ordinary email management whose transmission and access are not sufficiently secure.

Direct contact between professionals is necessary, even imperative especially in the exchange “sensitive” information:

  • Dematerialization forces to secure personal information of accompanied people. When the use of the software is poorly controlled or excessive, it poses the crucial issue of data security and preservation. This can go against the right respect for the privacy of individuals;
  • The differences in the level of control of these uses, can generate dysfunctions;
  • Authentication by username and password shows its limits in terms of security and data protection (password copied and visible, kept in a service, transmission of the password in clear on the network, etc.). These limits create the need for a process stronger authentication without being more complex.