Using social media to widen young people’s participation in social work education: final report for Nominettrust

Franklin, P., Hossain, R. and Coren, E. (2014) Using social media to widen young people’s participation in social work education: final report for Nominettrust. Project Report.


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Using a systematic review approach, this study set out to identify social media resources currently used by service users to share knowledge and experience, in order that they could be used to widen young people’s participation in social work education. Resources found were included in a database available to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to support and promote the use of these sites.
The review was undertaken in partnership with young service users.
The Review question was:
• How do interventions/services using new social and other digital media technologies promote children and young people’s participation?
Sub-questions were:
• How do such interventions/services conceptualise participation?
• What are the perceived facilitators and barriers of participation?
• What are the implications for engaging young service users in social work education?

A review of published literature provides a foundation to understand how and in what ways social media is currently being used and suggest ways in which it might be used in the future. In addition to academic studies, this project reviews social media, e.g. social networks, blogs, video conferencing, used by users of personal services to share experiences and contribute to knowledge. Social media resources identified are presented in tabular form and are also made accessible though the inclusion of hyperlinks to a range of digital material.

Finding of this study suggest that social media is currently being used by adults for two purposes, to promote civic participation or to socialise young people. Consequently the potential biases and shortcomings of face-to-face communication between service providers and service users can be reproduced in online forms of communication.
Conclusions drawn include:
• Genuine engagement with young people requires digital technologies to provide complementary, more empowering public spaces and channels for expression which may lead to social change.
• There is a need to consider ways group membership is constructed and established, both in terms of involvement in social work education in general, and in providing mechanisms that support the use of social media to facilitate this.
The report concludes by making recommendations for future action

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV0040 Social service. Social work. Charity
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work
Depositing User: Mrs Pauline Franklin
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2015 10:44
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2015 10:47

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00