The Innovative Use of Media in Social Work Practice
Social media plays a critical role in communication and reaching out to the general public. Novel innovations, such as wireless technology, MP3 podcasts, and internet radios, are transforming the way in which we receive and process information. There is practicality in utilizing the radio for purposes such as promoting advocacy, increasing education
In 2008, the School of Social Work (SSW) at SIUC conducted a needs assessment among senior nutrition programs in order to identify ten specific areas that older adults wanted to learn more about. Topics included caregiving and depression, caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving burnout and compassion fatigue, grandparents raising children, end of life care, grief, and loss, and more. Once all topics were identified, SIU’s School of Social Work (SSW) partnered with Caring Counseling Ministries (CCM) in Marion, IL, WGGH Radio Station, and the “Dare to Care” radio show, a talk show that discusses topics in caregiving on a monthly basis, to create a program intended to help consumers make informed health decisions and seek care based on informed decision making.
The SSW faculty worked with a CCM intern to develop scripts for the “Dare to Care” radio show. These scripts were then formatted into a CD and transformed into a therapeutic workbook to create a module package intended for individual use. Each module explores statistics and facts about the topic area, common concerns,
The program development team hopes to field test modules to identify the effectiveness of this intervention and its impact on reducing caregiver stress and depression. The team also hopes to obtain financial support to replicate materials for consumer
According to Dr. Jurkowski, “This use of broadcast media has provided opportunities for students working on their MSW program and Certificate in Gerontology to participate in building broadcast and podcast opportunities. A unique opportunity for social workers to reach their clientele in an innovative way, I think that that this training provides skills for social workers to serve as “educators”. The team that works with the “Dare to Care” show hope to develop a link on the radio station’s website to include podcasts for people to be able to review or download. In addition, they hope to expand the topics to include health literacy and social justice. A series on Family Life education and