By Bryan Glastonbury (auth.)
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Additional info for Computers in Social Work
Comment As was stated in the Introduction, Hampshire's system has not been described because it is necessarily the most modern in a social services department. Some others have established more comprehensive files, or moved further into the new dimension of personal computing. Yet Hampshire does offer some lessons gained from experience, and some guidelines to good practice. The difficulties tend to have centred around the task of getting a computer system set up or expanded without causing too much confusion or creating too many inaccuracies.
Entries both to client and establishment files were initiated by an action note from area office or other front-line venue, passed to division, which in turn transferred the information to an input form. There was a form each for client or establishment entry, but the same form covered new referrals, changes to existing files and closures. The forms were then gathered at the divisional offices and sent in bundles to HQ for putting on to the computer. A temporary computer file was created and a copy of the proposed entry returned for correction to the division, and only after that was it put (at fortnightly intervals) on to the permanent file.
A rational approach to computer use This brief look at some of the factors in the history of computer uses in social services departments tends towards the conclusion that pressure and opportunity played a large part, with careful design and reflection often some way behind. A more careful approach is often advocated, sometimes a more cautious one (as by LAM SAC's Social Services Computer Applications Group, reported in Community Care, 17 February (983). Emphasis is likely to be placed too on responsibility - 'it is the responsibility of administrators not only to recognise and exploit the capabilities of the modern computer ...
Computers in Social Work by Bryan Glastonbury (auth.)