“Social media is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. All the time online conversations are happening about you, your brand and your organisation. It’s not a choice whether you DO social media, the choice is how well you do it” Erik Qualman author of socialnomics
Social networking has the potential to put the “social” back into social work and social care. It is encouraging to note how many care organisations are now using social media to communicate and debate with an increasingly diverse group of people interested in improving care services. We need public support to show politicians that there is widespread support for properly funding the services which millions of people rely on daily. Social media has a powerful role in offering a different narrative about the impact of social work and care services.
Twitter is a rich source of instantly updated information and it is how I stay updated on an incredibly wide variety of topics. What makes a care tweeter valuable? Generously sharing knowledge, passions and links to useful resources and blogs. Listening, challenging, informing and making a difference. However having a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile and rarely updating shows a real lack of interest in being social. I will leave you to judge how social our care tweeters are!
If you are an organisation funded to engage with the public you need a strategy for responding to questions and comments online. A top tip for care organisations make it easy for people to find you on your website by promoting your social media presence!
I was recently asked by @sarahlay for recommendations about care organisations to follow on Twitter. This should be a simple request but…. it does require an understanding of the complicated and fragmented nature of the care sector. Care services are provided by a diverse range of providers including local authorities, health, housing, charities, social enterprises and the private sector. This is a very brief guide (in alphabetical order) to some of the major players in social work and social care who are using Twitter.
David Pearson is Director of Adult Social Services at Nottingham Council and incoming President of ADASS @adassdavidp
Sandie Keen is Director of Adult Social Services at Leeds City Council and previous President of ADASS @SandieKeene
The Association of Directors of Children’s Services are not using Twitter
Mithran Samuel Adults’ editor Community Care @ComCareAdults
CQC for Professionals Twitter account for health and social care professionals, and provider organisations @CQCProf
The Chair David Prior and CEO David Behan are not using Twitter
Andrea Sutcliffe is Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission @Crouchendtiger7
Alan Rosenbach is Special Policy Lead at the Care Quality Commission @AlanRosenbach
Chris Day Director of Engagement at the Care Quality Commission @chrisday31,
Professor Steve Field Chief Inspector of General Practice @ProfSteveField
Maggie Atkinson is the Children’s Commissioner @ChildrensComm
Jo Cleary is Chair of the College of Social Work Board @ChairTCSW
Michael Gove Secretary of State for Education unable to find on Twitter
Edward Timpson Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Children and Families unable to find on Twitter
Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health @Jeremy_Hunt
Norman Lamb Minitster of State for Care and Support @normanlamb
Andy Burnham Shadow Health Secretary @andyburnhammp
Liz Kendall Shadow Minister for Care and Older People @leicesterliz
Jon Rouse Director General for Social care, Local Government and Care Partnerships Department of Health @RouseJonDGDH
National Skills Academy for Social Care @NSASocialCare
To understand the complexity of the NHS I recommend this alternative guide to the new NHS in England animation produced by the Kings Fund. I think we would all benefit from the King Fund producing a similar animation for the care sector!
CEO Sharon Allen @sharonallensfc
Social Care Institute for Excellence @SCIE_socialcare
CEO Tony Hunter @TonyHunterscie
Programme Director Sam Bennett @samhbenn
The Kings Fund
Richard Humphries is Assistant Director of Policy at the King’s Fund with interests in social care, local government, the NHS, housing and care issues @RichardatKF
CEO Anna Fowlie @AnnaFowlieSSSC
CEO Rhian Huws Williams @RhHWilliams
Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales @CSSIW
CEO Colum Conway @ColumConwayNISC
And finally special mentions for:
@Ermintrude2 thoughtful, analytical and challenging with a special interest in older adults, dementia, mental health and mental capacity
Gary Holden Professor at New York University Silver School of Social Work who edits the excellent international research digest for social work and social care. Information for Practice @Info4Practice
This post is a starting point for signposting people to organisations responsible for informing and shaping the debates about care and I make no claims that it is a comprehensive list. Do let me know if I have missed any care organisations or Tweeters who you feel should definitely be added! You may also find it helpful to look at my many Twitter lists @shirleyayres
Mark Brown (@markoneinfour), Shirley Ayres (@shirleyayres) and Paul Taylor (@paulbromford) will be discussing “what can social media do to make social good better?” on the 29th April in Central London. You can book a ticket for the event here