10 episodes

I’m going to bring you ideas, initiatives and individuals doing interesting and unique things with technology in their human service work. There are thousands of human and community service non profits that want and need to use technology, especially social media, in their service work. That’s what I’m interested in and am going to explore in this podcast.

Technology in Human Services Technology in Human Services

    • Government
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

I’m going to bring you ideas, initiatives and individuals doing interesting and unique things with technology in their human service work. There are thousands of human and community service non profits that want and need to use technology, especially social media, in their service work. That’s what I’m interested in and am going to explore in this podcast.

    TiHS Episode 18: Lawrence Murphy – the future of online counselling is now

    TiHS Episode 18: Lawrence Murphy – the future of online counselling is now

    In this episode, I’m so excited to welcome Lawrence Murphy back to the podcast. Lawrence is a pioneer in cyber counselling in Canada. Given the move to sudden remote work for everyone, including human and social services workers, therapists, etc., I wanted to get his insights on where we’re at and what things may look like in the future. In particular, what he is seeing now that excites him, what concerns him, what is happening in his own practice, research, and the professional development he does.

    As you’ll hear, Lawrence has been busy! He started doing webinar trainings on March 23 and delivered 42 sessions, training over 7000 mental health professionals across the country over two months!

    As he did previously, Lawrence recommends a focus on ethics, standards, policies and procedures when getting up and running. Make sure that in your planning there’s an emphasis on privacy, security and confidentiality, both in terms of the technology tools, but also their use. As well, recognize that you may need some new skill development in the space, not just with the tools, but also with the approach to counselling online.

    Some themes from our conversation:

    * You need to skill up, not just on the tech, but on technique.* You need self-care, and ways to process your client interactions in a different way than you might usually in the office. Create a work routine in your home that separates your work from your personal life. It takes discipline to separate them when you’re working from home. Don’t work all the time. Especially when you’re dealing with difficult topics or situations, it used to be something you could leave at the office. But now “all the pain is in our homes” and we need to recognize that.* Setting boundaries and not using personal devices is an important part of that.* Ethics – how do you handle situations you see or hear in the background during a client interaction?* Policies – what policies do you have in place? Lawrence mentioned some useful documents, they’re below.* Tech – do you fully understand the privacy, security, and confidentiality settings or deficiencies of the technology you’re using?* You don’t know what you don’t know. And it’s your responsibility to figure it out to build the best foundation you can, seek out useful resources from any organization or association and to review them and how they can fit into and inform your practice.* What does the future look like? This virtual work will carry on. It’s that simple. You need to skill up and continue learning. Lawrence’s insights will give you some of the key themes you need to continuously be thinking about and building your competencies around.* Work on your policies. You’re behind and this is an important time to get caught up.* It’s technology. Whatever can go wrong, will. Be prepared for things to go wrong technically. Discuss that with your clients. Always have a Plan B.* Be future focused. Online counselling is not going away.* Technology is just another tool in the tool box. You need to stay current. 

    Work on your skills, and commit to professional practice. What this looks like comes up consistently in policy documents from regulatory bodies (see examples below):

    * You have demonstrated and documented competence in the technologies you use through appropriate and adequate education, training, and supervised experience.* You have necessary digital security measures in place to protect client privacy and confidentiality.* The technology applications you use are tailored or matched to unique client concerns and cont...

    • 59 min
    TiHS Episode 17: Chris Friesen – the future of settlement work is now

    TiHS Episode 17: Chris Friesen – the future of settlement work is now

    When I think about the future of immigrant and refugee-services in Canada, there are a number of people I always want to talk to. Chris Friesen of ISSofBC is one of them.

    He’s well connected and we’ll respected in the sector. Generous with his time. Innovative in his work. Chris always finds time to chat. He’ll take a moment to answer questions in some small research I’m doing. He tells me about things I didn’t know were going on in the sector.

    In this interview, I surface the conversations we’ve been having. We talk at what settlement work looks like now, during a pandemic. What are the opportunities the sector needs to seize? What does the funder need to understand? What do we need to understand about the digital divide and digital literacy of the newcomers and communities we serve? And more.

    Chris has always looked at the sector as a national project. We can become better at collaborating. We can become better at sharing what works, how we’re innovating, how we’re resilient. He’s a great advocate for the sector on the national stage. And he doesn’t shy away from telling the sector’s main funder how it can make things better for everyone.

    I think you’ll find this a fun, interesting, and insightful conversation.

    Some of ISSofBC’s recent work and resources:

    * Newcomer.info – a mass text-messaging tool purpose built for rapid, real-time and relevant information sharing with refugee and immigrant newcomers.* Digital Literacy Curriculum Resource – a website to aid English language instructors and those in the Settlement field in helping newcomer clients overcome digital literacy barriers.* NewTrack – a comprehensive sector tailored database/CRM system that incorporates all aspects of settlement agencies.* In partnership with TELUS “Welcome to Canada” initiative, which expands its Internet for Good and Mobility for Good programs through a customized pilot to help government-assisted refugees arriving in BC.* Welcome to our Homelands, a seven-minute video featuring six Indigenous individuals extending a welcoming message to newcomers to Canada, has been released along with a study guide to serve as a “jumping off point for further learning.”* Technology for Learning – ISSofBC’s LINC program utilizes current technology trends, contributing to a dynamic classroom environment that improves language learning.* Special Reports and Publications on Refugees – ISSofBC offers statistics, trends, observations and reports on the newcomer experience.

    • 44 min
    TiHS Episode 16: Nadia Caidi – understanding the information seeking practices of newcomers

    TiHS Episode 16: Nadia Caidi – understanding the information seeking practices of newcomers

    It’s useful to understand how your clients look for, find, assess and act on information. In this interview, U of T Professor Nadia Caidi provides an overview of newcomer information seeking behaviour and practice. I interviewed Professor Caidi in 2018 for Findhelp’s online course Settlement Information and Referral Online Training Program.

    That discussion is relevant today more than ever. As the sector has shifted to working remotely, understanding the information seeking behaviour and practices of newcomers is essential to know where and how to reach them. Building trust is an important component of that. Technology is increasingly playing a role to help you do that.

    Your inherent capacity and assets as Settlement Workers can help you build trust with potential and existing clients. Professor Caidi outlines how Settlement Workers can position themselves as trusted resources.

    People will often act on information or advice based on relationships they have, not necessarily the quality of information provided. If you trust someone, their opinion will weigh more than someone else, even if that other person is more of an expert in the area you’re asking about.

    This is is key insight for Settlement Workers.

    It highlights the importance of becoming a trusted, “heavy” source of information for your clients. Ultimately, your credibility will come from how helpful you’re perceived to be and how usable the information you provide is.

    Professor Caidi outlines how important it is to provide newcomers with a sense of the local information and service landscape. She also discusses the role of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in migration and settlement, and how the immigrant and refugee-serving sector can harness and shift how it works using technology.

    If you’re are interested in this research area and are not familiar with Professor Caidi’s work, you should be. From 2008, Information Practices of Immigrants to Canada – A Review of the Literature (PDF). It’s 66 pages of awesome insight, taking information studies/science analysis and overlaying it with the migration and settlement process.

    So useful.

    From the Exec Summary:

    “Despite the vast array of resources and services available to them, there is little research that examines the extent to which immigrants are able to adequately access and make use of government, settlement, and ethno-cultural information and services available to them. Relatively little research documents the ways in which newcomers and longer-established immigrants locate and access content in forms that are understandable and usable to them.The purpose of this study is to examine the information needs, sources, and barriers to accessing information experienced by those who immigrate to Canada. In particular, we examine how both information needs and strategies for finding information change during the settlement process. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we synthesize and critically review a wide range of studies in the areas of Information Studies, Communications, Sociology, Social Work, Immigration and Settlement studies. We examine academic, community based, and “grey” literature.”

    Read it. It’s your foundation to what comes next.

    • 38 min
    TiHS Episode 15: Roxana Salehi – tips for working virtually

    TiHS Episode 15: Roxana Salehi – tips for working virtually

    You’ve likely been inundated with articles, tips, courses, webinars and more about working virtually. I’ve shared a lot of those materials.

    Within my network, when I saw Roxana share that she’s been getting lots of requests for tips about how to work virtually, I thought we should chat.

    In this interview, Roxana shares her experience working both as part of international virtual teams, as well as a remote consultant. She shares tips about :

    * logistics* platforms for meetings * how to optimize those platforms for effective work and meetings* how to best prepare for and run virtual meetings/work* some other useful tips about doing virtual work.

    Roxana offers many practical tips from her experience that are valuable for anyone who might be just getting started on remote work.

    Roxana is the founder and principal consultant of Vitus Consulting, a firm dedicated to turning research and evaluation data into strategic insight. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Global Child Health at SickKids Hospital. She has been working with and as part of virtual teams for several years. She now lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.  She’s passionate about tackling local and global health challenges, and loves hiking in nature and dark chocolate. You can find her at vitus.ca or  roxana@vitus.ca

    • 28 min
    TiHS Episode 14: Jennifer Chan – moving a design lab online when a pandemic closes your organization’s door

    TiHS Episode 14: Jennifer Chan – moving a design lab online when a pandemic closes your organization’s door

    Things moved quickly, like everywhere. Suddenly schools closed. Travel was discouraged. Community service agencies had to decide if they were going to close and how they would continue to provide service.

    In this interview, Jennifer Chan of North York Community House talks about how she quickly decided to move an upcoming design lab online with her team of facilitators and twenty youth researchers. Her team has been working to better understand the everyday lives of community members – their hopes, fears, and challenges – and using this learning to create programs that meet their specific needs.

    Even though she is a seasoned facilitator and very technically literate, there were challenges to overcome.

    Listen as she describes:

    * how she made the decision* what it was like at her agency during a time of decision chaos as they worked to ensure their community could continue to be served* How her shift online rolled out, including the technology choices she made and how her team had to pivot as they were working together online* How group dynamics shifted from the first meeting to the second* Key things Jennifer recommends you think about when doing online work

    Key themes that emerged for me when Jennifer talks about working with her team online: 

    Everyone understood it was a bit of an experiment. It was bumpy. Some tech worked and they had to pivot to another tech they were familiar with. Team members took the lead and recommended another technology tool they were familiar with. It worked. Trust was important. Uncertainty was OK.

    Time was tight, but they made it work. Lessons for future include:

    * Know your tech tools deeply. But have a back up. When they suddenly realized that Google Hangouts (free) capped participants at 15 and they had 21, the day could have been derailed. But a youth team member suggested a pivot to Discord and it worked.* Test your tech ahead of time. Jenn was pivoting quickly, and used the technology she had. But you need to plan for the tech as much as you need to plan your overall agenda. And be ready to pivot when something doesn’t work.* Different technology has different features, you may not get everything you want, but you should know what it has so you can plan accordingly. On the second day, Jennifer was able to use a tool Google Meet (paid), she also found more functionality that was useful for them (recording, auto transcript and more), although being able to see when people were typing in Discord was particularly useful. As well, in Google Meet, when using video, you can’t see everyone in a gallery view like you can in Zoom. * Plan more than you think you need to. Jennifer created a very specific detailed agenda including links to online breakout rooms * The design and innovation program approach lent itself to a more fluid team dynamic that allowed for uncertainty, pivoting and learning as they worked.* As the group becomes comfortable working online together (including with the tools), it becomes easier. Jenn found that team members regained their personalities on the second day. Having small group breakout rooms online was key. They were still very productive, but group dynamics were more comfortable, as if they were in person. Team members had “broken the virtual walls in their breakout rooms” and brought that back into the main virtual meeting space.

    Useful resources:

    Jenn shared some documents she circulated before their online meetings. Of note, she created some Rules of Engagement. Simple, practical, but important:


    • 1 hr 13 min
    TiHS Season 2 Episode 1: Podcasting – the how and why for your nonprofit

    TiHS Season 2 Episode 1: Podcasting – the how and why for your nonprofit

    Welcome to season 2 of the Technology in Human Services podcast!

    This is a recording of a presentation I recently made at a technology/professional development day with CSAE Trillium. My presentation, Podcasting: the how and why for your nonprofit, focused on:

    * Trends and statistics* 5 steps to make it work (including how I do it)* Measuring success* Resources

    I wasn’t able to stay for an after-lunch panel and round-table discussion with other presenters. So I recorded a short video with my main talking points for them to play. You can find that below (if you want a quick summary of this episode), along with my presentation slides. I also decided to record my presentation, to use as the first episode of this new podcast season.

    I hope you like it. I’m looking forward to recording more episodes!


    Podcasting Resources:

    Podcasting 101. Or, well, how I do it, anyway…

    A five-step process to make podcasting work for your nonprofit

    Canadian Podcast Listener Survey

    You may be interested in reading other articles and podcast episodes on my site related to providing service online.

    If you’re serious about podcasting, here are some great resources and further reading:

    * Podcasting Manual by Blubrry* The Absolute Beginners Guide to Podcasting* Podcasting for Business: Top Podcasters Share Success Tips* Is Podcasting Worth It?* How Christopher Penn podcasts* Podcasting for Beginners: The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Podcasts* a rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label=" (opens in a new tab)" href="http://www.convinceandconvert.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Top Podcasts In Government