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1.6.2 Alerts

Online bookshops and some of the major search engines offer ‘Alerts’ services. These work by allowing you to set up a profile once you have registered on their site, and when there are items meeting your criteria you receive an email. The good thing about alerts is that you don’t have to do anything once you have set up your profile. The downside, particularly with alerts services from the search engines, is that given the extent to which internet traffic is on the increase whether new
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1.6.1 Introduction

The process of keeping up-to-date in your chosen subject area is useful for your studies and afterwards, for your own personal satisfaction, or perhaps in your career as part of your continuing professional development.

There are a great many tools available that make it quite easy to keep yourself up to date. You can set them up so that the information comes to you, rather than you having to go out on the web looking for it. Over the next few pages, you will be experimenting with some
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1.5.2 Ways of organising yourself

How do you organise yourself?

Activity

Make a note of how you organise your:

  • emails

  • internet bookmarks or favorites

  • computer files

  • your h
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1.5.1 Why is it important to be organised?

  • 87% of items that are filed into a filing cabinet are never looked at again. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

  • In 2010, the world’s digital information output was estimated to pass 1.2zettabytes – A zettabyte is a new term which equals a thousand billion gigabytes. University of California (Berkley)

  • A new blog is created every second TECHNORATI

  • 10% of salary costs are wasted as e
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1.4.8 Summary

In this section we have introduced you to the PROMPT checklist as a useful tool for assessing the quality of any piece of information. If you use it regularly you will find that you develop the ability to scan information quickly and identify strengths and weaknesses. As a closing exercise you might like to pick one of these websites:

Diagnose-Me.com

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1.4.5 M is for Method

Method is about the way in which a piece of information is produced. This is quite a complex area as different types of information are produced in different ways. These are a few suggestions to look out for:

Opinions – A lot of information is based on the opinion of individuals. They may or not be experts in their field (see P for Provenance) but the key message is to be clear that it is just an opinion and must be valued as such.

Research – You don’t have t
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1.3.11 Choosing the right tool for the job

Before searching it is always a good idea to check what the source you have chosen covers to make sure it will unearth information that matches your search need (you will notice that all the resources we’ve covered in this guide have short descriptions to enable you to decide which to use). Some of the decision makers, depending on the context of your search might be:

  • Does it have full text?

  • Does it cover the right subject?


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1.3.5 Images

Images can also be found online. Some useful image databases are:


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1.2.3 Basic principles

Whatever resource you choose to use to find information on the internet, many of the same principles apply. Each source that you use will probably look quite different from the one you tried before, but you'll notice that there are always features that are similar – a box to type your search terms in, for instance, or a clickable help button. Different resources refer to the same functions using different terminology, but the principles behind them are exactly the same. The trick is to chec
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1.1.4 Evaluating information

How well does the following statement describe your approach to evaluating the information that you use?

When I come across a new piece of information (e.g. a website, newspaper article) I consider the quality of the information, and based on that I decide whether or not to use it.

  • 5 – This is an excellent match; this is exactly what I do


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1.1.3 Searching for information on health and lifestyle

How well does the following statement match what you do when you begin a new search for information?

Before I begin a new search for information (maybe for an assignment, or to help you choose your next holiday destination), I spend some time thinking about what I already know, what the gaps in my knowledge are, and the best types of information to meet my needs.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this guide you should be able to:

  • conduct your own searches efficiently and effectively;

  • find references to material in bibliographic databases;

  • make efficient use of full text electronic journals services;

  • critically evaluate information from a variety of sources;

  • understand the importance of organising your own information;

  • identify some of the systems available;

  • describe ho
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References

Baker, C. (ed.) (1998) Human Rights Act 1998: A Practitioner's Guide, London, Sweet and Maxwell.
Bashir, A. (1999) ‘Working in racist Britain’, Community Care, 21–27 October, p. 26.
Biehal, N., Clayden, J., Stein, M. and Wade, J. (1992) Prepared for Living? A Survey of Young People Leaving the Care of Three Local Authorities, London, National Childre
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4.2 Conflict and partnership

Whatever the professional setting of their practice, social workers are likely to be working with service users from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. As noted above, it is part of their responsibility as practitioners to respect and value social diversity and to work with service users in a way that recognises and builds on their strengths. This can be difficult to do in the context of the legislation. At this point, however, we want you to start to think about how practitioners c
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4.1 Unit themes and social work values

The next activity asks you to consider the relationship between the unit themes and value requirements for social care workers set out below.

Activity 4 Unit themes and social work values

0 hours 20 minutes
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1.5 Accountability

Social workers have to act within the law and can be called upon to justify their actions to courts and managers as well as to service users. The law can define a worker's accountability in some detail. Furthermore, service users have a right to complain. Social workers are also employees and thus can be called upon to justify their actions to their line management and agency; this will be outlined by their agency requirements.


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1.4 Rights

Rights is a word that is used in different ways. Lawyers use it to indicate that a person is entitled to something, for example not to be dismissed unfairly from their job or to sue for damages if they have been sold faulty goods. Others sometimes talk of rights when they are making a moral claim, for example that they ought to be allowed to demonstrate or that a particular law is unjust or unfair. In this unit we use rights primarily in the first sense, i.e. when we are talking about the act
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1.3 Empowerment and anti-oppressive practice

Empowerment can be defined as enabling service users to take action to improve their lives. From the point of view of service users, practitioners are often in positions of considerable power, particularly where decisions are being made about the delivery of services and around intervention in people's lives. To practise empowerment, social workers will need to focus on working with service users to engage them in the problem-solving process. Empowerment is linked with anti-oppressive practic
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1.1 Themes shaping practice

There are five main themes running through this unit. These themes, though not uncontested or fixed, are based on core principles and ideas that shape practice in the field of social care and social work in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors. They are:

  1. Partnership

  2. Empowerment and anti-oppressive practice

  3. Rights

  4. Accountability

  5. Valuing diversity.

Below you
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Acknowledgements

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All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

Every effort has bee
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