[The use of social media and electronic communication in the delivery of youth protection services to young people in difficulty and their families]

Beaumier I, Nsanzabera D, St-Jacques S
Record ID 32018002290
English, French
Original Title: Utilisation des médias sociaux et des moyens de communication électroniques lors de la prestation de services auprès des jeunes en difficulté et de leur famille suivis en protection de la jeunesse
Authors' objectives: The purpose of this abridged ETMISSS is to answer the question: “What practices should be recommended to guide the use of social media and electronic communication by practitioners in the delivery of youth protection services to clients (young people in difficulty and their families)?”
Authors' results and conclusions: Triangulation of data from various sources was used to answer the assessment questions: How do practitioners use social media and electronic communication in the delivery of youth protection services to clients? What are the benefits, issues and risks associated with the use of social media and electronic communication in the delivery of youth protection services to clients from the practitioner’s perspective? What guidelines should be put in place to regulate the use of social media and electronic communication in the delivery of youth protection services to clients from the practitioner’s perspective? All the data collected from the different sources point in the same direction with respect to SM and EC use, the benefits and issues as well as the needs associated with their use by YP practitioners. Information collected from a variety of sources highlights the need for clear policies, guidelines and directives on the use of SM and EC in YP and the need for training for practitioners. Although SM and EC have many benefits and advantages and also afford opportunities for innovation, they are not without risks and challenges. Developing and implementing guidelines that are aligned with the ethical and legal aspects as well as with the professional orders is imperative for organizations. It would appear, however, that guidelines alone are not enough to manage the dilemmas faced on a daily basis and that other strategies must be used to promote the ethical use of SM and EC, such as training and access to advisors as well as other tools, such as ethical decision-making tools. Finally, it follows that organizations should be vigilant and proactive with respect to the new communication technologies that will be required in practice so that they will be able to adjust quickly.
Authors' recomendations: FINDINGS Organizational › A “technological shift” in practice is unavoidable, since SM and EC have become work tools for YP practitioners. › Investments in technology infrastructure and access to electronic equipment are critical to ensuring the appropriate and safe use of SM and EC. › Access to and investments in training and support regarding the use of SM and EC could prevent problems related to confidentiality and data security. › Guidelines that are aligned with the orientations of professional orders are necessary to ensure the effective and safe use of SM and EC. › Users (professionals and managers), human resources and legal advisors should be involved in developing the guidelines. Professional › The main advantages of using SM and EC are their speed and effectiveness in reaching clients “where they’re at” and their normalizing effect for young people. › The main issues associated with the use of SM and EC in the delivery of YP services are maintaining boundaries between the professional and personal spheres for practitioners, confidentiality, information security and the relationship between the professional and the client. › Risk management when using SM and EC must be considered when developing guidelines. › Ethical principles and the notion of intent are central to SM and EC use. › The absence of guidelines leads to variations in practice depending on the setting and the practitioner. › The practitioner has a role in educating and supporting young people in their use of SM and EC. Personnal/private › Using SM and EC for surveillance and to search for information is bidirectional, that is, practitioners vis-à-vis clients, but also clients vis-à-vis practitioners. › Concerns have been raised about the intrusion into practitioners’ private life: they are on the same social networks as clients. In addition, emails, text messages and other forms of cyber communication contribute to the perception that practitioners are available 24/7. › Caution, education and awareness raising are needed regarding practitioners’ personal use of their own SM (adjustment of privacy settings, reflection on the “image” projected, etc.). › A “user” component should be included in the guidelines, since users have rights and responsibilities, in particular with respect to protecting practitioners from intrusions into their private life and online harassment.
Authors' methods: Three sources of data were used: (1) scientific literature (the CINAHL [EBSCO], PsycINFO [OVID] and Social Care Online databases) and grey literature); (2) experiential data collected through a survey, focus groups and individual interviews with practitioners and managers; (3) contextual data from an Ethics Opinion of the Clinical Ethics and Education Committee of the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale as well as documentation on the legal aspect.
Details
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2022
Requestor: Policy and guidelines development
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: Canada
Province: Quebec
MeSH Terms
  • Communication
  • Social Media
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Child Protective Services
  • Mental Health Services
  • Social Support
Keywords
  • Electronic communication
  • Social medias
  • Youth protection
  • Guidelines
Contact
Organisation Name: Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale
Contact Address: 525, boulevard Wilfrid-Hamel, bureau A-122
Contact Name: Sylvie St-Jacques
Contact Email: uetmisss.deau.ciussscn@ssss.gouv.qc.ca
Copyright: © Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale, 2022
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.