Google Group Guidelines
The Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work (WSSCSW) google group is a valuable membership privilege: it is a robust source of referrals and of useful or vital professional information and dialogue. The information shared on this google group is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, and/or clinical recommendation(s) by or endorsement from WSSCSW as a body. Members are invited to review information with careful thought and to consult with trained, qualified experts as needed/indicated.
These guidelines apply to social media participation and communications on all WSSCSW platforms. Membership in the google group constitutes agreement to these guidelines.
Google Group Purpose
The google group is for professional WSSCSW member dialogue. All content must be of benefit to WSSCSW members and/or clinical social work. It can serve as an official channel for the WSSCSW board to contact the membership. It is not an official channel for creating a board agenda item. Members wanting board contact or action should go to the webpage for the WSSCSW Board of Directors for direct email addresses.
The google group moderator supervises by addressing questions about individual message content, and provides limited technical support. The moderator may privately contact members regarding guideline compliance. If you believe that a member needs to be reminded of the guidelines, please contact the moderator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Postings to this google group should relate to the WSSCSW activities or to clinical social work concerns. Appropriate topics include but are not limited to: seeking and providing referrals, professional resources, social work job offers from sources known to the poster, books and articles of clinical interest, office space availability, clinical social work business practices, dealing with insurance, and ethical dilemmas.
Creating a Post
Make sure your subject heading reflects the content of your posting. Avoid excessive detail which is not needed to achieve relevant objectives. Be specific (for example: “seeking an east side area therapist for a teen”). Please respect your clients' privacy in all postings. Consider whether the client would be able to identify themselves if they read your communication. Cite specific client needs, preferred office location, insurance, etc.
Be mindful about who should receive your reply. The google group's technical settings have replies going only to the original poster (OP). Hitting “reply all” goes to the full google group, the OP, and any addresses copied.
Most times, it's most appropriate to respond only to the OP instead of the entire google group. Do not “reply all” to include the google group unless you believe that most members would be interested in your reply. For example, if someone asks for a referral and you are interested, email the OP privately with your contact information and why you believe you are a good fit. These issues are not always crystal clear, but think for a second regarding whether to respond privately or to the full google group.
- Be considerate in the quantity of emails you post. We have over 250 members who use the google group. Think twice before posting more than two emails in a day. If private communications (i.e. a thank you message) will suffice, please communicate privately.
- Board members, committee members, and WSSCSW volunteers should not post statements representing the position of the WSSCSW, its board, or its committees, without drafting those statements in collaboration with the committee or board.
- Please refrain from reply-all postings to simply say "thank you" or to ask the google group to stop responding to your request. Take the extra time to to send private messages to later responders.
- Do not forward communications from other groups or other email newsletters, or post about events in which you are not involved or for which you are not registered.
- Do not send messages about terminating network contracts and fee bargaining; these may be seen as contract interference, exposing WSSCSW to legal liability.
- The google group is not currently a forum for clinical case consultation.
- Do not correct members who post incorrectly. Contact the moderator.
- Be civil: Do not "yell" with all solid CAPITAL LETTERS. Keep posts non-judgmental and non-derogatory.
- Other banned content: No emergency messages, jokes/pranks, product ads, virus warnings, chain emails, or other content unrelated to the google groups stated purpose.
- All members should adhere to the CSWA Code of Ethics for clinical social workers, in particular Section 5 regarding Cultural Competence:
a) The social work profession has a strong commitment to social justice. As such, clinical social workers shall strive to maintain awareness, knowledge, and skills with regard to cultural competence and its influence on human behavior and society.
b) Clinical social workers seek to enhance their understanding of different cultures, races, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and its effect on the client’s reason for seeking help.
c) Clinical social workers shall seek to become culturally competent and understand the effects of trauma caused by institutional and individual oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability. Specifically, culturally competent clinical social workers should:
1. try not to hold preconceived limitations and notions about culturally or sexually diverse people;
2. not profess color blindness or negate the existence of differences in behavior, attitudes, cultural norms, beliefs, etc., among different groups;
3. accept responsibility for their own racism, sexism, biases, etc., and attempt to deal with them in a non-defensive, guilt-free manner;
4. be aware of the history, experiences, cultural values, and lifestyles of various socio-demographic groups in our society;
5. understand the impact and operation of oppression (racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc.) and racist, sexist, and homophobic concepts that have permeated institutions;
6. be aware of institutional barriers that prevent some clients of color, diverse families and populations from accessing services;
7. be able to exercise a variety of relationship building skills with colleagues and co-workers of different backgrounds;
8. be aware of their helping style, and recognize the limitations that they may possess, and can anticipate the impact on culturally diverse clients and colleagues.
Violations Periodic reminders about the google group guidelines will be sent to the google group by the moderator. Posts that violate the guidelines will receive a friendly private reminder from the moderator. Members who prompt repeat moderator warnings, or who egregiously violate the guidelines, will be referred to the board for response. Only a majority board vote can limit, suspend, or terminate any member’s google group privileges. However, multiple violations related to unethical behavior on the google group, in particular the CSWA ethics of cultural competence, will result in automatic revocation of google group access.
The board strives to encourage the fostering of transformative justice advocate Mia Mingus’ four parts to accountability, including self reflection, apology, repair, and changed behavior:
“True accountability is not only apologizing, understanding the impact your actions have caused on yourself and others, making amends or reparations to the harmed parties, but most importantly, true accountability is changing your behavior so that the harm, violence, abuse does not happen again.”
- Mia Mingus
If the board sees a serious ethical violation on the google group, or if a member contacts the board with concern about a possible serious ethical violation on the google group, the following process will occur:
- If the concern is from a member, that member is invited to have a conversation with the google group moderator. The moderator will: provide a space for the member to be heard in their concerns, inform the member of the following steps regarding board response, and invite the member to give feedback directly to the original poster (OP) whose post caused the concern.
- The moderator will consult with the WSSCSW president about the post which is causing concern.
- If after the moderator and president consult, they find that the original post is found to violate the WSSCSW Code of Ethics or the google group guidelines, the moderator will contact OP to let the OP know what part of their post was in violation.
- The moderator will invite the OP to send a response and correction to the google group, offering to collaborate in drafting the response.
- If the OP declines to post a response or correction, the moderator will draft a response in consultation with the board. This response will address the ethical violation, point to the relevant section of the Code of Ethics, and invite concerned members to contact the moderator for further discussion as desired. The board will also review the OP’s continued google group access.
- If the OP posts a correction, the moderator will also make a statement to the google group: We noticed an exchange that generated concern happened recently on the google group. Thank you to the poster who made the correction; we invite any member to continue the conversation with us directly if you would like.
The google group moderator is the WSSCSW Communications Chair, whom you can reach at email@example.com.
For our collective benefit, here is a reminder of our ethical guidelines.