Pandora's Box:Unleashing Technology in the Human Services
Ibrahim, Rahima & Jones, Pauline G. (2003) Pandora's Box:Unleashing Technology in the Human Services. In Bradley, Rebecca, Lyddon, Jeff, & Buys, Laurie (Eds.) Social Change in the 21st Century, 21 November 2003, QUT, Brisbane.
By promoting certain beliefs and values in the human services environment, technology can enable or disable the processes and ultimately the outcomes in service provision. The value of respect in the human services is undermined by the influences of the medical model and government policies, controlling how the sector deals with clients. The helping professions’ ideal of ‘doing good’ displaces respect in interpersonal transactions when it perpetuates blaming the victim. Similarly, the engagement with new administrative practices and complex technology has mainly inhibited the empowerment of the staff, clients and the human service organisations. Thus, instruments to implement policy couched in this medical framework challenges the rites of respect and conflicts with the idea of technology for empowerment. As respect is a key component in human relationships, this paper argues that it should be essential in the provision of human services. Therefore, utilising the concept of respect to direct the use of technologies becomes tantamount to innovative and empowering practice in the human services arena.
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