Technology Assessments for Families

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Tech Brings Us Together

If you're going to focus on the negatives of technology, you absolutely cannot forget the positives.

I think that technology has opened so many avenues for people to have new experiences - most of them positive. You can find others who are experiencing the same things you are. Teens are using hashtags to talk about self-harm and experiences of abuse. The internet has a generally open source culture - you can learn about literally anything for free, increasing educational opportunities and experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible. Families can stay even more connected - through Skype or online chats that allow long-distance conversations and relationships. Studios are creating mobile applications that replace old brick and mortar social services - like Safe Night, a crowdfunding platform for persons facing homelessness. The potential for personal growth and opportunity because of technology is immeasurable. As social workers, we are often slow to adapt to new tools that could enhance our practice - which is probably why we're failing in many ways.

If you're going to assess a family's technology use, you should consider all sides. If a teen wasn't up all night texting their friends- what else would they be doing? I stayed up many, many nights on the (landline!) phone talking to mine - or even just reading a book. Teens are nightowls. It's not the phone keeping them awake. It's their nature. If parents aren't spending enough time with their children, there's probably a larger issue going on than their FarmVille addiction. I wouldn't jump to assume that technology is the problem.

-Rachel M, MSW. Nonprofit Tech Developer. Millennial.

Rachel, MSW more than 8 years ago


Rachel, absolutely--the technology assessment can identify both the positive and negative ways the family members are using and/or affected by technology, as well as ways tech can be used in working with the family. Thank you for your input. more than 8 years ago

assessment tool

Can you send me a copy or link to your assessment tool?

Katy and Tim Gibney more than 3 years ago

Assessment addition

Great addition to assessment. Thank you!

Dawn Briggs more than 9 years ago

A lot of parents I work with seem to have given up trying to limit tech

A lot of parents I work with seem to have just given up trying to limit their child's use of technology. They say it's hard to go back once their child has gotten used to communicating that way. I see it as a rather large problem in families.

karen maes, LCSW more than 9 years ago

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