A Conceptual Framework for Information Technology in Social Work Practice

  • Dale Fitch University of Missouri
Keywords: Data, Information, Knowledge, Information Systems


This article describes how information systems research in the human services can be facilitated with a conceptual framework that addresses the fundamental roles of data, information and knowledge in understanding organizational information systems. Using methodologies originating in information systems and organizational research, the resulting conceptual framework explains how we are to understand information technology from the perspectives of clinical social work, supervision, social work administration, policy, and community collaborations. It concludes by reminding us that to the extent we have done little to educate our students on the differences between data, information and knowledge, and to educate them based on research performed in our human services agencies, is the extent to which our professional practice relative to technology will not advance in the 21st century.