SSW Alumna Hillary Closs, LMSW, Presents Research Findings on Social Media Use with Foster Care Youth in Transition

Hillary ClossAs new technology develops, social workers are learning more about how to use new tools like social media in clinical practice. SSW alum Hillary Closs LMSW ’11, ’12 assessed how Facebook is being used with foster care youth in transition as a part of the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) federal initiative. Closs is the NYTD Project Coordinator at the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, where she is responsible for administering a statewide survey to youth that are preparing to age out of foster care into independent living.  

Her research, conducted with colleague and NYTD Project Director Dr. Natalie Helbig, explored how seven different states implementing the NYTD mandate were using Facebook to stay in touch with youth as they transition from care. Closs compared the strategies of these states with the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW/ASWB Standards for Technology to assess their ability to uphold the ethics of obtaining consent, preserving confidentiality, avoiding disclosure, and verifying youth identity while engaging with this population online.  

Closs recently presented her research findings at the 2014 Power of Social Work NYS National Association of Social Workers (NYSNASW) Annual Conference in March 2014.