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Linlithgow Loch December 2012

Love walking along the loch on my way to work in the morning. Such an amazing scene had to share with the world! A Guid New Year to all.

Misty Morning

Misty Morning


SSSC23 Things Digital -Thing 5: Social Media

This Badge got me thinking back to my induction and training as a carer/companion over the past 6 years. Prior to my current position I was employed as a support worker with similar policies and procedures on IT, Communications and Monitoring, which I now understand to include “Social Media”. How things have changed!

Amazed how fast technology has affected work practices in relation to managing clients personal details. From using my mobile phone for texting, emailing, and all the other applications such as google, on smart phone, laptops and tablets, I am very aware of risks in breach of confidentiality should I loose my phone or laptop top laptop, as I worked in financial services a long long time ago when the data protection act first came out!

When given a copy of the SSSC Codes of Practice during my induction I was made fully aware of the importance of adhering to the “Rules” and after watching the video on “SSSC Social media guidance” it reminded me Code 5.8 is worth looking at again. It highlighted that it “is how you behave and not whether you use social media”. Thankfully I have never had any difficulties in using Facebook, and with the correct security settings feel safe sharing items privately and publicly, being mindful when replying to messages on all platforms.

In light of all the fake news on Facebook and news of emails being hacked, and the scandal reported on the selling of private information from records retained by websites I had considered deleting my Facebook profile. After discussions with family and friends, I reviewed all my settings on social media platforms. Noted other friends in the Social Care Services sent out message advising they would no longer use Facebook, as able to connect through other messenger service providers such as Whats app. I understand their concerns, however feel if used correctly is a super tool and should not be discarded lightly and policies and practice updated in future to avoid possible conflict.

Better get back to the subject! I looked out my firm’s “Policy on IT, Communications & Monitoring”, which I presume could be renamed “Social Media Policy”. As I am a lone worker, a lot of it is not relevant to my position. However from previous employment find it very clear, concise and highlights the firm “is entitled to take disciplinary action against the relevant member of staff should any breach of its rules or use of computer system including internet, gambling, use of social media, participating in chat rooms, shopping, visiting dating sites, downloading or streaming audio, video and other bandwidth, wasting files”, which I would expect in any organisations “Social Media Policy”.

All the above brings us back to basics, if you want to work in Social Services you must be trusted both in and out of the workplace, reflecting the core values and practices expected by our service users and families.


SSSC23 Things – Thing4: Digital Footprint

For this Badge on “Digital Footprint” viewed the “Orange Digital Dirt Video” on You Tube. Felt I had to share the video with family and friends on Facebook, as I’m sure, if they watch it, it will have an impact on how they use social media in future. I was aware employers have a legal right to access emails in certain circumstances. However, the video reconfirmed the lifetime affect posting photos, likes and comments on social media will have. As my mother used to say, “hold your tounge, as once said it can never be taken back”, good advice long before the development of social media. Her words are a quiet reminder, to think before writing, liking or texting, knowing those words are held in a virtual iCloud forever and may be held against me in the future.Obviously, as a carer/companion, I am fully aware of the importance of confidentiality and would never risk a clients right to privacy by taking their photograph, then posting it on social media. The codes of practice are quite clear on abuse and any hint of abuse would result in disciplinary action.

After watching the video, I checked my settings on all social media to ensure privacy settings set up for family and friends where appropriate. The video reminded me how damaging social media can be if used inappropriately.

Being a lone worker, my smart phone is an essential tool, and after looking at my digital footprint, reset all passwords, ensuring should anyone access my phone they will not be able to use it, as it is locked at all times and password protected.

The second activity for the Badge really opened my eyes re my digital footprint. My google account showed years of activity, I cleared the history and updated settings to ensure no further tracking and restricted advertising. Checked my phone and followed similar procedure clearing all web search history

The most important issue for me in securing my digital footprint was upgrading my virus security app on iPhone, then setting up two fold procedure to change passwords on search engines on my iPhone and laptop. I used the article on the eight tips to manage my footprint, which was long overdue.

Finally, I looked at the location history on my iPhone, decided to keep location setting on in case of emergency. After completing this Badge I now feel confident with my digital footprint and able to discuss and assist clients check their footprint.

SSSC 23 Things Digital – Thing 3: Why Digital?

For this Badge firstly I thought about the undernoted statistics provided by Skills for Care.

Based on my experience in various care roles, over the past 10 years I have never received a mobile phone or received any IT training. Thankfully I upgraded my IT skills through various courses, which opened the door to employment in Social Care. Without the use of my mobile phone and having basic digital skills, in today’s technological world, it would have been very difficult to deliver daily home care as I am a lone worker.

This Badge reminded me to check my settings as I am very aware about the risk and have updated my settings bearing in mind the new Data Protection Laws made in 2018. I have consciously not used my personal email for work related matters as fully aware of the risks in breaching confidentiality policy if emails or smart phone hacked.

Whilst I appreciate the risks in giving smart phones to workers, perhaps this has to be revisited, sufficient training established and security settings put in place by the various organisation in developing the use of technology in the field of home care.

Secondly for this Open Badge I completed the self evaluation form, noted below, which confirmed I am confident and capable in my skills at level 4, however still need to study to achieve level 5. The relevance to my current position is low, as mainly use text messaging.

Whilst high digital skills are not required at my level (carer/companion), from past experience in typing up care plan notes, transitioning from handwritten notes, it is essential all care workers have digital skills.

Finally I’ll keep on studying the SSSC 23 Things Digital and hope to use any new skills through the use of ongoing technological developments which may assist work flow, implement new policies and procedures in the field of home care record keeping for lone workers.

SSSC23 Things Digital -Thing 2: Open Badge

After considerable thought decided to continue with the completion of this #Thing2 blog! Quite scheptical as thought it may be based on methods used when obtaining badges as a child a long long time ago!

Having previously registered for an account for my first Open Badge on blogging, plan to link my blogs and open badges as evidence of continual personal development to my SSSC registration account.

Thankfully after watching the video, reading the seminal white paper and the history of Open Badges in relation to lifelong learning, surprised to see how the badges have evolved since 2010 worldwide.

The organisation I work for promotes Open Badges and at first thought about taking a part-time college course rather than spending time on unrecognised Open Badges, then possibly a degree in Social Services after a few years. Looking at the Open Badges again, realised I required to update my digital communication skills before going back into formal education.

Hopefully challenging myself to complete the #SSSC 23 Things Digital Open Badges will help me achieve my goals in my own time.

All in all I enjoyed researching the development history of OpenBadges, feel reassured the badges will continue to support me in my position as a carer/companion and meet my conditional registration with the SSSC.

Super resource:-

#SSSC23ThingsDigital – #Thing1:Blogger

I decided to take part in the Scottish Social Services Council 23 Things Digital free open badges online course following my conditional registration in June this year. Hope to update my IT skills and review my security settings on all devices.

The #Thing1: Blogger – is all about blogging and will count towards the first OpenBadge.

Checked out my old blog on https// which I set up years ago! Reviewed and deleted old blogs and this one is the first in relation to the open badge. Quite a challenge as previously set up on my old laptop, which is currently updating itself! As the lap top is still running, borrowed another laptop, snazzy Sony one. Unfortunately the new one had to be reconfigured, decided to do this overnight based on past experiences I knew this would take forever.

Finally got laptop up and running again, realised my email address was linked to my old lap top! Second challenge link iPhone and new laptop to fire stick on smart TV and link them all to my home broadband. So pleased got all done in a morning.

Plan to redesign my blog. I have now linked to my Facebook account using tag #SSC23Things

By using the task set in the Open Badge – Thing 1, it got me moving at long last.

Final task to send email to with URL

Fingers crossed all goes well!


Faith in Action

A message from God to me! While playing for the first time “Faith Bingo” during our Heart to Heart ladies night in Bo’ness Old Kirk, after marking no bible verses, stunned to get the following 9 Chapters and verses row by row on the bingo card! I had just told a friend I never play or win anything. Friend told me to read all the verses in order when I got home as she felt this was a sign! Not one for remembering Bible verses decided to do as she suggested. Amazing message! So thought I’d share them for anyone else out there who like me finds it difficult to link bible verses and see if they get a message! (1) Luke 19:17 (2)Galatians 3:6 (3) John 3:15 (4) John 12:46 (5) Matthew 21:22 (6) Hebrew 4:2 (7) 1Peter 2:6 (8) Matthew 8:26 and (9) John 4:51 Love to hear from anyone.

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