Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Health Administration


College of Health Professions

First Advisor

Kit N. Simpson

Second Advisor

Veronica L. Hardy

Third Advisor

Jillian B. Harvey

Fourth Advisor

James S Zoller


This paper identifies the major differences for social work roles in a virtual environment as compared to traditional environments, and provides a list of recommendations that may support the formulation of best practices for the “virtualist” social worker. The most essential roles for “virtualist” social workers are those of enabler, negotiator, and broker. Best practices for successful functioning as a social worker in a virtual environment includes the ability to: 1) create trust by establishing a “virtual presence”; 2) employ ICT to communicate effectively; 3) recognize importance of verbal elements and barriers to communication by phone; 4) adhere to professional standards for technology use; 5) be cognizant of need for patient protection and conformance to ethical standards of the profession.


All rights reserved. Copyright is held by the author.