About Karen Zgoda

Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, is a social worker at the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts. For over 10 years, she has taught social work courses at Brandman University, Simmons University, Bridgewater State University, Boston College, Wheelock College, and Salem State University. While at Bridgewater State University, she was nominated for the Presidential Award for Distinguished Part-time Teaching and served as the Teaching and Technology Faculty Advisor for the Teaching and Technology Center. Since 2000, Karen has hosted online social work chats and is currently a #MacroSW Twitter chat partner focused on macro social work practice. From 2009-2011 Karen wrote the SW 2.0 technology column for The New Social Worker Magazine and served as an AmeriCorps *VISTA member and project coordinator at CTCNet working on digital divide issues. Her research and pedagogical interests include technology in social work and education, macro social work, social policy, and research methods.

FL Social Workers Vote for Susan!

Update: SUSAN WON!!

Folks, I am so happy to endorse Susan Mankita for NASW Florida President-Elect! Susan has been a dear colleague for nearly 20 years and I am confident social workers in Florida will benefit greatly from her caring, passionate leadership. According to Susan:

In case you haven’t heard, I’m running for President-Elect of NASW Florida. I’d really like the opportunity to serve you and other Florida social workers, but I can only do that if I win the election. Those that know me, know that I’ve devoted 20+ years helping social workers, as an educator, supervisor, trainer and mentor. As President-elect, I’ll pour my heart into ensuring we use our resources to create an NASW that listens to, advocates for, and serves the social workers of Florida. I’ve had a career filled with opportunities to educate, mentor and support social workers and have borne witness to the challenges of our work.  That gift, and so many other wonderful things have happened in my own career because of my membership and connection.  I believe NASW has a lot to offer social workers and want to make our resources and support more accessible, especially for colleagues in need. That’s why I’m running for NASW Florida President-elect.

You can vote right now! The election is currently open, online, and will be only for the next week.

If you are a member of NASW in Florida, please vote for Susan today and forward it to your individual social work colleagues as well (please don’t “tag” NASW itself – that’s not allowed).

To vote, (before July 19). Go to https://vote.associationvoting.com/naswfl/

You will need your NASW member number to logon.

(If you do not have your member number, please contact us at 1-800-352-6279 or email: info.naswfl@socialworkers.org and we will provide it to you.)


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questions Michael Cohen (C-SPAN)

Atta girl!

To learn more about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez check out her profile in Rolling Stone.

A Child’s Voice – Watch this Film Today!

I am thrilled to support and recommend the film A Child’s Voice from No Restrictions Entertainment. This film is now available to rent online for $3.99.

A Child’s Voice from No Restrictions Entertainment on Vimeo.

Supernatural thriller. A homeless teen hears the voice of a child calling for help and leads him on a journey to track down the child’s killer. #EndHumanTrafficking

Press release: drive.google.com/file/d/1Fyx5ey5fVYYgEird9zhEm3W-atfrDor-/view

© 2018 A Child’s Voice, LLC | All rights reserved | NoRestrictionsEnt.com


As a social worker, I greatly appreciate the tough subjects that No Restrictions Entertainment addresses and the loving, social justice-oriented perspective that John Paul Rice brings to these films. I first met John back in 2011 when I interviewed him for an article in The New Social Worker Magazine. At this time I learned of his innovative use of Kickstarter to both create a community with his films and fund this important work. John’s work has always tackled important social issues and difficult interpersonal dynamics in an approachable, multidimensional human way that is not often seen in film.  

John’s current work, A Child’s Voice, builds upon this rich history with an impressive cast that truly brings this story to life. Children that survive horrific sexual abuse and sex trafficking are seldom given a voice in our popular culture, and yet A Child’s Voice not only gives them a voice but an avenue for justice for the crimes committed against them. These crimes may be difficult for some to fully comprehend, and yet the silence and absence of dialogue about these crimes only serve to exacerbate their negative ramifications for the children and families involved. Child sexual abuse is more common than most realize. One estimate suggests “one in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult.” Additionally, it is estimated that there are currently 5.5 million child victims of sex trafficking. A Child’s Voice is critically important for social workers, law enforcement, and the general public in order to enable conversations and actions needed to stop child sexual abuse and sex trafficking, and help spread the love, understanding, and knowledge survivors need from us to heal as best they can. I strongly encourage you to support this work. 

I was so excited to attend the premeire of A Child’s Voice last week in Los Angeles. I had such an amazing time! 


Sherrie Gonzalez, John Paul Rice, and Karen Zgoda. Photographer Joseph Cruz jmcpresence.com


Karen Zgoda and Sherrie Gonzalez. Photographer Joseph Cruz jmcpresence.com


Using Twitter in Reclaiming Macro Practice, and Affirming Our Social Work Roots #MacroSW #swtech

New publication!

Congratulations to #MacroSW partners Sunya Folayan, Laurel Hitchcock, and Karen Zgoda for their publication in a special issue of Reflections on the Interconnectedness of Micro and Macro Practice: …

Source: Using Twitter in Reclaiming Macro Practice, and Affirming Our Social Work Roots #MacroSW #swtech

Social Work Educator Tips: Guidelines for Online Discussion Forums | Teaching & Learning in Social Work

IMG_7804.PNGKaren Zgoda is a social work educator, a Doctoral Student in Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, MA,  and a founding member of #MacroSW, an online community for macro social workers. In this blog post, she shares her tips for helping social work students learn how to be professional in online learning environments.

Source: Social Work Educator Tips: Guidelines for Online Discussion Forums | Teaching & Learning in Social Work

inSocialWork Podcast #231 – Dr. Allan Barsky: Practice Standards on Social Work and Technology: Changes, Challenges, and Ongoing Debates

Listen to the podcast here: Episode 231 – Dr. Allan Barsky: Practice Standards on Social Work and Technology: Changes, Challenges, and Ongoing Debates

Interviewer: Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, PhD candidate in Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts-Boston

In this episode, our guest Dr. Allan Barsky discusses updates and enhancements that were recently made to the practice standards involving the use of technology. He describes how the standards can provide guidance when utilizing technology in micro, mezzo, and macro level interventions and in developing policies that address the benefits, challenges, and risks associated with the use of technology in practice.

Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD, is a professor with the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches ethics; conflict resolution; addictions; and generalist social work. His book credits include “Interprofessional Practice with Diverse Populations,” “Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions,” “Successful Social Work Education,” and “Ethics & Values in Social Work.” Dr. Barsky is a past chair of the National Ethics Committee of the NASW. He received the 2015 “Excellence in Ethics Award” from the NASW. Dr. Barsky chaired the NASW’s Code of Ethics Review Task Force and was a member of the National Task Force on Practice Standards for Social Work and Technology.

Direct podcast link here.

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Episode 231 – Dr. Allan Barsky: Practice Standards on Social Work and Technology: Changes, Challenges, and Ongoing Debates. (2018, January 15). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=231

Digital Literacy in Social Work Education: A Case Study Incorporating Technology and Social Media Within the Social Work Curriculum

Now published – Digital Literacy in Social Work Education: A Case Study Incorporating Technology and Social Media Within the Social Work Curriculum in the Special Section on Multimedia in Nonprofit Education of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. I discussed this work at CSWE APM back in October. Here is the abstract:

To remain competitive and culturally competent, social work education must incorporate digital literacy and technological instruction to prepare students for work with clients and colleagues throughout their professional lives. When instructors offer a grounding in technology skills for modern social work practice and provide feedback to students in a supportive classroom setting, social work students become more confident and poised to handle the complications of technology and social media while interacting with clients, agencies, nonprofit organizations, and society as a whole. The purpose of this article is to present a case study of a social work course on classic and contemporary communication skills that focuses on communication, writing, and digital literacy, designed for BSW students. The article includes rationale for course development, course description, and sample digital writing activities from the course.

I worked with amazing social work writer Kryss Shane on this article. Special thank you to Jimmy Young, editor of this special issue, for your feedback and support to improve this work. To access the article (log in required), head to the journal’s web site. To follow updates on this work, head to my ResearchGate page for the article.