Virtual support groups among adoptive parents: An Interview with Dean Justin “Jay” Miller
Author: Jimmy A. Young, PhD
In this month’s episode I interview Dean Justin “Jay” Miller and discuss the article “Virtual support groups among adoptive parents: Ideal for information seeking?,” which was published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services in 2019. Dr. Miller is the Dean and Dorothy A. Miller Research Professor in Social Work Education at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work. His research and academic interests focus on child welfare and youth involvement in juvenile systems. His work has shaped practice with foster youth and has informed a myriad of policies and practices related to participatory engagement with youth and families. Dean Miller founded the Self-Care Lab at the University of Kentucky in 2017, which is dedicated to empirically investigating self-care among helping professionals. Dean Miller has conducted groundbreaking research on broad ranging self-care and wellness research with social workers, educators, nurses, law enforcement, teachers, and attorneys, among others. He has authored numerous juried papers, reports, and briefs. Notably, Dean Miller co-authored Activating a Teaching-Learning Philosophy: A Practical Guide for Educators (CSWE Press) and co-edited The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals (White Hat Publications). Dean Miller is also a proud foster and kinship alum!
This episode is unique given the context of Post-COVID life and the ubiquity of virtual platforms for a variety of engagements. The study was conducted in 2018 and the paper published in 2019 without a thought being given to how virtual platforms, Zoom specifically, would become such a normal part of everyday life. We talk about this and the idea of support groups in virtual spaces moving forward. I ask specific questions related to the paper such as what is information seeking effectiveness? Spoiler Alert! Information seeking effectiveness in the context of this paper relates to information seeking behaviors generally such as google searches and asking friends, but also examines how support groups can be an effective source of information sharing and support. The paper describes how participants came to enjoy using Zoom for sharing resources related to foster parenting and the support they experienced was welcomed. Virtual support groups have greatly expanded in the past several years and given the uptake of digital technologies Post COVID, Dean Miller and I agree that we will likely see much more in the way of virtual support and connection. This does not mean that there aren’t some challenges to consider, because we always need to be cognizant of the ethical and appropriate use of digital technologies.
As usual, I want to note that these blog posts are mainly place holders for any links and information that we thought would be good to share with our audience. The Posts will eventually also be home to the episode transcripts. We welcome any digital volunteers who would like to transcribe the episodes and if you feel so inclined, please reach out to us via our Contact page or on social media. Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. See you next month.
Links of Interest:
Dean Miller on Twitter @DrJayMiller1
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APA (7th Ed) citation for this podcast:
Young, J. A. (Producer). (2021, July 20). #8 – Virtual support groups among adoptive parents: An Interview with Dean Justin “Jay” Miller. [Audio Podcast]. husITa Podcast. Retrieved from https://husita.podbean.com/e/virtual-support-groups-among-adoptive-parents-an-interview-with-dean-justin-jay-miller/?token=0f9a7cfcb18780cb7218a0571f6872d3