Incorporating Facebook into Nonprofit Supports for Family Caregivers: An Interview with Liam O’Sullivan and Zoe Hughes
Author: Jimmy A. Young, PhD
In this month’s episode I interview Liam O’Sullivan and Zoe Hughes about their article “Incorporating Facebook into Nonprofit Supports for Family Caregivers: Reflections on its value and relevance,” which was published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services in 2019. Liam O’Sullivan is the executive director of Care Alliance Ireland, which is the National Network of Voluntary Organizations that supports family caregivers. He holds professional qualifications in social work, youth and community work, and social research. He has worked with Care Alliance since 2004 and brought the National Carers Week to Ireland by developing collaborative and impactful relationships with third level institutions in Family Carer research. He has a particular interest in Implementation Science and bridging the gap between research policy and practice. Zoe Hughes is a Senior Policy & Research Officer with Care Alliance where she coordinates various research and policy functions. She has qualifications in social work, social policy and disability studies, and her past work has included working with a number of academic and voluntary organizations. She has a particular interest in the topic of diversity within caring, along with inclusive and participatory research methods. More about Liam and Zoe, as well as Care Alliance Ireland, can be found on the organization’s website at https://www.carealliance.ie/.
We spent time talking about Facebook and how they use various features on that platform to engage family caregivers and build an online community through Facebook Groups. Liam and Zoe shared tips for posting to social media with visuals, quotes, and other content that can help drive more engagement. They explained that having a good team to help moderate the online community is a key driver to their success. They also acknowledged the risks and challenges with using Facebook but recognized that the sheer volume of people on Facebook makes it an important place to begin with any social media strategy. They illustrated how Facebook’s analytical tools can help demonstrate impact and also shared how the tools provide specific metrics of engagement with the online group. Although not everyone is expected to participate, they found that some group members enjoyed reading and seeing posts that helped get them through some challenging times as a carer even if they were not fully engaged in posting to the group page. This naturally led to a discussion that sort of built on a theme from last month’s episode around how online resources and support groups can be an important place for individuals in rural areas who might feel some sort of shame seeking out help in real life. Finally, Liam and Zoe also mention how engaging online might not be for everyone but that through the Facebook page they are able to reach a group of people that they have never reached before. This is part of the power and allure of social media for many organizations and when done well can result in some amazing outcomes. I hope you enjoy this month’s episode of the podcast.
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:
Care Alliance Ireland https://www.carealliance.ie/
Care Alliance Ireland on Twitter @CareAllianceIrl
Care Alliance Ireland Facebook Group (Private Group) https://www.facebook.com/groups/FamilyCarerOnlineSupportGroupIreland/
Email Care Alliance Ireland [email protected]
National Carers Week on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nationalcarersweek
Podcast Homepage: https://husita.podbean.com/
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husITa home page: www.husITa.org
APA (7th Ed) citation for this podcast:
Young, J. A. (Producer). (2021, September 14). #10 – Incorporating Facebook into Nonprofit Supports for Family Caregivers: An Interview with Liam O’Sullivan and Zoe Hughes. [Audio Podcast]. husITa Podcast. Retrieved from https://husita.podbean.com/e/incorporating-facebook-into-nonprofit-supports-for-family-caregivers-an-interview-with-liam-o-sullivan-and-zoe-hughes/