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Child Welfare Practice in the Legal System: A Curriculum Module
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Child welfare is a unique field of social work practice that requires the use of special interdisciplinary skills with attorneys, judges, and other member of the legal system. The skillful application of these interdisciplinary skills is extraordinarily difficult.
Fundamental differences between the value base, knowledge, and training of social workers and attorneys assure that the two professions will forever have an uneasy relationship. Nevertheless, the current and future direction of child welfare service delivery demands that this uneasy relationship continue and be improved. Historically, social workers coming into the profession are unprepared for interactions with the Juvenile Court. Graduate level university curriculum is generally silent on how to achieve positive client outcomes while working within the legal system. As a result, most new child welfare workers experience anxiety, fear, and frustration when confronted by the court. Without information on how to achieve positive client outcomes through the court process, social workers generally believe it is impossible to achieve positive outcomes in that setting. Interviews with social workers who have left child welfare to accept other social work positions regularly cite their frustration and discomfort with court-related interactions as a primary catalyst for their decision to leave this area of practice. This curriculum module, designed with that in mind, is intended for use with graduate students interested in child welfare practice and newly employed or inexperienced child welfare caseworkers.

Subject:
Social Work
Material Type:
Reading
Author:
David Foster; Barbara Woods
Date Added:
04/29/2015
Child Welfare Practice in the Legal System: A Curriculum Module
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
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This module offers classroom instruction with the opportunity for students to observe child welfare workers, judges and referees, and attorneys during actual court proceedings. It provides approximately six hours of classroom content and addresses competencies in ethnic sensitive and multicultural practice, core child welfare skills, social work skills and methods, and workplace management. The curriculum provides a history of the system; cultural insights; background on the differing roles of professionals in the juvenile court setting; a glossary of court terms; and guidelines for proving maltreatment, and for providing effective testimony. (50 pages)Foster, D., & Woods, B. (1995).

Subject:
Social Work
Material Type:
Module
Author:
CalSWEC
Date Added:
03/02/2018