Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues in Diverse Practice Settings

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[T]his book provides practical practice guidance as well as...interviewing and assessment tips....[A]n invaluable source of information for students, practitioners, researchers and educators.
-Karen M. Sowers, PhD
Dean, University of Tennessee
College of Social Work

Regardless of their field of practice, all social workers must understand how legal issues impact the financial, psychological, emotional, and social concerns that their clients face. Yet legal issues are rarely integrated in social work education in a meaningful and practical way. Therefore, it is imperative that social workers gain the interdisciplinary knowledge of the laws and policies that affect their client populations.

This groundbreaking text broadens the traditional definition of forensic social work to include the legal issues encountered in all social work settings-family and social services, education, child welfare, mental health, addiction treatment, juvenile and criminal systems, and immigration services. Advocating a collaborative approach, this book will allow social workers to navigate the complex social and legal issues that affect their clients.

Includes discussions of the common legal issues all social workers face:

  • How to help meet basic client needs such as income, food, and shelter
  • Policies and practice with victims of violence
  • The relationship between school social work and the law
  • Assessment and treatment of child abuse and neglect
  • The legal needs of clients with mental health and addiction issues
  • Forensic practice in juvenile and criminal justice systems
  • Effective practice with immigrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking

Digital instructor's materials available upon request. Email to gain immediate access to:

  • Forensic Interviewing Best Practices sample
  • Psychiatric Evaluation sample
  • Rapid Psychosocial Assessment Checklist
  • Sample Syllabus for Forensic Social Work Courses
  • Strengths-based Psychosocial Assessment and Treatment Planning Outline
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826118578
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/20/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 359,135
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Bradley, PhD, LCSW, LCADC is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. Dr. Bradley's research interests are in substance use, women and spirituality. Dr. Bradley has been a clinician maintaining a private practice in clinical social work for over 25 years.

Kelly Ward, PhD, LCSW, LCADC is an Associate Professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ and is also a private practitioner working with adolescents with substance abuse issues. Because of that adolescent connection she has worked closely with forensic social work practice through the years.

Tina Maschi PhD is an assistant professor at Fordham University's Graduate School of Social Service. Her research and practice interest focus on at-risk youth, mental health, and juvenile justice involvement. Dr. Maschi's research interests include trauma, mental health, and criminality across the lifespan and community-based research and evaluation. She is also a licensed clinical social worker with extensive practice experience (including the use of creative arts techniques) in correctional, school, and community mental health settings. She currently teaches research and practice courses in the Master's program at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Defining Collaborative Forensic Social Work with Diverse Populations

Tina Maschi and Mary Lou Killian

Chapter 2: A History of Forensic Social Work in the United States

Mary Lou Killian and Tina Maschi

Chapter 3: Visualizing Forensic Social Work and Collaborative Practice: A Social Justice Systems Approach

Tina Maschi and Mary Lou Killian

Chapter 4: Understanding Civil and Criminal Law

Christine Heer

Chapter 5: From Intervention Roles to Multidisciplinary Practice

Laura Kelly, Nora Smith, Sandy Gibson


Chapter 6: Family: Youth & Adults

Nancy Mezey and Rebecca Sanford

Chapter 7: Social Services: Meeting Basic Human Needs of Income, Food and Shelter

Ann Sparks

Chapter 8: Special Topic: Assisting Female Victims of Intimate Partner Violence: The Role of Victim Advocates

Marie Mele

Chapter 9: Special Topic: Forensic Practice with Older Adults Victims of Abuse

Janet Mahoney and Morris Saldov


Chapter 10: Social Work, Education, and the Law

Carolyn Bradley, Rosemary Richards, Jean Doyle

Chapter 11: Special Topic: Building Bridges: School Reentry of Incarcerated Juveniles

Lauri Goldkind and Paul Hirschfield


Chapter 12: Child Welfare

Nora Smith

Chapter 13: Special Topic: Forensic Interviewing for Child Sexual Abuse

Kenneth Lau and Eileen Treacy


Chapter 14: Mental Health and Addictions Settings: Legal and Ethical Issues for Practice

Carolyn Bradley and Kelly Ward

Chapter 15: Special Topic: 'Order in the Drug Court': Understanding the Intersection of Substance Abuse and Law

Keith Morgen, Lauren Gunneson, and Lisa Maietta

Chapter 16: Special Topic: Women at Risk: Legal Involvement Among Mothers in Addiction Treatment

Nancy M. Violette, Thomas J. Morgan, & Audrey Redding-Raines

Chapter 17: Special Topic: Suicide Prevention Programming in the Jail Setting

Schnavia Smith Hatcher


Chapter 18: Juvenile Justice and Social Work

Tina Maschi, Nancy Violette, Jennifer Ristow, Nancy Scotto Rosato

Chapter 19: Criminal Justice: Prisons As a Practice Setting

Rebecca Sanford and Johana Foster

Chapter 20: Criminal Justice: Reentry in the Twenty-first Century

Patricia O'Brien

Chapter 21: Special Topic: Disproportionate Involvement of Minority Youth

Leon Banks, Schnavia Smith Hatcher, Ed Risler

Chapter 22: Special Topic: Restorative Justice: What Social Workers Need to Know

Katherine van Wormer


Chapter 23: Human Rights: Implications for Forensic Social Work

Rosemary Barbera

Chapter 24: Calling Some "Illegal:" Practice Considerations in Work With Undocumented Immigrants

Carol Cleaveland

Chapter 25: Collaborative Forensic Social Work with Refugees

Mary Kay Jou and Leah Lazzaro

Chapter 26: Human Rights Issues and Research with Prisoners and Other Vulnerable Populations: Where Does Evidence-Based Practices Go From Here?

Sandy Gibson


Appendix A: Author Biographies

Appendix B: Strengths-Based Psychosocial Assessment (Child Welfare & Community Populations and Settings) Example

Appendix C: Rapid Psychosocial Assessment (Juvenile and Criminal Justice Populations and Settings) Example

Appendix D: Psychiatric Evaluation Example (Juvenile and Criminal Justice Populations and Settings)

Appendix E: Forensic Interviewing Best Practices Example

Appendix F: Multi-Disciplinary Example: NJ Anti-Trafficking Coalition


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