This chapter illustrates how factors outside of families affect lives of people within families. It examines the potential impact that two major issues—work-family conflict and mass incarceration—can have on the lives of family members. The chapter describes ways in which laws governing systems external to families, particularly work and criminal justice, can disrupt families in ways that may lead them to use social workers. It aims at providing necessary understanding of how social workers can help support such families, keeping in mind that family needs often develop from the social and economic context in which each family is situated. The chapter discusses the relevant ethical, legal, and policy issues facing work-family conflict and mass incarceration. It encourages social workers to look beyond the individual—to the systems in which individuals are situated, to better understand the behaviors, decisions, and mental health of individual clients.
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Forensic Social Work, 2nd Edition:Psychosocial and Legal Issues Across Diverse Populations and Settings
The growing public awareness of bias and discrimination and the disproportionate involvement of minority populations, especially based on race, class, and gender, have affected the social work profession with a call to fulfill its long-forgotten mission to respond and advocate for justice reform and health and public safety. Forensic social workers practice far and wide where issues of justice and fairness are found. This book emphasizes on the diversity of populations and settings, social workers would best serve their clients adding a forensic or legal lens to their practice. It targets the important and emerging practice specialization of forensic social work, a practice specialization that speaks to the heart, head, and hands (i.e., knowledge, values, and skills) of social work using a human rights and social justice approach integrated with a forensic lens. The book defines forensic social work to include not only a narrow group of people who are victims or convicted of crimes and subsequently involved in the juvenile justice and criminal justice settings, but broadly all the individuals and families involved with family and social services, education, child welfare, mental health, and behavioral health or other programs, in which they are affected by human rights and social justice issues, or federal and state laws and policies. Practitioners who read this book will learn and apply a human rights legal framework and social justice and empowerment theories to guide multilevel prevention, psychosocial assessments, and interventions with historically underserved individuals, families, and communities, especially using the life course systems power analysis strategy and family televisiting. The book fills a critical gap in the knowledge, values, and skills for human rights and social justice–focused social work education and training.
This chapter is designed to provide social workers with an introductory overview to correctional health and psychosocial care with a focus on prison healthcare. It provides an introductory overview of the role of health and justice disparities as a mass incarceration driver and an overview of core themes of social work practice in a correctional setting. In addition, it presents examples of human rights instruments and laws that address health and criminal justice issues so that social workers can judge the extent to which correctional settings in which they work or may work are consistent with these standards. Also included is a review of relevant research and evidence-based practices for the justice population that can help guide the social work response. The chapter concludes with case studies and discussion questions to assist social workers to better understand practice, policy, and research issues significant for the future correctional healthcare delivery system.