This chapter describes the importance and need for interdisciplinary collaboration in forensic settings. It discusses how the evidence-based principles of risk, need, and responsivity (RNR) model can guide interdisciplinary collaboration with justice-involved individuals. The chapter highlights a treatment program for high-risk justice-involved males demonstrating interdisciplinary collaboration and specifically the role of the forensic social worker. Interdisciplinary collaboration is an essential core skill in evidence-based forensic social work practice. Interdisciplinary collaboration can be multidimensional, interactional, and developmental, and the following strategies have been identified as most important in achieving a best practice: preplanning, commitment, communication, strong leadership, understanding the cultures of collaborating agencies, and structural supports and adequate resources for collaboration.
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The Council on Social Work Education underscores that social workers should be educated to advance human rights, and social, economic, and environmental justice. This chapter explores empowerment theory and practice as a strategy that social workers can use to promote rights, justice, and well-being for individuals, families, and communities. Empowerment theory is geared toward elevating the rights and needs of individuals, groups, and communities that have been facing oppression throughout history. The history, central concepts, and themes of empowerment are multidimensional and are related to intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and political domains. The close alliance of empowerment practice with human rights, oppression, and ecological systems theories has been a powerful force in assisting the population we commonly serve to embrace and liberate their personal and collective empowerment. Case examples of an individual and community are provided to illustrate how empowerment unfolds in the natural practice environment. Empowerment as a concept and practice serves an important role in understanding and achieving equality, rights, and justice for all. It also is an essential mechanism in achieving individual, family, group, and community well-being for people of all ages across the globe.
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.