This chapter provides an overview of leadership and discusses several historical and current leadership theories. One’s path to becoming a facilitative leader involves learning about some of the theories and research about leadership. Equally important as the concepts of leadership are the views those theories articulate about followership. The trait theories come from historical roots that the leader is a great man and a hero. Leadership is often presumed in people with high positions, including corporate CEOs and directors of agencies. Administrator is a neutral position, and persons in that position may be perceived as positive or negative according to the leadership values they bring to the job. Social workers must engage in leadership and also that their efforts should address issues of social justice and injustice. Like Theory X-Theory Y, situational leadership is a theory designed around how those in leadership positions perceive followers.
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Over the years, many of the participants in the authors’ facilitative leadership training programs have worked to implement facilitative leadership in their agencies and community organizations. The authors have asked them for recommendations on how to increase facilitative leadership skills. While the authors had attempted to demonstrate that facilitative leadership is greater than the sum of leadership and facilitation skills, having some materials that build both of those skills can greatly benefit individual social workers and their agencies. Whenever possible, persons with good facilitative leadership skills within the agency or community organization and outside facilitators are paired with other individuals so they can observe the skills being put into practice. Asking group members with limited experience in serving as the formal facilitative leader to take various parts of the group process is an excellent way for them to build skills. Facilitative leadership and social justice are two strong, stand-alone concepts.
This chapter lays the foundation for facilitative leadership from the unique social work perspective. Social work’s Code of Ethics and social work practice principles contribute to the value-based leadership that is part of the facilitative leader’s core. Among the important expectations of social work leadership are cultural sensitivity and competence. Five discussion areas have been selected as essential to facilitative leadership from a social work perspective: inclusion, strengths-based leadership, power and the difference between power over and power with, oppression and social justice, and the elusive but critically important concept of empowerment. There are different types of power and power relationships such as productive power and destructive power. Being conscious of privilege and oppression are precursors to understanding social injustice and working toward social justice. The social work program identifies social justice as a professional obligation of social workers to attempt to improve the quality of all people’s lives.
- Go to chapter: Thinking Outside the Box: Tackling Health Inequities Through Forensic Social Work Practice
This chapter emphasizes the importance of improving health literacy. It describes the incorporation of cultural competence standards in forensic social work practice perspectives. The chapter also explains how to promote engagement of informal support networks in promoting health and well-being among diverse groups. Disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities in the United States have long been overrepresented in the criminal justice systems. The elimination of health care disparities and ensuring the health care delivery system is responsive to minority groups is a social justice issue. The roles and function of forensic social workers that provide services to persons with these cultural norms can be expanded using a broader ecological framework and the applied social care model to develop intervention strategies and care plans with incarceration persons. Identifying and incorporating culturally appropriate practice approaches are challenging, yet necessary undertakings for forensic social workers.
This chapter discusses the concepts, underlying principles, benefits, and challenges of using “whole-family” approaches in social work. It articulates the theory and skills associated with family engagement as part of a human rights and social justice framework for social work practice in forensic settings. The chapter describes the ethical imperatives and evidence base supporting the use of family group decision making (FGDM) in regulatory settings. It engages whole families as partners in the use of FGDM in child protection and youth justice. The chapter also describes the theory, empirical support, and skills in use of FGDM, or family group conferencing (FGC). It concluded with an example of how alert forensic social workers must be to the potential for their best intentions to collide with the tenants of responsive practice and a quote from a child protection social worker who worked closely with the author on a pilot project using FGC.
- Go to chapter: Forensic Research and Evaluation: Program and Policy Interventions That Promote Human Rights and Social Justice
Forensic Research and Evaluation: Program and Policy Interventions That Promote Human Rights and Social Justice
This chapter describes how forensic social workers can use the knowledge and skills of intervention development to design or evaluate existing interventions with forensic populations or settings, and about funding for their cause. It articulates the language of program and proposal development to prepare forensic social workers to be the creators of programs needed for forensic populations. The chapter enables preparing forensic social workers to possess basic competencies for understanding the language and practice of program development and evaluation of forensic social work interventions. The chapter provides an overview of the different parts of the logic model and how it can be linked to program development and evaluation. It provides questions related to the common types of evaluation, which include a needs assessment and process, outcome, or efficiency evaluations. The chapter also reviews forensic intervention development using a human rights and social justice systems approach.
This chapter defines restorative justice and discusses the various forms that this approach to wrongdoing and offending may take. It reveals the relevance of restorative interventions to social work practice. The chapter recognizes pioneers in the field of restorative justice with special emphasis on social work theorists. It describes the various forms of restorative justice from micro level victim-offender conferencing to community-level healing circles to macro level reparative justice. The chapter argues for greater social work involvement in shaping policies that include restorative justice options in situations of wrongdoing and social work involvement in facilitating victim–offender and anti bullying conferencing. The chapter also describes aspects of restorative justice that address competencies related to advocacy for human rights and issues of spirituality.
This chapter promotes understanding of the intersection of social work case level practice skills and social welfare programs and policy. It describes the social work advocacy process, and explores how social and political values impact accessibility to social welfare programs. It assists social workers in developing competence in policy practice and in case and policy advocacy. The chapter also helps social workers recognize when social welfare and economic policies are not fairly distributed, and to become skilled in taking action at the micro-, mezzo, and/or macro level. It discusses the interaction of direct practice with case advocacy to underscore the critical need to understand and interpret policy to achieve social justice. The chapter further highlights the importance of social workers engaging in case and policy advocacy to achieve a socially just outcome for any individual or group, especially those impacted by involvement in the criminal justice system.
This chapter aims to disseminate theoretical and practical knowledge of practice using an empowerment and feminist perspective specifically when working with marginalized and oppressed forensic populations and in forensic settings. Forensic social work focuses on both victims and offenders, and strives to integrate the skills and knowledge of empowerment and feminist theory and practice with principles of social justice and human rights. The chapter discusses empowerment and feminist theories and their relevance to practice with forensic populations. It highlights a case example of group work with women, who were sexually abused, that was first presented in the 1990s and told from a strengths-based approach, but could very much be considered both a feminist and empowerment process of working. The chapter also highlights applying an empowerment approach to working with female and male prisoners in London.
This chapter describes how forensic social workers can develop their expert witness testimony skills. It explains how to advocate on behalf of vulnerable racial and ethnic populations generally underrepresented in American legal system, to increase advocacy from a human rights perspective. The chapter explores how to use expert testimony to highlight a range of social justice issues including human trafficking, death, and persecution. It introduces forensic social workers to integrating narrative methods with evidence-based trends that can best support any legal claim for hardship. Expert witness testimony comprises core mitigation components: client interviews; collateral interviewing; obtaining institutional records; identifying core themes of hardship that have directly impacted the individual or family; identifying intergenerational patterns of illness and/or systemic traumas that impact family; identifying environmental and country conditions; writing a report; and preparing for direct testimony and cross-examination.