This chapter demonstrates how social work ethics apply to ethical and legal decision making in forensic social work practice. It discusses the context of social work practice in legal systems. The chapter also details the basic structures of the United States (U.S.) civil and criminal legal systems. It lays the foundation for the criminal and civil court processes in the United States and introduces basic terminology and a description of associated activities and progression through these systems. The chapter focuses on providing an introductory, and overarching, picture of both civil and criminal law in the U.S. and introduces the roles social workers play in these systems. It focuses on the ETHICA model of ethical decision making as a resource and tool that can be used to help forensic social workers process difficult and complex situations across multiple systems.
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- Go to chapter: Social Work and the Law: An Overview of Ethics, Social Work, and Civil and Criminal Law
The baby boom cohort brings with it multiple types of substance abuse. Bisexual older adults have more co-occurring psychological problems than heterosexual older adults, older gay males, and older lesbians. An interesting finding is that immigration is contributory to older adult substance abuse. Older adults with alcohol-abuse problems do not seek help for their problems. Rather, they are often identified as having an alcohol-use problem when seeking care for other medical or psychological problems. Social workers assessing an older adult for alcohol abuse often confuse symptoms of possible alcohol abuse with dementia. Prescribing opioids and synthetic opioids to an older adult is complicated. An older adult can suffer from many forms of inner tension. Combining motivational interviewing with cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be more effective for treating substance abuse that either therapeutic modality alone.
This chapter describes the Coping Skills Program, an innovative, school-based, universal curriculum for elementary-school aged children that is rooted in cognitive behavior theory. Rooted in cognitive behavior theory, the Coping Skills Program consists of carefully constructed metaphorical fables that are designed to teach children about their thinking; about the connections among their thoughts, feelings, and behavior; and about how to change what they are thinking, feeling, and doing when their behavior causes them problems. The chapter provides a thorough description of the Coping Skills Program and how it is implemented through a discussion of relevant research-based literature, and the theoretical underpinnings underlying this cognitive behavior approach with school-aged children. It also includes the results of preliminary testing of the Coping Skills Program. The research-based literature shows that cognitive behavior approaches are among the interventions commonly used by social workers to help young children in school settings.
School social workers provide direct treatment for a multitude of problems that affect child and adolescent development and learning; these problems include mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, and learning disorders, as well as child abuse and neglect, foster care, poverty, school drop out, substance abuse, and truancy, to name but a few. This chapter examines four constructs that are important when working with students. These constructs include: assessment and cognitive case conceptualization, the working alliance, self-regulated learning, and social problem solving. The chapter discusses the development of attainable and realistic goals is a critical component both of self-regulated learning and social problem solving. The chapter examines the problem of academic underachievement and four constructs that are critically important when working with children and adolescents in school settings. Academic underachievement is a serious problem affecting the lives of many children.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with children addresses four main aims: to decrease behavior, to increase behavior, to remove anxiety, and to facilitate development. Each of these aims targets one of the four main groups of children referred to treatment. This chapter suggests a route for applying effective interventions in the day-to-day work of social workers who are involved in direct interventions with children and their families. An effective intervention is one that links developmental components with evidence-based practice to help enable clients to live with, accept, cope with, resolve, and overcome their distress and to improve their subjective well-being. CBT offers a promising approach to address such needs for treatment efficacy, on the condition that social workers adapt basic CBT to the specific needs of children and design the intervention holistically to foster change in children. Adolescent therapy covers rehabilitative activities and reduces the disability arising from an established disorder.
Social work professionals are in key roles for providing effective education, treatment, training, and services for adult survivors. This chapter helps the social workers to equip with an evidence-based treatment framework to effectively enhance their work with this population of adult survivors. A community study of the long-term impact of the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of children concluded that a history of any form of abuse was associated with increased rates of psychopathology, sexual difficulties, decreased self-esteem, and interpersonal problems. There is well-established and increasing empirical evidence that cognitive and cognitive behavior therapies are effective for the treatment of disorders that are typical among adult survivors of sexual and physical abuse. The chapter presents some basic cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strategies that social workers can use in whatever roles they play in working with the multidisordered adult survivor. There are three types of schema avoidance: cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
A theoretical framework of the therapeutic community (TC) grounded in clinical and research experience can maintain the unique identity of the TC and the fidelity of its wider applications. This chapter illustrates several broad initiatives: generic TC model, general guidelines for adapting and modifying the TC for special settings, special populations, and funding limits; the codification of principles and practices of the TC into explicit standards to maintain the integrity of the program model and method, training and technical assistance, and research agenda. Staffing compositions have changed to reflect a mix of traditional professionals; correctional, mental health, medical, educational, family, and child care specialists; social workers; and case managers to serve along with the experientially trained TC professionals. The evolution of the contemporary TC for addictions over the past 30 years may be characterized as a movement from the marginal to the mainstream of substance abuse treatment and human services.
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: Using Neuroscience to Inform Social Work Practices in Schools for Children With Disabilities
Progress in neuroscience over the past several decades has led to a greater understanding of how the brain functions as a child or adult learns. This chapter focuses on disorders of the brain as applied to school settings. It explores learning disabilities (LD) as they pertain to practice in schools, as well as policy and research implications, and ethical and legal issues. Social workers must understand how the brain develops during various developmental ages and how this affects the learning of individuals. Research by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) have detected that the causes of LD are diverse and complex. New brain cells and neural networks continue to be produced for a year or so after the child is born. Electroencephalogram (EEG) can provide accurate timing information but provides little impression of where in the brain a particular activity is occurring.
Over the past 25 years there has been a growing recognition of the importance of working with families of persons with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and treatment-refractory depression. Family intervention can be provided by a wide range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors. This chapter provides an overview of two empirically supported family intervention models for major mental illness: behavioral family therapy (BFT) and multifamily groups (MFGs), both of which employ a combination of education and cognitive behavior techniques such as problem solving training. Some families have excellent communication skills and need only a brief review, as provided in the psychoeductional stage in the handout “Keys to Good Communication”. One of the main goals of BFT is to teach families a systematic method of solving their own problems.