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
This chapter explains the theoretical basis for motivational interviewing (MI). It reviews the empirical evidence for the use of MI with diverse populations in forensic settings. MI involves attention to the language of change, and is designed to strengthen personal motivation and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion. It is now internationally recognized as an evidence-based practice intervention for alcohol and drug problems. MI involves an underlying spirit made up of partnership, acceptance, compassion, and evocation. The chapter discusses four key processes involved in MI: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning. It also describes five key communication microskills used throughout MI: asking open-ended questions, providing affirmations, offering summarizing statements, providing information and advice with permission, and reflective statements.
The medical model in psychiatry assumes medical intervention is the treatment of choice for the constellations of diagnosed symptoms that comprise various mental disorders. These treatments may include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, brain stimulation, and psychosurgery. Therefore, psychopharmacology for older adults can be considered palliative rather than a cure for a brain disease causing psychopathology. Older adults experience many psychopathological problems, including anorexia tardive, anxiety disorders, delusional disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and co-occurring disorders with substance abuse/dependence disorders. Therefore, it is critical for the social worker to understand the various manifestations of psychological problems in older adults from the perspective of an older adult, rather than extrapolating information commonly taught in social work programs that neglect to focus on older adults and restrict teaching to psycho-pathological problems in younger and middle-aged adults.
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.
For older adults, the phenomenon of death is accepted and does not induce the fear experienced by younger adults. Older adults who do not engage in end-of-life planning may receive unwanted, unnecessary, costly, and painful medical interventions or withdrawal of desired treatment. Many older people feel that the goal of palliative care is to make the best possible dying experience for the older adult and his/her family. In addition to palliative care, an older adult will most likely find himself or herself in an intensive care unit as part of his or her terminal care. Euthanasia, or hastened death, is seen by some as an alternative to palliative care. A psychological aspect of death that an older adult is concerned with, in addition to place of death, is whether he or she will die in his or her sleep or die suddenly, making the death experience an individual phenomenon.
The concept of risk behaviors became a model for public health interventions in the late 1970s and 1980s. This chapter describes contemporary knowledge on the risk behaviors of gender and sexual minority (GSM) persons. It highlights research findings, with particular attention paid to studies of different GSM subgroups, and evaluates interventions that have sought to modify behaviors in the pursuit of better health outcomes. The chapter then focuses on the potential contributions of other theoretical frameworks to the study of GSM risk behaviors, including opportunities to incorporate disclosure, resilience, intersectionality, and minority stress theories. It also presents recommendations for future directions for researching health risk behaviors among GSM persons, addressing the risk of harming GSM populations, and diverting attention and resources from addressing justice and social determinants of GSM health. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research and interventions in support of more equitable health outcomes.
As in the non-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, gender and sexual minority (GSM) individuals who are also members of one or more racial/ethnic minority populations face unique sociocultural dynamics that impact the ability to achieve and maintain health. This chapter describes the literature that has examined racial/ethnic disparities in a variety of outcomes, and describes what is known regarding the actual impact of intersectionality whenever possible. Reflective of the current literature, the chapter centers on the African American and Hispanic sexual minority male population, HIV, substance use, and mental health as outcomes. It begins with an exploration of barriers to health that reach across outcomes and populations and discusses four specific outcomes with more developed bodies of literature (HIV/sexual health, substance use, mental health/suicide, and victimization). Finally the chapter summarizes the initial evidence from three emerging lines of inquiry (chronic conditions, incarceration, and women’s health).
Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, this chapter highlights the unique strengths and challenges faced by gender and sexual minority (GSM) youth and highlights future directions for research that we believe hold promise in promoting the health and well-being of this special population. It presents a review of the research as applied to physical and mental health disparities that impact GSM youth and discusses the two dominant psychosocial models that explain the contributing factors to these disparities. Notably, public opinion has been shifting toward greater acceptance and inclusion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and the 21st century has seen a large increase in the number of protections and rights afforded to GSM individuals. Future research should continue to examine and replicate the impact of minority stress in more recent cohorts of GSM adolescents to determine whether improvements in the social environment result in decreases in health disparities.
- Go to chapter: Recommendations for Practitioners for Providing Competent Care to Gender and Sexual Minority Individuals
Recommendations for Practitioners for Providing Competent Care to Gender and Sexual Minority Individuals
Research on the health and health care needs of gender and sexual minority (GSM) people is burgeoning, in part due to increased awareness of the importance of identifying the health care needs of these long-neglected populations. This increase in knowledge related to GSM health is a critical part of improving the quality of GSM people’s health and health care. This chapter considers how practitioners might integrate existing knowledge about GSM health into their clinical work to establish an affirmative context for GSM patients. More contemporary approaches take a more process-oriented view, focused on the appreciation of cultural differences at personal, professional, organizational, and societal levels. These approaches place greater emphasis on training clinicians to think critically about how patients’ cultural backgrounds and identities impact their life experiences. The authors draw on these approaches to provide practical recommendations for providers to deliver competent care to GSM individuals.
This concluding chapter summarizes the major points regarding elder abuse (EA) presented in the preceding chapters. It concludes the chapter by taking one last opportunity to encourage exploration and initiation of system-level efforts to solve a major public health problem. The socioecological framework for violence prevention utilized within domestic and global public health work is applicable and extendable to EA. Throughout this book, the authors have argued that EA is a public health problem and that EA may well be among the most under-recognized and under-resourced population health problems of the early 21st century. Public health has frameworks, tools, approaches, relationships, structures, systems, and a variety of agents and organizations poised to address the problem of EA. The imprimatur of the growing population of older adults and the character of demographic transitions occurring globally provide the perfect rationale for action—now.