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Working With Social Workers

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Presentation on theme: "Working With Social Workers"— Presentation transcript:

1 Working With Social Workers
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Child Advocacy Jess Sucherman, J.D., Alyssa Patzoldt, J.D. Tyra Moore, LICSW, LCSW-C Kimberly Daulton, LICSW, LCSW-C August 2013

2 Overview of the Training
Who We Are and What We Do Social Work Practice Foundation Improving Advocacy Ethical, Legal, and Practical Issues with Incorporating Social Workers Skills for Effective Partnering

3 Who We Are Children's Law Center envisions a future in which every child in the District of Columbia has a solid foundation of family, health and education. Our Values Holistic Representation Impact Creativity Teamwork Tenacity Respect

4 What We Do The GAL Project Healthy Together Families First
Best Interests Representation Healthy Together Families First Pro Bono Program

5 The Social Work Project
Program development and structure A spectrum of social worker involvement Consultation Integration

6 Models of Legal/Social Work Collaboration
Agency Multidisciplinary Interdisciplinary/Employee Consultant Integrated

7 Social Work Practice Foundation

8 NASW Code of Ethics Preamble
The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well­being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

9 NASW Code of Ethics Preamble
Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.

10 NASW Code of Ethics The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. service social justice dignity and worth of the person importance of human relationships integrity competence

11 Client Specific Ethical Principles
Self-determination Confidentiality Who is the client? Cultural competence and social diversity Termination

12 Type of Social Workers Micro Social Work Macro/Mezzo Social Work
Child welfare Case Management Mental Health Hospitals/Clinics School Veteran Affairs Military Elder care Prisons Corporations Politics Community Organizing (Mezzo) Research/Evaluation Advocacy/Policy Education Supervision/ Consultation (Mezzo) Program Development (Mezzo) Administration (mezzo)

13 Social Work Education and Licensure
Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) Masters of Social Work (MSW) Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) Licensure Bachelors Level Masters Level Advanced Generalist Level Clinical Level

14 Social Work Practice The value of relationships Use of self
Strengths based/solution focused frame work Process, not just outcomes Empower versus enable Informed rational decision making

15 Challenges to Social Work Practice
Layers of bureaucracy Jurisdiction/Agency specific stressors Vicarious trauma and burn out Personal capacity

16 Improving Advocacy with External Social Workers

17 Advocacy Through Collaboration
Why collaborate at all? Mobilize resources Expedite timelines Consensus as a means of best interests Better outcomes for clients Thinking beyond collaboration Increased quality in legal arguments Robust expansion in advocacy

18 Improving Advocacy Making the most of relationship
Understanding and managing conflict Embracing the global perspective Increasing cross-training Understanding the limits of social work practice.

19 Improving Advocacy Recognizing advocacy perspectives
Managing confidentiality Respecting and appreciating social work skill set Understanding credentialing

20 Incorporating Social Workers in a Legal Organization

21 Caveats There are many ethical, legal, and practical issues with incorporating social workers into legal organizations This is an overview and highlights how CLC has addressed these issues This is dependent on particular organization needs and local rules and laws

22 Interdisciplinary Model
Social worker is an integrated member of the team. Social worker is obligated to adhere to lawyer’s professional standards, including confidentiality. Social Worker is not an independent provider and uses his/her skills to support the work of the law office.

23 Ethical and Legal Issues
Confidentiality/Informed Consent ABA Model Rules 1.6 and 5.4 Mandated Reporting Confidentiality walls CLC’s jurisdictional solution Conflicts Legal issues Social work issues CLC’s approach to conflicts

24 Ethical and Legal Issues
Social worker as lawyer’s agent ABA Model Rule 5.3 Represented party contact Confidentiality Legal standards drive advocacy Social workers in court Practice conflicts Values implications

25 Practical and Logistical Issues
Role clarity Lack of consensus Loss of autonomy Making use of limited social worker resources

26 Practical and Logistical Issues
Supervision Cross training Hiring social service staff What do you need? Salary Interviewing Interns

27 Effective Partnership

28 Skills for Effective Partnering
Collaboration can be challenging! Social workers and lawyers need to develop self awareness in order to partner effectively. There are a variety of skills that can enhance collaboration in the best interest of client outcomes.

29 Skills Role Clarity Positive Communication Trust
Shared decision-making Empathy Acceptance

30 Skills Cross training Shared Language
Process in place to protect client confidences Understanding of people outside of organization Difference in world view

31 Questions? Contact Information D.C.’s Children’s Law Center 616 H Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001, (202)

32 Questions? Kimberly Daulton, Director of Social Work
ext. 516, Tyra Moore, Senior Social Worker ext. 557, Jess Sucherman, Supervising Attorney ext. 575, Alyssa Patzoldt, Supervising Attorney ext. 532,


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