National Institute of Forensic Social Work

National Institute of Forensic Social Work

National Institute of Forensic Social WorkNational Institute of Forensic Social WorkNational Institute of Forensic Social Work

Bridging Professions and Building Competencies.

Canada's Leader in FSW Training Since 2016

Course -February 24, 2020 to March 22, 2020

Forensic Social Work Online Course- Foundational Law for Social Work & Human Service Practice

Course Start: February 24, 2020 ( Online only)

Course Summary

The National Institute of Forensic Social Work (nifsw.com) founded in 2016, focuses on social/legal professional development for generalist practitioners in Canada.

"I really recommend this course as it provides individuals with a basic yet detailed and important understanding of forensic social work and the law." ~ course participant, 2019

Workshop Summary

The law has influenced all aspects of social work and human service practice since the inception of these professions. As such, it is crucial that practitioners in these fields have an understanding of the essential law for social work and human service practice. Unfortunately, many practitioners commence their careers without an awareness or understanding of how the law will impact their professional practice and their work with clients.

Many social work and human service practitioners work in the public sector, and the clients often are representative of the marginalized and disadvantaged in our society (such as Indigenous people, persons with mental health challenges and addictions, newcomers to Canada, etc.). The number of people facing social and economic challenges continues to increase. As a result, there is a formidable demand on social and human services. As social workers and human service practitioners continue to emphasize access to justice, the rights of the individual and social justice for all, it is imperative they have an understanding of how law and policy impact their work.

This engaging and interactive entry level 4-week workshop has a skills-based component and will increase your awareness of the law and its application and impact on practice. The workshop design takes into account the development of critical thinking skills and knowledge sharing from a social justice lens and applies approaches and perspectives that are grounded in anti-oppressive, cultural awareness and trauma-informed practice. Through interactive exercises, critical reflection and thought-provoking case studies, you will learn to improve your professional skills and increase your awareness of the law.

Target Audience

This workshop is geared toward those working in social work, healthcare, human service, and helping professions in the justice system including community legal workers, generalist forensic social workers and legal navigators.

"Great foundational program!" ~ course participant, 2019

Learning Goals and Objectives

You will explore the Canadian legal system and the application of law relevant to social work and human service practice. You will develop an awareness and understanding of how law and social work intersect (forensic social work) and the impact on clients. By the end of the 4-week workshop, you will have developed a solid foundation and working knowledge of several areas of the law and its application to social work and human service practice, including new strategies and best practices to develop skills that will enhance your current practice and build confidence and competence in your understanding of the law.

"I really enjoyed this course and have already started to apply what I have learned." ~ course participant, 2019


This workshop is comprised of 4 weekly modules. Each module requires approximately 4 hours of online work. Participants are required to complete all 4 modules and pass a short quiz at the end of each module.

Speed of learning and ease with technology will affect the time it takes to complete the course exercises. Basic technical and computer skills are required to watch online videos, post questions and comments, and navigate the website.

There are no scheduled lecture times. The course site is available 24/7.

This course requires approximately 4 hours of online study time per week for a total of 16 continuing education credit hours.

Enrolment is limited to 40 participants.

To register see below or contact:

Karla Hatt at: Coned@dal.ca

Continuing Education Coordinator

School of Social Work

3201-1459 LeMarchant Street
PO Box 15000 | Halifax, NS  B3H 4R2  Canada


Register Now ! February 24, 2020.

Message from the Director  


Course Registration

Additional Information

Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.

16 Continuing Education Credit Hours.

Registration Fee


Early Rate $315.00 (by Jan 13th)

Regular Rate $355.00 (after Jan 13th)

Registration Policies

Rates subject to change. 

What is Forensic Social Work?

Law and Social Work

Law and Social Work

Forensic social work is when the law and social work intersect usually in clinical practice and in the fields of child protection, youth criminal justice,domestic violence, mental health, and corrections. It is a specialty that requires enhanced professional training.

Inter-Professional Practise


Forensic social work (FSW) is an emerging  sub-specialty of social work practice. The training in FSW  can benefit those in the legal community and social work. Social workers with the specialized training and certification are hired to work in legal environments as part of an inter-disciplinary and inter-professional team. 

You as the Expert Witness


Forensic social workers bring expert evidence to the court room through written reports such as risk assessments, parenting assessments, access assessments, child wishes statements and Inter-generational and trans-generational Impact Reports.(c)

Working in the Field


Forensic social workers work as part of an investigative team with various legal authorities, police services and corrections to assist families in terms of protecting children, youth, and adults who have come in contact with the justice system.  

Sharing and Learning


Forensic social workers are consultants, mentors and change-makers who work with other professionals in many systems and in services that are linked to the justice system and advocate for social justice change by challenging policy and legislation. 



Do you have questions?  We have answers.  

Video: What is Forensic Social Work?

Check out this informational video.