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National Institute of Forensic Social Work

National Institute of Forensic Social Work

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

Bridging Professions and Building Competencies.

Canada's Leader in FSW Training Since 2016

New Online Skills Course for Spring 2020

FORENSIC SOCIAL WORK: ESSENTIAL LEGAL SKILLS FOR PRACTICE

  

Course Start Date: TBA Spring 2020


Course Summary


About the Instructor

Shawna Paris-Hoyte, QC, MSW, RSW, PhD (stdt) is an inter-professional and multidisciplinary practitioner as a private practice clinical and forensic social worker, an educator and a practicing lawyer. As a clinical and forensic social worker for over fifteen years, Shawna specializes in mental health and addictions. As a lawyer for twenty-five years, Shawna’s areas of practice are child welfare law, family law, human rights, youth justice, criminal justice, corrections law, administrative law poverty law and social justice. Shawna provides instruction in clinical law practice to learners in their third year of law studies and instruction to BSW and MSW learners regarding a variety of social work courses including, Diversity in Canada, Law and Social Work, Human Development, Cross Cultural Perspectives, and Field Practicum as an Agency Advisor and Faculty Advisor.

Shawna's work as a practitioner, consultant and researcher at a doctoral level in social work makes her a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics. She designs and facilitates workshops related to the intersection of law and social work and has presented on various aspects of forensic social work practice including presentations at the National Organization of Forensic Social Work in the United States. Shawna is committed to developing the intersection of law and social work (forensic social work) as a sub-specialty of social work practice in Canada. In 2016, Shawna founded the National Institute of Forensic Social Work (nifsw.com) which focuses on professional development for social work practitioners in Canada.

Workshop Summary

Social workers practice in workplaces that require their familiarity and knowledge regarding a variety of legal concepts and processes. They must have the essential skills to be confident and effective practitioners to meet social work standards and ethical obligations. Many of the services that hire social workers in beginner generalist or specialist forensic positions offer in-house training specific to their tasks and scope of practice but do not generally offer broader training in terms of the essential skills for forensic social work practice as a sub-specialty. Schools of social work provide education that is evidence-based, and theory based, and many are limited to practice-based education through field practicums. This is especially true with respect to the intersection of law and social work (forensic social work practice).   

Despite the current trend in Canada for legal matters to be resolved using less adversarial methods such as settlement conferences, mediation, parenting co-ordination and restorative approaches, as well as, the use of specialty courts; the demand and use of adversarial processes continues to increase especially in child protection, criminal law, youth justice, adult criminal law, corrections law and human rights. As such, in fulfilling the duties of a forensic social worker in areas such as child protection, private practice social work, probation services, corrections, or at forensic hospitals, it is imperative that social workers have an understanding of the language, processes of the court, and the tools used by lawyers, crowns and judges. Having the essential skills and knowledge of legal practice and procedures will align the work of a forensic social worker with that of the legal practitioner and courts.

Forensic social work practice is dynamic, demanding and an evolving sub-specialty in Canada. This engaging and interactive three-week workshop in essential skills for forensic social work practice has lecture and skills-based components that will increase your understanding of how professionals such as lawyers, forensic social workers, crowns and others engage with the legal systems.  The workshop is designed to develop the learner’s confidence, knowledge of legal processes, courtroom skills, writing and drafting skills of court documents, critical thinking skills and use of contemporary approaches that are grounded in core competencies for social workers such as anti-oppressive practice, cultural competence and humility, trauma informed, and professional ethical commitment. Through interactive exercises, critical reflection, thought-provoking case studies, and skills building exercises such as affidavit writing, forensic interviewing from a cultural lens, submissions of expert evidence and testifying in court; you will learn to improve your forensic skills and increase your awareness of the law. Learners will gain skills that are realistic and best practice-based. 

Target Audience

This workshop is ideal for the generalist social worker and beginner forensic social work (FSW) practitioner who understands various areas of foundational law for social work practice and is familiar with common legal concepts that impact social work. The workshop is also appropriate for those interested in developing a sub-specialty skill set in FSW and who want to enhance their knowledge in this evolving and dynamic area of practice. The practitioners most likely to benefit from this workshop are private practice clinicians, legal navigators, parenting coordinators, hospital clinical social workers, those in corrections law, child protection, psychiatric social work practice, mental health, youth justice, adult justice, and those who do community practice with grassroots organizations and so on. If your work is somehow related to the justice system and the courts, then this is “must have” knowledge and skills for your practice.

Learning Goals and Objectives

The focus of this workshop is specific to the Canadian legal system and is skills based. As participants you be introduced to the basics of forensic social work practice from a social-legal lens in keeping with the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. You will rely on your theoretical training in social work from previous studies.  As a learner you will increase your knowledge and develop essential skills for forensic social work practice based on information shared in three weekly modules that include: 

1. Core Competencies for Forensic Social Work Practice focuses on building forensic skills and enhancing knowledge for workshop learners regarding cultural competence and humility, critical thinking, unconscious bias, anti-oppressive, trauma informed forensic interviewing, working with diverse populations in legal systems, and collaborative law practice etc.

2. Tools for the Court focuses on sharing skills based information with learners to show how to create awareness and develop skills in the drafting of court documents such as affidavits, custody and parenting assessments, cultural plans, Voice of the Child Reports, and the organization and readiness of the “business record”, to name a few. 

3. You the Expert will guide the learner to develop the skills and knowledge for forensic social work practice in the courts by providing information and developing skills specific to courtroom etiquette, presenting expert reports, testifying in court, advocacy and other core skills. 

At the end of the 3-week workshop you will have increased your working knowledge and skills as a beginner generalist or specialist forensic social worker practitioner. You will have skills that enhance your current practice and prepare you for a dynamic and challenging area of practice in the justice system. Overall, you will have gained new skills and knowledge that enhances your confidence and competence to the benefit of your career, your clients and your employer(s). 

Format

This workshop is comprised of 3 weekly modules. Each module requires approximately 3-4 hours of online work. Participants are required to complete all 3 modules and pass a short quiz at the end of each module or complete a skill building exercise.  

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 12 continuing education credit hours.

Enrolment is limited to maximum of 35 participants.

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Course -September 21, 2020 to October 19,2020

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

Course Start: September 21, 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


Format

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

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


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Register Now for September 21, 2020.

Message from the Director  

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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

Inter-Professional Practise

Inter-Professional Practise

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

Inter-Professional Practise

Inter-Professional Practise

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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

Inter-Professional Practise

You as the Expert Witness

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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

Working in the Field

You as the Expert Witness

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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

Working in the Field

Sharing and Learning

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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. 

FAQs

Working in the Field

Sharing and Learning

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Do you have questions?  We have answers.  

Video: What is Forensic Social Work?

Check out this informational video.