Online: October 31, 2022 - November 27, 2022
Instructor: Shawna Paris-Hoyte, O.N.S., QC, BCCH, MSW, RSW
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.
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.
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.
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Learn the skills and key strategies to enhance your delivery of evidence with confidence in the courtroom. Individual sessions available online with a skilled professional in law and social work.
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Continued Education Training in Collaboration with Dalhousie University School of Social Work
Prerequisite: Forensic Social Work: Foundational Law for Social Work and Human Service Practice.
This course requires approximately 4 hours of online study time per week for a total of 16 continuing education credit hours. Enrollment is limited to maximum of 35 participants.
Target Audience If you have completed our Level -1 workshop in Foundational Law and your practice is related to the justice system and the courts or you are new to practice and have an interest in attaining the skills and knowledge to work as a generalist in forensic social worker, then this is a “must have” workshop for you. This workshop is appropriate for interested in developing a sub-specialty skill set in Forensic Social Work. It is ideal for those who want to learn the key strategies used in forensic social work practice and for those who wish to enhance their knowledge, confidence and competence in this evolving and dynamic area of practice. It is also appropriate for those of you who are seeking new career opportunities in an emerging area of practice. This is a level -1 workshop is appropriate for those who are already familiar with common legal concepts that impact social work and human service practice. Ideally the learner in this workshop will have taken Level-1 training in foundational law for social work practice or a law and social work course in their academic social work program. The practitioners most likely to benefit from this workshop are private practice clinicians, legal system navigators, court house social workers, parenting coordinators, hospital clinical social workers, those in corrections law, child protection services, psychiatric social work practice, mental health, youth justice, adult justice, those who do community practice with grassroots organizations and those with a general interest in forensic social work.
Workshop Summary Social work practitioners are employed in workplaces that require their familiarity and knowledge regarding a variety of legal concepts. When working in the justice system, social workers must have the “hands on” essential skills to be confident and effective practitioners to meet social work standards and ethical obligations of the social work profession. Many of the services that hire social workers in beginner generalist or specialist forensic positions in the justice system offer in-house training specific to the worker’s tasks in the workplace. Professional development inter-sectional training in essential practice skills for forensic social work (social-legal skills) is limited or non-existent in Canada at this time, yet exists is a vibrant area of practice in other countries. Many schools of social work education in Canada offer academic courses that are evidence and theory based in law and social work. There are no independent professional development programs that offer “hands on” skills training that is focused on the intersection of law and social work practice (forensic social work) and the development of forensic social work as a sub-specialty of practice outside of the workshops and courses offered through the National Institute of Forensic Social Work.
With this emerging field of practice and the demand for access to justice, social workers are taking on new roles in the justice system. The current trend in the practice of law in Canada is to resolve legal matters utilizing less adversarial methods such as settlement conferences, mediation, parenting co-ordination and restorative approaches. We are seeing an increase in the emergence of specialty courts; yet the demand and need for adversarial processes continues to increase especially in child protection, criminal law, youth justice, adult criminal law, corrections law and human rights. Social workers are usually front and center in the justice processes. 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 processes of the court, and the tools used by lawyers, crowns and judges and an understanding of collaborative law practice. 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, the courts and the justice system.Forensic social work practice is dynamic, demanding and an evolving sub-specialty in Canada.
This engaging and interactive four-week workshop in essential skills for forensic social work practice has lecture and “hands on” skills-based components that will increase your practice skills when engaged with the legal system. 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 introductory level interactive exercises, critical reflections, thought-provoking case studies, and skills building exercises such as affidavit writing, forensic interviewing from a cultural lens, submission 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.
Learning Goals and Objectives The focus of this workshop is specific to the practice of social work in the justice system. It is a skills based interactive online workshop. As participants/learners you be introduced to the basics of forensic social work practice from a skills based 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 academic studies and continuing education training in forensic social work practice. As a learner you will increase your knowledge and develop essential skills for forensic social work practice based on four weekly- four hour 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. 2. Tools for the Court focuses on creating awareness and competence and developing 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 instruction specific to courtroom etiquette, presenting expert reports, testifying in court, advocacy and other core skills. 4. Collaborative Inter-Professional Practice will consider best practice models used in collaborative social-legal settings and other common inter-professional work places. An emphasis will be placed on standards of practice, codes of ethics and liability issues that may arise for both professions in shared workplaces to address possible conflicts such as competing ethics. Information will be shared specific to career opportunities in forensic social work practice and available resources. At the end of the 4-week workshop you will have increased your understanding, working knowledge and legal drafting skills as a beginner generalist or specialist forensic social worker practitioner. Overall, you will have gained new skills and knowledge that enhances your confidence, competence and prepares you for new opportunities to the benefit of your career, your clients and your employer(s).
About the Instructor
Shawna Paris-Hoyte, O.N.S, QC, BCCH, MSW, RSW, is an inter-professional and multidisciplinary practitioner who works as a private practice clinician, hospital 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 in forensic social work for practitioners in Canada.
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 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.
To Register Contact:Karla Hatt at: Coned@dal.caContinuing Education Coordinator School of Social Work FACULTY OF HEALTH 3201-1459 LeMarchant Street PO Box 15000 | Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 Canada
This one hour webinar considers the current plight of the Indigenous people of Canada who continue to suffer the atrocities of discrimination, oppression and colonization. As well, Canadian communities are increasingly diverse and as such our practise as forensic social workers in youth criminal justice and child welfare must reflect our understanding of how culture, race and historical trauma influence and impact our clients in terms of existing laws in immigration and human rights. Further information regarding registration will be posted closer to the date.
This one hour webinar will introduce you to the basics of forensic social work practise in child welfare by incorporating the rule of law as it applies to child welfare concepts. Further information will be posted regarding registration closer to the date.
This one hour webinar offers participants, "How To" practical skills to enhance your advocacy skills as a forensic social work expert in the courtroom. Focus will be placed on testimony in child welfare cases. Further information regarding registration will be posted closer to the date.
This one hour webinar will consider and provide strategies to address our unconscious bias as forensic social workers in corrections and criminal law. Further information regarding registration will be posted closer to the date.
This one hour webinar will be of particular interest to lawyers, community legal workers, and article clerks who work in non-profit, community based and legal aid offices with marginalized, oppressed, disenfranchised populations. Those service providers and public defenders who are interested in taking a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to their work will find this to be an informative webinar. Further information regarding registration will be posted closer to the date.