We are quite surprised but pleased by our readers' enthusiastic response to our recent blog on forensic social work. Social workers and workers from other professions were so intrigued by the work that forensic social workers do within the criminal justice system that they asked if we would flesh out a little more the career details of the forensic social work specialty. If you're considering a career in forensic social work, here's an overview you may find helpful.
There are over 111,565 forensic social workers currently employed in the United States, but few people have any idea what they do. Forensic social workers are involved in both criminal and civil cases that can include termination of parental rights, juvenile and adult justice services, corrections, and mandated treatment. They fight against oppression that is exhibited through exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, violence, criminalization, and cultural dominance or imperialism. Forensic social workers assist individuals of all ages, handling child custody, juvenile arrest, and child maltreatment, elder abuse, divorce, civil disputes and criminal offending and imprisonment. As counselors they may provide psychosocial counseling, group counseling or mediation services. As a case manager or liaison, they link the legal world with the field of social work. They may be employed across a wide variety of settings such as court systems, mental health agencies, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, hospitals, child and family agencies, prisons, and faith-based institutions.
Victims' of domestic violence are frequently traumatized and perplexed, believing there is no way out of their predicament. However, many survivors have difficulty recognizing the abuse. Understanding and recognizing the various types of domestic violence is essential for leaving an abusive environment.
Few Americans can look at "human trafficking" with clear vision. The legacy of slavery in America is so distasteful that we prefer to remain in denial and look away from this modern iteration of slavery. Latin American countries, however, where many of the victims are preyed upon, take a much harder look at this criminal depravity and proactively strive to curtail its devastation.
For survivors, Justice is more About healing and Preventing Future Trafficking!
Today is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, when we to raise awareness about human trafficking, and promote and protect the rights of trafficking victims.
We are taught as children that we can trust our parents, our teachers, our religious leaders, the police, the mayor, and the President of the United States. It is their duty to care for us, to mean us well, and to do only good. We can trust them; until we can’t.
The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced awards of more than $144 million to enhance services for victims of crime nationwide. OJJDP awarded more than $54 million to support the effective investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases and improve positive outcomes for child abuse and neglect victims. This includes OJJDP's support of children's advocacy centers (CACs) to address child abuse and neglect and training and technical assistance for CACs, multidisciplinary teams, and child abuse professionals.
OJJDP also awarded funds to support Court Appointed Special Advocate programs nationwide and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to improve juvenile justice and dependency systems’ response to child abuse and neglect, as well as child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. In addition, OJP awarded nearly $101 million to combat human trafficking.
View the OJP fact sheets for additional information about the awards to improve services for victims and the awards to combat human trafficking.
We asked social workers who use our domestic violence software to help us understand what is going on with the sudden eruption of the #MeToo movement. Sweeping across the media landscape like wildfire, a tsunami of accusations began with Roger Ailes at Fox and Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood then quickly enveloped such well known T.V. personalities as Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Garrison Keilor, and Kevin Spacey. Even the most cynical among us was startled by the sudden collective outcry sent up by the women of Hollywood. What, we asked our colleagues, is going on here?