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 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 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 What We Do • The GAL Project • Best Interests Representation • Healthy Together • Families First • Pro Bono Program The Social Work Project • Program development and structure • A spectrum of social worker involvement • Consultation • Integration Models of Legal/Social Work Collaboration • Agency • Multidisciplinary • Interdisciplinary/Employee • Consultant • Integrated Social Work Practice Foundation 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. 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. 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 Client Specific Ethical Principles • • • • • Self-determination Confidentiality Who is the client? Cultural competence and social diversity Termination Type of Social Workers Micro Social Work Macro/Mezzo Social Work • • • • • • • • • • • Politics • Community Organizing (Mezzo) • Research/Evaluation • Advocacy/Policy • Education • Supervision/ Consultation (Mezzo) • Program Development (Mezzo) • Administration (mezzo) Child welfare Case Management Mental Health Hospitals/Clinics School Veteran Affairs Military Elder care Prisons Corporations Social Work Education and Licensure • Education • 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 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 Challenges to Social Work Practice • • • • Layers of bureaucracy Jurisdiction/Agency specific stressors Vicarious trauma and burn out Personal capacity Improving Advocacy with External Social Workers 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 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. Improving Advocacy • Recognizing advocacy perspectives • Managing confidentiality • Respecting and appreciating social work skill set • Understanding credentialing Incorporating Social Workers in a Legal Organization 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 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. 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 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 Practical and Logistical Issues • • • • Role clarity Lack of consensus Loss of autonomy Making use of limited social worker resources Practical and Logistical Issues • Supervision • Cross training • Hiring social service staff • • • • What do you need? Salary Interviewing Interns Effective Partnership 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. Skills • • • • • • Role Clarity Positive Communication Trust Shared decision-making Empathy Acceptance Skills • • • • Cross training Shared Language Process in place to protect client confidences Understanding of people outside of organization • Difference in world view Questions? Contact Information D.C.’s Children’s Law Center 616 H Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 467-4900 www.childrenslawcenter.org Questions? Kimberly Daulton, Director of Social Work ext. 516, [email protected] Tyra Moore, Senior Social Worker ext. 557, [email protected] Jess Sucherman, Supervising Attorney ext. 575, [email protected] Alyssa Patzoldt, Supervising Attorney ext. 532, [email protected] Children’s Law Center works to give every child in the District of Columbia a solid foundation of family, health, and education. We are the largest provider of free legal services in the District and the only to focus on children. Our 80-person staff partners with local pro bono attorneys to serve more than 2,000 at-risk children each year. We use this expertise to advocate for changes in the District’s laws, policies, and programs. Visit www.childrenslawcenter.org to learn more.