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SWK 4801H – Special Topics: Social Work and Law - Elective

Offered as a one-week intensive course June 3-7, 2019.

The knowledge and assistance of social workers in law is linked to many aspects of social work practice. Rarely does an individual client, family, or group share problems that are purely social, emotional or legal. The need for social work assistance comes at crisis points within the human life cycle. These crises could include divorce or separation, death, physical or mental abuse, injury, illness, incapacity to make decisions, threat of eviction, wrongful dismissal, arrest, trial, and incarceration. Individuals in these situations often need emergency planning and special resources. During these times, social workers become engaged in the practice of social law. Social workers involved in the legal system should develop a strong sense of professional identity because the values and ethics of the legal and social work professions differ and may conflict with each other. With a clear understanding of the different philosophies, methods, and goals within the legal system, social workers may assist their clients involved in the legal system.