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forensic child maltreatment investigations

The many different forensic settings such as prisons, jails, outpatient settings, community centers, residential treatment facilities, and specialized treatment centers provide many opportunities for working with forensic populations. Even within these settings, there are specific and differing programs that operate. For instance, a prison might operate an outpatient drug treatment program, a residential drug treatment program, and a sex offender program all in the same facility. In the outpatient setting, a helping professional might be called on to conduct sessions with anger management groups, domestic violence groups, substance abuse groups, and sex offenders after release.

As a forensic treatment professional, assessing and understanding various forensic settings before entering them is critical in developing your professional practice. One way of doing this is to consider the various settings, and compare them based on external resources for forensic populations. For example, how do the available resources compare between a maximum security juvenile correctional facility and a residential juvenile treatment facility? The distinction between these forensic settings and the available resources for each can help you better understand the potential challenges and opportunities in your professional practice.

To prepare for this Assignment:

· Select two forensic settings in your community to compare in this assignment.

· Consider the social support, available resources, and access to treatment for each forensic setting

The Assignment (1–2 pages):

· Identify the two forensic settings you selected from your community.

· Compare (similarities and differences) the settings in terms of social support, available resources, and access to treatment.

· Explain at least one conclusion you drew or insight you gained as a result of your comparison related to your role as a current/future helping professional.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the resources for this course.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Week 1: Introduction

Welcome to the first week of Treatment of Forensic Populations.

Helping professionals may work years in their professional settings and never think about treating forensic populations such as sex offenders, drug abusers and offenders, or violent offenders. In fact, some helping professionals shy away from such populations, choosing to believe that these people are best helped by remaining “locked up” or left to the resources of a prison treatment setting. Other professionals, however, see the benefits of working with challenging forensic populations. Not just for the person receiving services but also for the greater social good that can come from offering services to forensic populations. As a helping professional, understanding various forensic settings, crimes, and treatments can facilitate advocacy for positive social change as it affects forensic populations and society at large.

This week, you examine the fundamentals of treating forensic populations. You consider a variety of forensic settings that is, the factors outside of treatment that can affect practice such as social support, available resources, access to treatment, and other practice challenges.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Apply characteristics of forensic populations to professional practice goals

· Analyze similarities and differences among forensic settings

· Create treatment plans for forensic populations*

Note: This learning objective is introduced in this week and assessed in Week 10 of the course.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Buchanan, S., & Nooe, R. M. (2017). Defining social work within holistic public defense: challenges and implications for practice. Social work, 62(4), 333-339.

Green, G., Thorpe, J., & Traupmann, M. (2005). The sprawling thicket: Knowledge and specialisation in forensic social work. Australian Social Work, 58(2), 142-153.

Pence, D. M. (2011). Trauma-informed forensic child maltreatment investigations. Child Welfare, 90(6), 49–68.

Robbins, S. P., Vaughan-Eden, V., & Maschi, T. M. (2014). It’s not CSI: The importance of forensics for social work education. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 4(3), 171–175.

Sheehan, R. (2016). Forensic social work: Implementing specialist social work education. Journal of social work, 16(6), 726-741.

Young, D. (2014). Social workers’ perspectives on effective practice in criminal justice settings. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 4(2), 104–122.

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