In any forensic setting, there are legal concerns that impact practice. State laws guide how a professional is credentialed or licensed. There are significant differences between types of professionals, settings in which these professionals may practice, and in what capacity they may practice. For instance, social workers have different legal requirements for licensure than psychologists do. State laws for master’s level credentialed professionals providing psychotherapy are different from those for their doctoral counterparts. Thus, laws related to practice are of interest to all professionals in forensic treatment settings.
Laws regarding credentialing are not the only laws forensic practitioners need to concern themselves with when working in forensic treatment settings. For instance, legal definitions of confidentiality are important to the forensic treatment practitioner. Laws clarify who has confidentiality rights and privileged communication and the requirements and limits of forced/coerced treatment. An awareness of various state and federal laws is necessary to abide by legal and ethical practice.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Consider the various state and federal laws counselors, psychologists, and other professionals need to follow within their professional practice. Research your particular state laws related to the treatment of forensic populations.
- Review the information from your respective state licensing board regarding the qualifications to practice in your desired forensic setting. Reflect on how this information might impact your professional goals.
- Review the rules and guidelines of licensing Boards related to your profession.
- Consider any specific details that may be unique to certification in your state or locale as they pertain to treatment of special populations (e.g., sex offenders, drug offenders).
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post a brief description of at least two specific laws or policies from your state or locale that pertain to treatment in forensic settings, specific to your profession. Then explain the implications of each law on the provisions of treatment with forensic populations. Be specific, and use examples to support your explanation. Describe how ethical standards related to 1.01 commitment to client, 1.02 self-determination, and 1.03 confidentiality relate to the specific laws you identified.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.
Butters, R., & Vaughan-Eden, V. (2011). The ethics of practicing forensic social work. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 1(1), 61–72.
Munson, C. (2011). Forensic social work practice standards: definition and specification. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 1(1), 37–60.
National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English.aspx
Pirelli, G., Otto, R. K., & Estoup, A. (2016). Using internet and social media data as collateral sources of information in forensic evaluations. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 47(1), 12–17.
Young, D. S. (2015). Lived challenges to ethical social work practice in criminal justice settings. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 5(1–3), 98–115.