Interdisciplinary Social Work and Law: A Model Domestic Violence Curriculum

By Forgey, Mary Ann; Colarossi, Lisa | Journal of Social Work Education, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Interdisciplinary Social Work and Law: A Model Domestic Violence Curriculum


Forgey, Mary Ann, Colarossi, Lisa, Journal of Social Work Education


INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE has grown in both academic and nonacademic workplaces. Universities have developed centers and programs that foster research and teaching across disciplines, and there has been an increasing professional practice focus on collaborating with people from other fields to achieve better outcomes for individuals and organizations (Allen-Meares, 1998; Walsh, Brabeck, & Howard, 1999). Interdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration between social workers and lawyers has been particularly interesting to schools of social work because social workers are often required to work with clients involved in the legal system, particularly in the areas of child welfare, domestic violence, and criminal justice (Forgey, Moynihan, Strand, & Hill, 2001; Kopels & Gustavsson, 1996; Lynch & Brawley, 1994; Madden, 2000). This article presents an educational model designed to teach the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed for working collaboratively with lawyers in the area of domestic violence.

The curriculum described in this article represents a joint effort of faculty from Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and Fordham Law School. Coauthor Mary Ann Forgey and associate clinical professor of law, Leah Hill, were responsible for the initial conceptualization, development, and coteaching of the curriculum. Coauthor Lisa Colarossi, along with adjunct professors of law Rose Pierre-Louis and Ruth Jane Zuckerman, have all cotaught the curriculum and have contributed to its on-going development.

Background and Rationale

Research continues to show high rates of domestic violence in the general population and in situations within which social workers have traditionally operated, such as family service settings, mental health treatment settings, and child welfare (Aldarondo & Straus, 1994; Aron & Olson, 1997; McCloskey, Figueredo, & Koss, 1995; Peled, 1996). However, studies of providers in these settings have shown a lack of recognition of this problem and an inadequate amount of importance given to intervention (Douglas & Mederos, 1992; Hansen, Harway, & Cervantes, 1991; McKay, 1994; O'Leary, Vivian, & Malone, 1992; Saunders, Kilpatrick, Resnick, & Tidwell, 1989). In response, social work education should place greater emphasis on coursework that includes the prevalence, characteristics, and treatment of domestic violence, and it should also teach the knowledge and skills necessary for assisting clients involved in the legal system because many of the survivors, perpetrators, and child witnesses will be involved in this system.

Allen-Meares (1998) notes, "if social workers lack knowledge on the workings of the legal system, they cannot advocate effectively on a client's behalf, and they may unintentionally promote an adverse outcome" (p. 3). Lynch and Brawley (1994) outline a number of needed changes in the curriculum to prepare social workers for their dealings with the legal system, including providing information regarding privileged communication; confidentiality and the duty to warn; client access to records; the relationship between legal and ethical issues; practice regulation, malpractice, and agency and worker liability; common legal issues that arise in practice; the legal rights of various client groups; areas in which rights are frequently in conflict; preparation for court appearances of various kinds; and systems advocacy. Social work programs are responding to this need and are adding information about domestic violence laws and legal procedures to the curriculum (Kopels & Gustavsson, 1996). However, several recent service delivery developments suggest that social work education needs to go beyond this focus to one that teaches students the knowledge and skills required for effective collaboration with other professions, particularly the legal profession, in the area of domestic violence.

One major development that has led to an increased need for interdisciplinary training is the domestic violence movement's call for a coordinated community response. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Interdisciplinary Social Work and Law: A Model Domestic Violence Curriculum
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.