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Continuing Education Course Catalog > Career & Technology

Professional Development Series: The Interprofessional Practice of Law Enforcement and Social Work   

Laws have influenced all aspects of behavioral health and human service practice since the inception of these professions. While many mistakenly believe that forensic mental health work is limited to evaluating and treating criminal defendants, in reality, the field encompasses all social services within the civil and criminal justice systems and broader community. According to the National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW), forensic social work is defined as the "application of social work principles to questions and issues relating to law and legal systems."

As cities and counties across the country explore various models of collaboration between the legal system and the community, the demand for highly qualified, specifically trained social workers, mental health professionals, and peer support specialists to work in the public safety sector continues to grow. As such, it is crucial that practitioners in these fields develop core competencies associated with the established processes and principles of the legal system.

This innovative workshop, developed exclusively by Shoreline Community College, identifies emerging topics shaping the future of the field. Facilitators Anura Shah, LICSW, MHA, and Deputy Chief Michael LaBadie of Naval Base Kitsap Police Department will lead students through lectures, in-depth, meaningful discussions, and demonstrations that will provide attendees with increased awareness of the law and its impact on direct practice. Topics will include: foundational law for social service providers, essential legal skills for practice, situational awareness and understanding force science.

This 7-hour workshop will be conducted using a distance learning model, with virtual instruction taking place over the course of two morning sessions. The course is eligible for 6 hours of Continuing Education (CE) for mental health providers in the state of Washington. Please remember, it is your responsibility to check licensing guidelines in your state to ensure that this course meets your continuing education requirements.

Prerequisites: This workshop is designed for any non-sworn individual working within or alongside the criminal justice system: courts, corrections, and law enforcement.