Order in the Court: Ethical Documentation and Testifying for Social Workers
Sara Dupont, LICSW
Sarah Ireland, JD
2 Category A Clinical CEs in ETHICS pending approval by NASW NH
Social workers are often called upon to submit documents or testify in court hearings. How do you best write client notes that will not create challenges for yourself or your client while maintaining our Code of Ethics? What do you do if the records are subpoenaed? How can you be a credible and respectable witness on the stand? Participants will learn from a social worker and an attorney how to maintain your ethical and legal obligations, put your best foot forward, and avoid common pitfalls.
Please note, while best practices for documentation and testifying are applicable to all social workers, Sara and Sarah are licensed to practice in NH. Court processes in other states may be different.
Participants will be able to:
- Discuss best practices for client notes and record writing
- Explain what to do when records are subpoenaed
- Describe witness preparation and best testifying practices
- Discuss the impact and the social worker's ethical role in court hearings
About the presenters:
Sara Dupont, LICSW, MLADC is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Social Work at Plymouth State University. Over the past 17 years Sara has worked in a variety of subdisciplines of social work. She has worked within the community mental health system in areas ranging from children’s mental health to emergency services. For 7 years she worked in several community hospitals as a medical social worker. While working in the hospitals, Sara specialized in work with pregnant and post-partum women who had a substance use disorder. She maintains a private practice providing mental health, substance use disorder, and dual diagnosis services to adolescents and adults. Throughout her professional career, Sara has gained experience preparing for and testifying in court proceedings.
Sarah Ireland, JD
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