If you are interested in becoming a forensic social worker, this is the right place.
Please continue reading the text. You will learn more about forensic social work, how to get a criminal justice social worker degree and your functions as an expert in this field.
If other details are of relevance, we will include them in our discussion.
How To Become a Criminal Justice Social Worker
In the U.S., forensic social workers are also known as criminal justice social workers. This is because they directly impact people and the criminal justice system.
They provide offenders with psychological guidance, backing for defendants, consulting services to attorneys and lawmakers, accessing and treating offenders within the criminal justice system, and much more.
What is Forensic Social Work?
Forensic social work is a vital public field that provides emotional and behavioral services to criminal justice.
NOFSW defines forensic social work as applying social work principles to issues related to the judiciary.
For this reason, the study is concerned with various types of litigation, such as child custody issues, spousal abuse, corrections, youth and adult justice, etc.
Furthermore, the scope and diversity of forensic social work integrates social services on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Duties of a Criminal Justice Social Worker
Although forensic social work is a newly established social work career in the US, they have numerous functions in the legal and civic sectors.
Their primary responsibility is to consult with law enforcement staff, correctional officers, psychiatrists within interdisciplinary teams, lawyers, and paralegals.
Additional responsibilities beyond the one listed above are as follows.
- Conduct behavioral science research and analysis to develop solutions for trend crimes and other systematic social problems.
- Diagnose criminal populations and mental health conditions
- Train law enforcement personnel and facilitate communication with tribunals
- Provide advice on developing social programs, policies, and services.
- Address issues, including rehabilitation, punishment, and prevention.
- Combat operations manifest themselves in marginalization, exploitation, violation, powerlessness, cultural domination, imperialism, violence, or other forms of criminalization.
- Provide diagnosis, treatment, and referrals to criminal justice and juvenile justice populations
- Collect details of the accused’s social history to assess competence, assist in treatment, and alleviate sentences.
- Giving us the whole day, we can’t outline all the functions of a criminal justice social worker. Perhaps in the subsequent discussion, we could focus on them. For the moment, we are going to examine other things that matter.
What do I Need to Become a Forensic Social Worker?
To work as an effective forensic social worker, you must have some essential skills.
They include writing, communication, complex detail analysis, interpersonal, teamwork, organization, details oriented, ethics, time management, etc.
There are specific steps that each candidate must follow when becoming a forensic social work expert. These steps include obtaining a degree certificate, licensing, experience and certification.
Let’s get some details about them.
Obtained a Degree Certificate
Getting an undergrad or master’s degree in criminal justice social work is the first step you should take.
Most employers accept BSW as their employment standard. MSW only benefits social workers who want to obtain a state work permit to practice at advanced levels in the community.
However, you should know that your social work certificate must be obtained from a CSWE-accredited establishment.
To become a qualified forensic social worker, you’ll need field experience.
This experience may be acquired while studying BSW or MSW. For instance, if you want to venture into forensic social work in a clinical setting, you will need to gain clinical experience.
Besides gaining field experience during your studies, you can also volunteer in a forensic social setting. It could be in a criminal justice department, correctional facilities, crisis, or domestic violence organizations.
Serving in these agencies will equip you with relevant skills and experience.
Get a State Work Permit and Forensic Social Worker Permit
After obtaining the necessary certifications and experience in forensic social work, you’ll need a state work permit.
This will allow you to work as an authorized criminal justice social worker in the state. But before you obtain such a permit, you must satisfy a few criteria. One of them is that you must take an ASWB test.
However, you must know that each state in the USA has its unique standards for getting a state permit. Do your research and know your state’s criteria for a forensic social work permit.
Once you have your official work permit, you will also need to obtain the “Certified Legal Social Work” permit.
This credential is awarded to researchers with a BSW or MSW in areas of study such as juvenile delinquents or criminal adducts.
In addition to being certified, you can also pursue NASW to help with your job search.
Forensic Social Work Settings
As a criminal justice social work practitioner, you can work in a variety of contexts. This is because your work involves working with populations affected by youth criminal justice systems.
You can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health organizations, correctional centers, child and family facilities, church facilities, prisons, and the criminal justice system.
How Much Does a Forensic Social Worker Earn?
The amount you will receive as a forensic social worker in the U.S depends on a few factors. They include the type of organization, education, experience, and environment.
For instance, forensic social work experts that work with the top-paying industries, such as the local government agencies, earn an average of $59,000-$62,000 annually.
Then those who work in other areas like elementary schools make about $44,880 to $56,300 annually.
Regarding location, forensic social work practitioners in regions such as California, New Jersey, New York, San Jose, San Francisco, and other lucrative metropolitan areas receive an average of $68,000 to $130,000 per year.
Meanwhile, the median pay of forensic social work experts in the United States is about $50,470 annually.
If you are passionate about working in criminal justice in the US, you should consider becoming a forensic social worker. The details we have given you are sufficient to guide you through the process.
Follow them accordingly and make your dreams come true within a couple of years. If you are concerned about their salaries, you see they make good money.