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Margy

Margy Green

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales Health And Medicine > Mental Health
None > Social Welfare
To research the benefits of engaging with families and carers of patients in a high secure forensic hospital - New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland
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Recommendations

The aim of this report was to focus on improving support for families of patients in high secure forensic environments. Given the sensitive nature of forensic work, internal recommendations are not public. The following general goals and recommendations are for clinicians, organisations, government departments, universities and peak bodies:

Clinicians 

  1. For compulsory membership in the peak body (AASW) of social workers
  2. To advocate peak body and government for mandatory accreditation for the social work profession

Organisations 

  1. Financial support to ensure funds and time are allocated for access to publications and participation to attend and/or present at international conferences focusing on forensic mental health and/or social work supporting families
  2. Social Workers experienced in trauma informed care to be involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of a peer workforce.
  3. For social work to complete and drive a suite of culturally sensitive training to inform a nuanced understanding of the way mental illness is conceptualised in the person’s culture of origin, especially Aboriginality

Australian Association of Social Work 

  1. To explore with AASW Mental Health Special Interest Group, to look at developing Forensic Social Work in Australia
  2. For Australia register the name of “Social Work” and prevent anybody practicing under this name if they are not registered

Universities 

  1. Social workers recommended to proactively seek formal research opportunities and publish findings to develop the role of social work, and to focus on the benefits of support for patients and families in secure environments
  2. University assistance for articulation of the role of forensic social work to counter any move to subsume role within generic job descriptions such as Caseworker or Mental Health Clinician c.
  3. Universities in concert with AASW and Health Departments and Child Protection to conduct a review for specialist forensic social work qualification
  4. Collaboration and development of strategic partnerships with experts in the field to develop research plans, utilising student input where appropriate e. Recommendation: To nationally standardise the process of recognising clinical social work as per USA and Canada by further education and experience

Commonwealth and State Government in the Australian context

  1. For AASW to advocate for the appointment of permanent full time allied health clinicians in senior executive government positions to work together with clinicians from medical and nursing to bring a nuanced holistic and balance to policy development and implementation
  2. For AHPRA to review allied health professions without accreditation to be assessed to support working towards timely national standards

Keywords: Forensic, Social Work, Therapeutic, Families and Carers, Mental Health, Family Therapy

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