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Forensic Social Work in Law Enforcement and Victim Service/Witness Assistance Programs: National and Local Perspectives (From Social Work in Juvenile and Criminal Justice Settings, Third Edition, P 113-125, 2007, Albert R. Roberts and David W. Springer, eds. -- See NCJ-217866)

NCJ Number
Karen S. Knox; Albert R. Roberts
Date Published
13 pages
After a brief history of police-social worker collaboration in providing services to crime victims, this chapter describes the types of victim programs and services being provided by U.S. police agencies, as well as evidence-based research findings on such services, practice implications of these findings, and future trends.
Dziegielewski and Powers (2005) recently documented the ample evidence of the effectiveness of time-limited crisis intervention with victims of violent crimes, disasters, and other crisis events. Three main practice implications have been drawn from evaluation findings. First, victim service programs must improve public awareness of their services. Second, victim services program should focus on those victims who are most likely to need and use available services. Third, interagency coordination and cooperation between community victim service providers are necessary in order to meet the multiple needs of victims. The social work profession has a long history of working with police departments to provide victims services. Such services were initially provided by women's bureaus within police departments during the first half of the 20th century. The women's movement, along with an increasing number of social workers employed in battered women's shelters and rape crisis programs, increased awareness of the need for crime victims, particularly women, to receive services at the initial point of contact with police personnel. In addition to national and State programs that provide support to crime victims, law enforcement agencies at the Federal, State, and local levels offer victim services. The most common police victim services are crisis intervention for victims at their first contact with police following the crime, short-term counseling, assistance and referrals for the victim's immediate needs, death notification to family members, advocacy and assistance during the investigative process, and assistance with victim compensation forms. 1 table and 26 references