Advanced Forensic Social Work Certificate Program

December 7 (2:00-6:30 ET) and 8 (2:00-5:30 ET), 2021

(This program is offered in a virtual/online format only - $195 members/$245 non-members)

Registration: certificate registration page 

The Advanced Forensic Social Work Certificate is a program sanctioned by the National Organization of Forensic Social Work. This certificate program is open to those who have completed the foundation forensic social work certificate program offered by NOFSW.     It would be appropriate to list or note this certificate among a professional’s specialized areas of training. It would not be appropriate to list as a credential after one’s name (e.g. Sallie Sue, AFSWC). The program is being offered in a virtual/online format.  Participation in both Part 1 and Part 2 is required to complete the certificate program.  The format will allow for viewing of the presentation and supporting materials as well as interaction between the presenters and participants in real time.  Registered participants will receive instructions on how to gain access to this event via email approximately one week prior to the event.  If you have questions about the AFSW Certificate, please contact Jim Campbell at


Presenter Bios 

CE Credit Information


Advanced FSW Certificate Curriculum (DRAFT 11.2.20)

Areas of Training Focus:

  • Specific skills and techniques for successfully navigating legal and court arenas

  • Several distinct roles through which social workers commonly interface with the law

    • Child welfare

    • Public Defense

    • Expert Witness

  • Organizational leadership elements regarding agency policies, supervision and consultation

  • Impact of equity and social justice as ethical considerations

  • Illumination of some of the overarching societal issues impacting social systems, policies and regulations. 




Day 1

1. Introduction – Overview of court systems and social work roles interfacing with those systems

  • Disclaimers and limitations

  • Introduction of guiding case study (additional details to unfold over the course of the training)

  • Training structure and participant engagement expectations

2. Forensic Report Writing: Best Practices and Ethical Duties to Court and Clients

  • Templates for the organization, analysis, and opinions required for forensic report writing

  • Review the ethical obligations, and trips and traps, for report writing

    • Do you attach your CV and why is that important to the Court?

    • What does it mean to explicitly disclose your hypotheses and why you accepted or rejected one or more?

    • What makes your report (and opinions) more likely to be admitted in evidence?

    • When is your work product and file subject to the attorney-client privilege?

    • When can the other lawyer read your file and are your edits protected?

    • How much can a lawyer have input into drafting your report under federal and state rules of procedure?

    • What data is reliable and how to critically use evaluations and diagnoses?

    • How do you avoid explicit and implicit biases in report writing? 

Day 2

3. The call to court

  • Agency policies (host versus human service)

  • Subpoenas

  • Other disclosure avenues

4. Testifying

  • Strategies

5. Mock Court – participant presentations in the form of “testimony”