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About This Micro-Credential

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Develop a deeper understanding of complex ethical decisions regarding evaluation and treatment of victims and offenders.

This micro-credential complements a social work degree to help social workers better navigate the legal system and provide appropriate assessments, interventions and services to legal cases involving substance abuse, child custody, child or spousal abuse and mentally ill offenders.

The courses address the complex application of physical science, mental health, substance abuse and the legal system to social work.

Learn How to Apply

Skills You Will Gain

Forensic Social Work

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze the intersection of social, health and legal systems and provide appropriate interventions and services to criminal offenders.
  • Understand the relationships among law, criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment systems.
  • Explain complex social issues such as the origins of mental illness, substance abuse and family violence and how they can intertwine with criminal behavior.
  • Identify the impact of relevant laws and social policies on treatment and correctional practices.
  • Understand the variety of correctional responses to crime, including police, courts and corrections, including houses of correction, prisons and reentry programs.

Required Courses

  • SWK 572 - Forensic Social Work
  • SWK 612 - Addiction and Family Violence OR SWK 577 - Social Work in Law Enforcement Settings
  • SWK 576 - Social Work and the Law

Offered in online format


Jennifer Bachner, PhD
Dr. Tara McLendon
Forensic Social Work, First semester offered: Spring 2019


Northern Kentucky University
Local: +1 (859) 572-5825