Summer 2016 Social Work Electives

Soc W 598B – DSM V and Public Child Welfare Services

SLN: 13436
Open to seniors and grad students; other students by instructor’s permission.

Instructor: Carmela Washington-Harvey
Dates: Fridays—June 24, July 8, July 29 and August, 12, 2016 during 9:30 am—4:30 pm in SWS B14

This course will focus on understanding the use of DSM V as a diagnostic tool in mental health status and parenting evaluations in Child Welfare cases. These evaluations are generally sought or court ordered in dependency cases where there is a question as to the parent or custodial guardian’s capacity to parent children who have been subject to child abuse or neglect. Intended course outcomes include: refining critical thinking and understanding of all elements of diagnostic assessment and diagnosis as it relates to child welfare and custody decisions in dependency cases. Examine and expand understanding of the definition of Culture in Diagnosis as defined in the DSM-V and related implications in parenting and mental health status evaluations. Explore the methodological challenges in this work across gender and ethnic communities. Group exercises, case studies, literature reviews, presentations, and, if appropriate, film will be used to compliment class instruction.

Course Objectives include:

· Identification of key elements that would necessitate requesting a parenting, psychological or mental status evaluation

· Examination of current trends in diagnosis of mental illness, child abuse, and related factors in but not limited to Child Welfare cases

· Develop a general working knowledge of the use of diagnosis in mental health evaluations

· How to critique court ordered evaluations and information received from mental health providers (i.e. omissions, lack of clarity)

· Discuss the factors (i.e., individual bias) that may influence evaluation process

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