How We Serve to Lead
The Social Work and Law National Symposium was birthed out of a long-standing goal held by its founder, Dr. Sherece Shavel, who came to recognize the need to strengthen social worker competence in the use of legal tools, effective participation with legal processes, and in effective interdisciplinary collaboration through her own practice experiences. After years of contemplation, the symposium initiative was formally organized February 2022 and in June 2022 became an activity of beBRAVE3, LLC, an established entity in the state of Texas. The organizing body consists of social workers, lawyers, and students who collaboratively devote their time, talent, and resources to realize the passionate and hopeful mission and vision of the symposium.
The Social Work and Law National Symposium is an initiative to promote knowledge, skills, and abilities around forensic social work practice including the intersection of social work and law. The symposium serves as a platform to harness energy, passion, and wisdom toward advancing the field of forensic social work and the capacity of forensic social work practitioners in collaboration with legal professionals around legal matters and in the context of legal environments. As an education-oriented future-focused platform, the symposium program facilitates collective action and impact by nurturing an expansion of inter-professional, cross-disciplinary, multi-system, multi-dimensional knowledge and skills that lead to high practitioner versatility and effectiveness.
To improve inter-disciplinary competence and effectiveness as it relates to the socio-legal context of social work practice to the benefit of vulnerable and marginalized persons experiencing complex problems that intersect with the legal system.
Further, our goal is to bring together those who are focused on serving persons involved with the legal system or operate from a cross-disciplinary approach of social work and law in order to advance the field of forensic social work practice. We endeavor to establish an educator taskforce that will innovatively advance the education of students and active professionals in forensic practice as well as establish a brief mentoring program for students aspiring to realize a career as a forensic practitioner.
As iron sharpens iron, the symposium initiative is to be a meaningful mechanism where practitioners sharpen practitioners, practitioners sharpen students, students sharpen practitioners, and students sharpen students. By the influence of our collective work we usher in a more just society for those in service to and involved with the legal system.
Dynamic, Interactive, Diverse
The symposium features contributions from a diverse body of justice-oriented persons such as social workers, attorneys, law enforcement officers, advocates, educators, researchers, students, and others with direct industry experience seeking to collaboratively advance the field of forensic social work. The facilitated topics for learning elicit thought-provoking reflection leading to healthy and useful discourse that values expressions of diverse perspectives for the sake of etching out pathways toward justice and change. Multiple opportunities will be offered to respond to each year's call to action.