Jennifer Elkins, an associate professor in the School of Social Work, and Emma Hetherington, an assistant clinical professor in the School of Law and director of the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation, or CEASE, Clinic, received the 2018 SAGE/CSWE Award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work Education for their design of a model for teaching trauma-informed courtroom practices to social work and law students.
The award is given annually by the Council on Social Work Education.
Elkins and Hetherington developed a model for a course that integrates classroom lessons with a mock trial simulation. The course aims to demonstrate how to more effectively advocate for and represent child welfare-involved children and families within the juvenile court system.
The course is the first in Georgia to give social work graduate students and law students exposure to a juvenile court case simulation that incorporates interprofessional practices designed to recognize and prevent trauma.
In addition to classroom reading material, Elkins and Hetherington also arranged for legal and social work professionals to present guest lectures. The course is part of the Wilbanks CEASE Clinic, which provides direct representation to survivors of child sexual abuse in juvenile court and also serves as a teaching center at the School of Law.