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Planning effective support for clients involved in legal proceedings

Event Details
Date: 6 December 2022
Time: 11.00am –12.30pm AEDT
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

Refer to listing

Organiser: AASW


(03) 9320 1000


The thought of having to go to court or give evidence strikes fear into most people. It can be a daunting and intimidating prospect for the people we work with and ourselves as social workers. As professionals supporting people involved in legal or court proceedings, being unfamiliar with legal terminology, processes and environments can create stress and anxiety. To ensure our clients receive the best support possible - preparation is key.

This webinar will support participants to navigate legal contexts alongside their clients, starting with a brief overview of the Australian legal system and key players within. Building on this knowledge base, the role of social work within Australia’s legal system will be covered. This will include a discussion of the unique value a social work perspective can add to a client’s experience within the court system.

Methodologies for identifying and assessing the needs of clients will be explored. Beginning with ways to engage and build rapport with clients, participants will be encouraged to assess needs and consider the barriers people may be facing. Opportunities for support will be explored, highlighting the importance of follow up and aftercare for clients when legal proceedings are finished. Participants will have the opportunity to consider applications of trauma informed principles and social work knowledge, skills and values in a court setting, through case studies drawn from the presenter’s experience as a court-based social worker.

Who should attend? Social workers and other professionals who may work with people involved in legal and court proceedings, or who are interested in working within legal settings and/or court environments. Social workers of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend, including those who do not yet work in legal contexts.

1.5 hours of CPD activity: Category 2, skills and knowledge

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role of social work in legal and court settings
  • Identify and assess presenting needs of individuals and family members
  • Consider applications of trauma informed principles, social work knowledge, skills and values in a court setting


Rebecca Abbott

Rebecca Abbott is a private practitioner who specialises in preparing and supporting people as they navigate legal and court systems. Rebecca established Abbott Witness Services in 2014 when it was the only social work service of its kind in Australia. She works closely with witnesses and families in a diverse range of court and legal settings including Royal Commissions, criminal courts and civil jurisdictions.

Rebecca has a Masters of Social Work, Graduate Certificate in Loss, Grief and Trauma Counselling and a Bachelor of Social Work Degree.

Rebecca has taught and supervised undergraduate and post graduate University students specialising in theory, practice and field placement courses.  She has held positions at Victim Support Service, Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service, Office of the ODPP, Coroner’s Court SA, the funeral industry and aged care health and wellness.

Location and date

Live online: a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the webinar
6 December 2022
11.00am-12.30pm AEDT

A recording of the webinar will be sent to registrants via email after the event and available to watch for 2 weeks.


Members: $90.00 (including GST)
New graduates, retired and student members: $45.00 (including GST)
Non-members: $120.00 (including GST)
Non-member students: $90.00 (including GST)


To receive member prices please login to the member centre before proceeding with your purchase.

Click submit on the right-hand side of this page to register.

*Please note, registrations close 6 December 2022 at 9.00am AEDT

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers