The Social Work Podcast

Social Workers in Court: Interview with Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, Ph.D.

Dec. 18, 2012

Episode 76: In today's interview, Allan and I talked about what it means for a social worker to be "court ready," especially for social workers whose jobs do not typically involve going to court. We talked about the difference between forensic social workers and social workers who have to appear in court. Allan talked about the difference between client confidentiality and client privilege, between being a witness and an expert witness, and between preparing for legal proceedings and disciplinary proceedings. He gave some pointers on how social workers should respond to a subpoena. I asked him about what for many clinicians is the most stressful part of going to court - examination and cross-examination. We talked about how social workers can prepare for it, including some strategies for dealing with "tough questions" during a cross-examination. We ended our conversation with Allan providing some resources for social workers who want to know more. If you want to find additional references and resources, as well as a transcript of my conversation with Allan, please go to the Social Work Podcast website at You can connect with other social workers at the Social Work Podcast Facebook page,, or follow the Twitter feed You can listen to the Social Work Podcast from, by downloading the episodes through iTunes or any number of other apps, or you can stream the 10 most recent episodes right from your mobile device using the Stitcher Radio mobile app neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.