Social Services

Human Rights-Based Approaches to Clinical Social Work

By S. Megan Berthold, formerly of HealthRight International.

This brief provides a framework for how a rights-based approach can be applied to clinical social work practice. The brief then illustrates this approach by applying it to practice with survivors (and in one case perpetrators) of several major human rights issues: torture, human trafficking, and intimate partner/family violence.

Community Gardening in Torture Treatment

Many torture survivor rehabilitation centers in the U.S. strive to recreate a home-like atmosphere for clients – from hanging indigenous textiles on the walls to displaying small handicrafts from around the world.

Social work with trauma survivors: collaboration with interpreters

By Berthold SM, Fischman Y. In Soc Work. 2014 Apr;59(2):103-10.

Scant attention has been given to the emotional plight, lack of training, and stressful working conditions of interpreters serving survivors of severe human-perpetrated trauma from different parts of the world. This article addresses the critical need for effective collaboration between social workers and interpreters when the provider and survivor do not speak the same language.

Making Specialized Referrals

This information guide, developed by the National Partnership for Community Training, assists in making effective and informed referrals by highlighting the process and the content needed to develop and maintain a referral network. Screenings and referrals are necessary in order to ensure the effective use of holistic treatment for torture survivors. Screenings are not meant to be diagnostic tools, but rather instruments to help identify medical or mental health cases that might need to be referred to professionals outside of your agency.

Rehabilitation of Torture Survivors: Resource Kit for Service Providers

The kit, published in 2013 by the IRCT, was designed to be of use to a wide range of professionals working with torture survivors in contexts around the world. It gives a view into torture treatment in international context. It captures the results of exchanges and workshops that the IRCT held to address a range of rehabilitation issues. It provides a user-friendly overview of the main concepts and practices in torture rehabilitation.

Nancy Pearson

Ms. Pearson, MSW, received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Sociology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her Master of Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a member of the New Tactics in Human Rights team from 2003 to the present, serving as the Project Manager from 2006 through 2011, and the New Tactics Training Manager since 2012. Ms. Pearson has provided extensive trainings – face-to-face as well as virtual online courses – using the New Tactics Strategic Effectiveness Method to strengthen and build the strategic and tactical

Laurel Smith-Raut

Laurel Smith-Raut, MSW, LGSW, is a case manager with the Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma (ASTT) in Baltimore, MD [still operating?].  She attended the University of Maryland School of Social Work where she received her Masters in 2007. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Nepal, Laurel has used her cross-cultural skills as a refugee case manager intern with the International Rescue Committee and a community organizer at the Southeast Community Development Corporation.


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