Supporting Children Involved with the Justice System

Date and Time

April 13, 2023
12 pm - 3 pm EDT

Offered via live webinar.

Completion of this class will result in the receipt of three (3) continuing education hours.

  • Children participate in adult-oriented and adult-controlled court systems on a daily basis. Many of these children are victims of, or witnesses to, trauma and are frequently retraumatized by a justice system that does not always adjust to their needs. This class will discuss the experiences of children involved in the justice system, techniques for quick rapport-building and engagement when meeting children in court, supportive ways to explain the justice system in developmentally-appropriate language, and how to provide trauma-informed, effective advocacy for a population that is often left voiceless. Best practices for a multidisciplinary team approach to supporting court-involved children will also be covered. This will include how a social worker can advocate for the value of one’s expertise within such a team, as well as how to support non-social work colleagues dealing with secondary trauma from this work. This class will also provide an understanding of a child’s rights within the justice system, ideas and tools to help them cope with the emotional stress, and testifying tips for those who may prepare children to testify in court. As forensic social workers and clinicians, we must learn how to empower children and their caregivers to have a better understanding of the complicated justice systems that often dictate their lives. Participants will also learn about procedural justice with special considerations for children and caregivers as well as ethical considerations for a social worker when working within the justice system including advocacy versus best interest.


    Social workers who take this class will be able to:

    1. Describe how children of various ages experience the justice system and what they need from us as practitioners. 
    2. Define court-related terminology at a developmentally-appropriate level for children.
    3. Discuss rapport building techniques and support strategies.
    4. Identify multiple roles that social workers can play in the justice system to support children. 
    5. Recognize how to utilize a child’s multidisciplinary team to advocate for and support children, and how we as social workers can be an integral part of this team.
  • Samantha Fried Headshot

    Samantha A. Fried, LCSW

    Samantha has worked in child welfare for nearly 15 years at organizations such as New Alternatives for Children, the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, the Center for Court Innovation, the Administration for Children's Services, and JCCA. In her years of direct practice work, she prioritized the voices of the children and families with whom she worked, and honed her advocacy expertise with the operations, laws, and policies of the child welfare and family court systems. She oversaw a $2.5 million federal grant to create a package of interactive educational materials to facilitate the provision of effective, developmentally appropriate court support to empower children involved in criminal and civil/family court cases across the country working with other national leaders in the field. Samantha is passionate about building organizational capacity and practice improvement with a focus on multidisciplinary team learning and collaboration, as well as the centering of family and youth voice in all aspects of the process. She is currently the Program Policy and Practice Development Director at JCCA where she works on agency-wide best practice initiatives to advance, support, and improve the delivery of child welfare and mental health services to children and families throughout NYC. Samantha has presented at conferences about best practice work in preparing children for court, and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia, NYU, and Fordham Schools of Social Work in addition to the Fordham University School of Law. She sits on the board of City Living NY, a Brooklyn-based agency that empowers young people who age out of the foster care system to transition successfully into adulthood. Samantha holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Science in Social Work with a Minor in Law from Columbia University.


  • Class fees are listed below:

    • Full Tuition - $90
    • GSS Alumni - $75
    • Current Field Instructor - $75
    • Current Adjunct Faculty - $75
    • SWHPN Member - $75
    • 3+ members registering from one agency - $60 per registration
    • Non-Fordham Current MSW or Social Work PhD Student - $60
    • Veterans - $60
    • Fordham Faculty and Staff - $60
    • Current Fordham MSW or PhD Student - $45
    • Fordham Alumni Palliative Care Fellow - $45
    • Current Fordham Palliative Care Fellowship Field Instructor/Career Mentor - $45
    • Current Fordham Palliative Care Fellow or Montefiore Fellow - $0

    Continuing Education Hours

    Completion of this class will result in the receipt of three (3) continuing education hours. CEHs are not awarded for partial completion of the class.

  • You will receive the Zoom link for joining the class by the day before the class. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE LINK BY THIS TIME, PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER. 

    You will need a computer and a reliable WiFi connection. The computer may be a desktop or a laptop. It may be an Apple or Windows computer.

    If you have never used Zoom before, you will likely be prompted to download an applet, which is a small program that allows Zoom to communicate with your computer. This is safe and you will need to do this to join the class.

    It is NOT advised that you participate using a table (e.g., an iPad) or a cellular phone. The software is not optimized for these devices.

    Please plan to join the online class 15 minutes before the start time to be sure that you don’t have any problems connecting. We cannot provide technical support to you and refunds won’t be offered if you have technical problems. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact us at [email protected] at least a few days before the class.