SAP103 Domestic Violence Victim And Investigating Magistrate Court Proceedings Assessment 4 Answer
INTRODUCTION TO WELFARE LAW
A community social worker is active in assisting clients who suffer from domestic violence in society. The atrocities on women through domestic violence is prevalent since ages which are now strongly addressed by the community service organizations either run by governmental organizations or by the non-governmental organizations. Law and order in the Australian society are instrumental in identifying the causes and empathetically extends its support in the welfare of the victim who suffers domestic violence (Violence Protection Act, 2009). The report is based on investigating Magistrate Court proceedings in Western Australia while the proceedings are attended by the client and the support services rendered by the community service worker in the protection of mental and physical sanity of the victim from the offender with all the support services.
The report on domestic violence victim and the case proceed through magistrate court is supported by the community service work to protect the client from any further atrocities by the offender. She is also being informed on the ethical issues which might emerge in the support services along with the ethical boundaries for the serving professional.
Reviewing the role, structure and purpose of the Court in the context of domestic violence matter
The magistrate courts in Australia had traditionally taken the role with a defendant-centric approach in protecting the rights of the women and fairness on justice for the domestic violence they encounter in their homes. However, the functions of the courts are being reformed, and they are now promoting justice and fairness on the assaults which the victims face in their daily lives (Foster, 2019). The potential structure of the magistrate courts involves the enhancement in the responding system through improved rate of reporting the violence cases, prosecution on the cases, conviction and sentencing of the offenders. Inter-agency collaboration with the community services for effectively managing the cases is increased through the reformed structure. The premises of the Magistrate court are offered safety with protection assurance to the victim, co-location services and family support services are also ensured by the courts (Boltje, 2020). The lawyers, court staffs, and judges are specially trained to address the sensitive cases without having critical apprehension towards the victim. The purpose of the magistrate court identified in domestic violence is to issue an apprehended domestic violence order (ADVO) to protect the victim and order the defendant not to commit further crime or atrocities on the victim and obey the order till the proceedings (National Plan, 2019). The Court has the authority to charge the defendant with a criminal offence if found guilty on the basis of evidence.
Overview of the support services for assisting the client
The support services provided by me as a community service worker would comprise of the information on safety planning and advocacy as and when required. We are trained to provide the relevant referrals, including counselling of the applicant of ADVO, housing facilities, financial assistance, and other services like health and personal safety (Sawrikar, 2019). The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program (WDVCAS) enables the social workers like me to provide the victims of domestic violence with the services like enhanced access in comprehending the ADVO and process related to criminal justice.
The other effectual support that I would like to extend is on the adequate legal protection and representation of the case with specific needs and assuring support for the justice system to obtain the final order as soon as possible. The court proceedings will be attended by me along with the client while ensuring a safer sit in the Court and linking the case with free and other legal advice as required (Slabbert, 2017). After the proceeding of the Court, the client will be provided support as needed on to find the possible option for income, safe housing facility, the safety of the children if any along with the client and continued counselling.
Discussion on the role of the community service worker in preparation as a witness to the client
The role of community social workers in assisting the victims of domestic violence cases and acting as their witnesses has been increased in recent years. I would be a critical-thinker in this case while representing my client before the court proceedings (Reamer, 2018). I would use my communication and interaction skills to provide evidence and information and urge the judge for better decision making after evaluating the evidence and factual information. I would keep notes of the report on the atrocities on the client in my personal journal.
I would revise my expertise on the legal terms and procedure in this case including documentation of the case, deposition, subpoenas, testifying the evidence, examination, and cross-examination in the Court (ACT Community Services, 2020). I would keep a record and follow the confidentiality and privilege laws and the exceptions made in the proceedings. I need to be focused on the discussions pertaining to the case while the lawyers examine and cross-examine. The body language is also considered in courtroom proceedings since the opposition parties can make statements which might incite or invoke the client and me in getting angry or panicked (Stubbs & Wangman, 2017). Confidence is the primary key to face the defendant and the courtroom proceedings, which might also provide strength to the client while going through the ordeal of the proceedings.
Discussion on the ethical issues arising for the client and in the role of the community service worker
The ethical issues emerging in the context of providing assistance to the victims of domestic violence are common which needs to be addressed by the community service workers while taking up any case for their clients (McGurk, 2019). The ethical dilemmas which occur in this context comprise of misallocation of resources or evidence, fraudulent usage of resources or client information for self-interest, unethical behaviour towards the client or among the colleagues in the workplace environment, acceptance of payments or gifts from the clients and research of evidence without the prior consent of the client (Ekström, 2018). Breaching of confidential data, hurting religious beliefs or sentiments in the process of assistance or creating a relationship with the client are also considered as the ethical dilemmas for the community service workers.
The Ethical Code of Conduct in the context of providing support to the victims of family issues, domestic violence, child abuse and other social causes have drafted the boundaries which needs to be followed by the social workers while rendering service to the clients (DCRCV, 2020). The ethical guidelines indicate the cultural safety and sensitivity of the client. The context is supporting the domestic violence victim in getting justice and protection from the state law which hints towards a commitment ensured by the social worker in providing justice and following the human rights in this case (AASW, 2020). I need to enhance my knowledge and skills while supporting my client with adherence to professional commitment. The technological expertise in this context will be of immense help since ethical practice, and ethical conducts in cases are improving through training and consultation with emerging technologies (ACWA Code of Ethics, 2017). I need to apply informed consent prior to investigate and assist the client with every possible means. Information privacy is another critical aspect to be maintained in the ethical practice of social work (McSweeney, 2020). I need to set my boundaries while providing professional help where acceptance of gifts or payment is unethical.
In conclusion, it may be summarized that the community workers need to be efficient and adequately trained to deal with the pressure of courtroom proceedings while continually providing support to the client. The protection towards the victim is of utmost priority in this case till the final verdict is issued by the Magistrate court.