Breakout #2: Boots on the Ground: SWLE Project

Lieutenant Matthew Solak Willimantic Police Department (Connecticut)
Robert Madden, LCSW, JD Professor | Department of Social Work & Equitable Community Practice at the University of Saint Joseph

The Social Work & Law Enforcement (SWLE) project is dedicated to advancing the ethical and effective integration of social work services into law enforcement agencies by preparing social work students to assume roles in the emerging field of police social work. The SWLE Project began as a collaboration between Eastern Connecticut State University’s Social Work Program and the Willimantic Police Department. Through the partnership, social work interns advanced social justice and policy by helping the police department meet legislation, requiring police departments to explore using social workers. Connecticut Legislation has put pressure on social service organizations and schools of social work to prepare social workers and social work students to meet the demands of the emerging field of police social work without guidance. Through this workshop, social work professionals will meet the SWLE Project Team and learn how to prepare to work in law enforcement settings. In addition, you will learn about supervision, training, safety, and practice standards from the social work and law enforcement perspectives. Students will discuss their experiences as police social work interns and participants of the SWLE Project. Ultimately, this workshop will provide tools for professional social workers interested in the emerging field of police social work.