Journal Article

Integrating Social Workers into Medical–Legal Partnerships: Comprehensive Problem Solving for Patients

Jeffrey David Colvin, Brooke Nelson and Katie Cronin

in Social Work

Published on behalf of National Association of Social Workers

Volume 57, issue 4, pages 333-341
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0037-8046
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1545-6846 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sw/sws012
Integrating Social Workers into Medical–Legal Partnerships: Comprehensive Problem Solving for Patients

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Medical–legal partnerships (MLPs) integrate legal services into the health care setting to resolve legal issues that have a negative impact on patient health. These partnerships between attorneys and health care professionals have traditionally focused on physicians. Despite early success and expansion of the MLP model, the literature is only beginning to explore the significant role that social workers can play in an MLP's development, process, and success. This article argues that MLPs are greatly enhanced when they seek the active engagement of a health center's social workers. All members of the MLP, however, should be aware of differing ethical and legal obligations in the medical, social work, and legal profession as well as differences in professional cultures that can affect the work of the partnership.

Keywords: health care; medical–legal partnerships; social problems; social work

Journal Article.  5621 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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