Student Perceptions of the Use of Social Workers in Police Settings




Morley, Richard H.
Vaughan, Adam
Hawkins, Catherine
Selber, Katherine

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



For decades, scholars, practitioners, and members of the community have noted the expanding the role of police officers into social and medical issues (Cumming et al., 1965). Recently, there has been a call to evaluate the use of police in such settings and to consider using other service providers. Front-line support workers (e.g., social workers) are often at the core of these discussions as they are likely to be better suited for state-responses to public health issues. However, the degree of support for the expanded use of social workers in what is commonly perceived as a policing context is not well known. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that both policing and social work stakeholders will vary in terms of their views on future of policy and programming where their services are likely to intersect. The purpose of this study is to explore the degree and nature of support from the perspective of persons who are likely to be the future practitioners. More specifically, this study explores the perceptions of criminal justice and social work students as they relate to real-world social work-policing tasks. Our study is not only timely given the current of context policing in the US, but it adds an important element to the growing body of evidence that may assist future decision makers.



social workers, support workers, student perceptions


Morley, R., Vaughan, A., Hawkins, C., & Selber, K. (2023). Student perceptions of the use of social workers in police settings. Poster presented at the Health Scholar Showcase, Translational Health Research Center, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI