The first paper uses historical content analysis to chronicle the evolution of social work's relationship to law enforcement, as documented in archival records. The second paper brings a contemporary lens to this issue, using a mixed methods approach to understand current social work students' perceptions of collaboration between social work and police. The third paper draws on data from the Fragile Families Study to examine the relationship between police contact, grit, and neighborhood collective efficacy. The final paper deepens our understanding of one specific coping strategy for police contact, presenting survey data on discussions youth have with their parents about navigating police encounters (i.e., "the talk").
The studies in this symposium have important findings. They indicate that there is little historical evidence to suggest that social work-law enforcement cooperation facilitates sustainable, substantive changes in policing practices; social work's next generation generally supports some form of collaboration with police, but struggles to resolve the ethical ambiguities inherent in law enforcement collaboration; increased police contact has negative effects on adolescent resilience, but collective efficacy interventions may offset the harms of policing on youth; and, youth across different racial/ethnic identities prepare for police contact in varying ways, a process that is influenced by invasive forms of police contact. This symposium will further unpack these findings, drawing implications to empirically situate debates on the relationship between social work and law enforcement.dified by 188.8.131.52 on 4-18-2022-->