Social Work Navigators at eviction court in Ohio

Social worker navigators are a new way to connect tenants and landlords with important assistance to resolve their problems when they visit court. They can also help court leaders make smarter referrals to get to better outcomes.

The Court Self-Help Center in Columbus (Franklin County), Ohio has program to have Social Workers in the court house. They can connect people with resources, make referrals, and provide holistic services.

This National Center for State Courts interview with the Franklin County center’s leader, Robby Southers, gives more detail.

The role of the social worker can be:

  • to talk to people who are facing a legal problem, to find non-legal resources (including financial assistance, housing, family, and employment help)
  • to screen litigants to help magistrates, judges, and clerks make better referrals to the correct program, witha ‘warm’ hand-off
  • to make a one-stop shop for people, so they don’t have to go to multiple locations and tell their story repeatedly to get help
  • to fast-track help for people facing imminent homelessness

The social worker navigator can also increase impact by having a licensed main worker which supervises a team of social work interns.

Read more about the Franklin County Social Worker navigator court program:

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