Social Work Spotlight: Meet Holistic Defense Student Rosalind Garner

Rosalind Garner smilingWith roots in Detroit, Rosalind Garner knew her hometown University of Wayne State was the right choice to pursue her master's in social work, with a focus on Holistic Defense coursework. Rosalind came to Wayne State with a bachelor's in social work, which she received in 2019 from Ferris State University. Rosalind's interest in Holistic Defense was sparked after working at a youth detention center in Evart, Michigan. "My passion for the youth and the legal aspect of social work drew me to the Holistic Defense spectrum."

Holistic Defense is a term used to illustrate a method of legal representation that employs an interdisciplinary team consisting of an attorney and social worker. The team considers both the individual and community needs when working with a person charged with a criminal offense to ensure unintended or collateral consequences of arrest and conviction (i.e. loss of housing, removal of children, deportation) - as well as basic and behavioral health needs (e.g., food, housing, services for mental health and substance use disorders) are addressed.

What is your favorite Holistic Defense series course?

My favorite course in the series was SW 6551, it is a Behavior Health and Legal Systems Specialist class. This class expanded my idea of what a mitigation report looks like and detailed how to interview a client. This class was also insightful because it went hand and hand with my internship placement at a defense attorney's office.

How has taking the Holistic Defense course series been beneficial to you?

This series has been beneficial to me because it answered my lingering questions such as "Will social work ever be involved within the justice system and what will it look like?" I have had the opportunity to shadow, assist, and provide social workers with assisting lawyers and attorneys first hand.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After graduation, I would like to stay into the Holistic Defense spectrum as well as look into employment working with juvenile or incarcerated populations.

Do you have any advice for incoming Warriors?

Do not wait until the last minute to do assignments, the workload is not comparable to undergrad so don't underestimate the time it may take to complete an assignment/project.

How do you empower change in your community?

Supporting those struggling in my community is a priority for me, so I committed to working part-time at an Ann Arbor homeless shelter through the pandemic.

What is a fun fact that some may not know about you?

I am a proud first-generation student!

Your favorite quote:

"Live Without Regrets" I found myself having moments when I wished I didn't do something and then later realized instead of regretting the decision I've chosen to look upon it as a lesson learned. Live your life to the fullest, the sky is not the limit!

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