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C.W. Post to Hold Open Symposium on Drinking and Driving

In 2009, 321 people were killed in New York due to alcohol-related car accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new forensic social work concentration in the graduate social work program of Long Island University seeks to address this social problem and its many ramifications with a conference of educators, advocates, lawmakers and law-enforcement officials.

 "DWI and Related Offenses: What You Need to Know" will bring together a host of prominent leaders on Friday, Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University to discuss the implications of DWI and what can be done to prevent it. Panel members include New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine and Tom McCoy, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (Long Island), as well as representatives from the Nassau County District Attorney's Office, the Nassau County Police Department and a retired detective from the New York City Police Department.

 "Drinking and driving is a preventable tragedy," said Robert Mulligan, LCSW-R, a licensed social worker with 30 years experience in criminal justice and director of the Forensic Social Work program. "Even one death from drunken driving is too many."

 The event, which will be held in the Humanities Building Lecture Hall, is sponsored by the Forensic Social Work concentration, part of the Long Island University Master of Social Work program. Panelists will discuss related matters, including texting while driving, as well as ways to correct and treat those who drive while impaired.

 Social workers are frequently called upon to provide evaluative and treatment services to the defendant charged with DWI and related charges, as well as their family. Social workers also provide evaluative and treatment services to victims and their families who have been affected by the defendant's actions, as well as to the professionals in the criminal justice system such as prosecutors and police officers who may be distressed by a particularly traumatizing crime. Forensic social workers are uniquely qualified to work in clinical settings, as well as within the criminal and juvenile justice system.

 This seminar will be the first for the Forensic Social Work concentration, a unique area of study that began this semester. Unique in the tri-state area, the specialization prepares social workers to help children, families and other clients involved with criminal and civil issues to navigate the legal system in New York State.

 Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Long Island University M.S.W. offers four other specializations: gerontology (long-term care administration or senior community service); alcohol and substance abuse counseling; non-profit management; and child and family welfare. Students may complete the M.S.W. at either C.W. Post or the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University.

 The event is free and open to the public. The C.W. Post Campus is located at 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. For more information, call 299-3924.