Globally, social workers have a critical role in assisting criminal proceedings conducting authorities to provide tailored support to each child in contact with the justice system, may they be alleged offenders, victims, or witnesses. In Viet Nam, while social work is viewed as a profession and has been developed within the past two decades, the role of social work in the justice system has not been recognized.
This legal review provides an overview of international standards and examples from other countries in regulating the social work profession, roles, and functions of social workers in relation to alleged offenders, victims, and witnesses in criminal proceedings, including children in conflict with the law and survivors of violence. Against this backdrop, an analysis of Viet Nam’s national legal and policy framework was conducted, resulting in key findings and recommendations for introducing social work services within the criminal justice system. The review will inform the continued reforms for improved justice for children and a broader social work development agenda in Viet Nam.