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An A-Z of Social Work Law

An A-Z of Social Work Law


September 2021 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Puzzled by terminology, skills, law, or theory? Revising for your placement or exam? Then look no further! This series of concise and easy-to-use A-Zs will be your guide.

Designed for both students and newly-qualified social workers, this book will introduce you to over 300 key laws, legal terms, and legal processes in a concise and no-nonsense way. It covers all areas of social work practice - adults, children and families, mental health, and youth justice - ensuring you have the knowledge you need to apply the law appropriately, ethically and with confidence.
Abduction, child

Abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

Accommodation of children

Accountability, employer

Accountability, local authority

Accountability, social worker

Acid test

Action plan orders

Acts of Parliament

Admission, compulsory hospital


Adoption and Children Act 2002

Adult at Risk

Adult safeguarding

Adult safeguarding enquiry

Advance decisions

Advocates and advocacy

After-care services

Age of criminal responsibility

Anti-discrimination legislation

Anti-social Behaviour Orders


Appropriate adult

Approved Mental Capacity Professional

Approved Mental Health Professionals

Arrest, youth

Assessment, adult needs

Assessment, child

Asylum seekers

Attendance Centre Orders

Baby P (aka Baby Peter, Peter Connolly)




Best Interests

Best Interests Assessor

Binding over

Bournewood case

British Association of Social Workers (BASW)

Burden of proof

Butler Sloss Inquiry



Care Act 2014

Care and support plans

Care and Support statutory guidance

Care homes, care homes with nursing

Care orders

Care plans

Care proceedings

Care Quality Commission


Case law

Causative nexus

Cheshire West and Chester

Child abduction

Child Arrangement Orders

Child Assessment Orders

Child in need

Child Protection

Child Protection Conference

Child Protection Plan

Child Safeguarding Boards

Child Safeguarding system

Child Safety Orders

Child, definition of

Children Act 1989

Children Act 2004

Children and Families Act 2014

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Children and Social Work Act 2017

Children and young people’s plans

Children’s Commissioner

Children’s guardians

Choice rights, choice of accommodation


Citation of legislation and legal cases

Civil law

Clerks, court

Cleveland Inquiry

Climbié case

Closure of care homes

Codes of Practice and Statutory Guidance

College of Social Work

Commission for Local Administration

Commission for Social Care Inspection

Commissioning services

Common law and common law doctrine of necessity

Community treatment orders

Compensation orders

Competencies, professional

Complaints procedures

Compulsory admission and detention (mental health)

Compulsory protection of adults

Compulsory treatment

Confidentiality and privacy


Contact orders, care order related

Contact orders, private family law related

Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN

County Court

Court of Protection

Courts and court system

Crime, youth

Criminal Behaviour Orders

Criminal injury compensation

Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

Criminal law

Criminal Records Bureau

Crown Court

Crown Prosecution Service

Cultural considerations


Data protection

Deferred payment

Delay, no delay principle

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Detention and Training Orders

Direct payments

Director of Public Prosecutions

Disclosure and barring


Domestic abuse

Duty of care, local authority

Duty of care, social worker

Duty solicitor

Education supervision orders

Education, children and young people

Education, Health and Care plans

Education, looked after children

Eligibility criteria

Emergency Protection Order

Employer accountability and duty of care


Enduring Power of Attorney

Equality and Human Rights Commission

European Convention on Human Rights

European Court of Human Rights

Evidence in court


Exclusion, school

Expert witness

Fair Access to Care Services

Family Assistance Orders

Family court

Family division, High Court

Family Justice Council

Family law

Family proceedings court

Finance and payments for services

Fitness to practise

Former relevant children

Foster care

Freedom of information

General Social Care Council

Gillick competence

Green Paper

Guardians (children’s guardians)


Harm, significant

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)


High Court


Human Rights Act 1998

Independent Care Act Advocates

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate

Independent Mental Health Advocates

Independent Reviewing Officer

Independent Safeguarding Authority

Indictable offences

Inherent jurisdiction

Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Injustice, public body


Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programmes

Investigations, child safeguarding

J, K

Judicial review

Justices of the Peace

Laming Inquiry

Lasting Power of Attorney

Law Commission


Leaving care

Legal aid

Legal databases

Legal Ombudsman

Legal planning and pre-proceedings

Lexis-Nexis or Lexis Library

Liberty Protection Safeguards

Litigation friend

Living wills

Local authorities, accountability

Local authorities, legal status

Local Child Safeguarding Boards

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Looked-after children


Maladministration, public body

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Mental disorder

Mental Health Act Commission

Mental Health Acts 1983, 2007

Munro Report

National Occupational Standards

Nearest relative

Neglect, adult

Neglect, child


NHS Continuing Healthcare

No delay principle

No order principle

Non-molestation order


Occupation order

Offences, first time

Official Solicitor



Ordinary residence

Parent, definition of

Parental responsibility

Parenting orders

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Pathway plans

Penalties, youth offending

Personal Adviser

Personal budgets

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Police Protection Order

Power of Attorney

Powers, mandatory and permissive

Practice directions

Pre-sentence reports

Prevent, reduce and delay duty

Prevention, crime

Privacy and confidentiality

Privacy and family life, right to

Private family law

Private fostering

Private law orders

Procedures, complaint

Professional Capabilities Framework


Prohibited steps order

Proof, burden of

Proof, standard of


Protection of property

Protection of title

Public bodies

Public Guardian

Public law orders

Public Law Outline

Quality assurance, service standards

Referral orders

Refugees and people seeking asylum

Registration, children's care provider

Registration, professional social worker

Registration, social care homes

Regulations and Rules

Relinquished babies

Remands to care or custody

Reparation orders

Residence orders

Restraining Orders

Right to fair trial

Right to liberty

Right to life

Right to religion

Rights of redress

Rights, child

Rights, human

Safeguarding Adults Board

Safeguarding Adults Reviews

Safeguarding Children Partnerships (Safeguarding Partners)

Safeguarding, adult

Safeguarding, child

Secure accommodation

Seebohm Report 1968

Serious Case Reviews

Serious case reviews, adult

Services for children and families

Sexual abuse

Sexual harm prevention orders

Sexual Offences Prevention Orders

Significant harm

Social work education

Social Work England

Social worker accountability and registration


Special educational needs

Special guardianship

Specific issue orders

Statute law

Statutory guidance

Statutory instruments

Substitute care

Supervision order

Supreme Court

Tariffs, youth offending

Threshold criteria (care proceedings)

Transition to adulthood

Treatment, community orders

Treatment, compulsory


Ultra vires

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Unaccompanied and accompanied child asylum-seekers

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Unsound mind


Victoria Climbié case

Video links in court evidence

Vulnerable adults

Vulnerable witnesses


Welfare checklist




White Paper

Wishes and feelings of children

Wishes and feelings, adult

Withdrawal of services


Working Together to Safeguard Children

X, Y, Z
Young person, definition of

Youth Cautions

Youth Courts

Youth detention accommodation

Youth justice

Youth Justice Board

Youth Offender Panels

Youth Offending Teams

Youth Rehabilitation Orders


The book is amazing. It summaries all of the laws as it says on the cover. It gives you an introduction, and I found it helpful to focus my reading.

Five-star Amazon review

The book is well written and easy to understand in terms of content and application due to how it was laid out, it also was helpful in terms of the wording and explanations around this when you are new to the Social Work field.  This book provided me with insight into legislation around Social Work practice and how it is implemented. It gave me understanding in how to link legislation with thresholds as directed in the Children Act.

Mikahla Howell
Postgraduate Student, Advanced Relationship Based Social Work Practice with Children and Families, Lancaster University

Very useful for students to get to grips with the language of mental health and mental health law

Ms Linda Daley
School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research, University of Kent
July 1, 2023

Haven’t been able to access this fully due to. It realising it was an electronic copy and issued with Vital Source. Nice enough text, basic but covers some key topics especially in regard to topical issues and safeguarding. Really useful for reference and introducing some core aspects of social care and law; I’ve recommended this book to students and will be referring back to it regularly myself.

Miss Sunnie Sian
Teacher Education & Prof Development, CWA Assessor
May 5, 2022

Work use this book again. I teach law and it is great

Mrs Yasmin License
Accounting, Bradford College
April 12, 2022

This book is one of the core textbooks for my course. It gives them and understanding and knowledge that is required on the course

Ms Libby Beckett-Wrighton
Department of Social Work & Social Care, University of Bradford
February 24, 2023

A handy resource, giving students readily understandable information about key legislation. The context is helpful too, such as the different aspects of Child and Family legislation.

Ms Jennifer McNally
Social Work Resarch & Development Unit, York University
December 16, 2021

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ISBN: 9781529762778

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