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Social Work Law, Ethics & Social Policy

Social Work Law, Ethics & Social Policy

First Edition

January 2022 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Are you a social work student looking to understand how the law, ethics and social policy interrelate in practice? Then look no further! Whether you a student or Newly Qualified Social Worker working with children and families or adults at risk of harm, this practical guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to fulfil your professional responsibilities and practice with confidence.


This book covers all the areas of law you need to know: social work with children and families, vulnerable adults and social issues such as welfare and homelessness. Each section concludes with a discussion of how social policy and ethics relate to each area of social work law. This gives real-world context to what you have learnt, alongside thought boxes, exercises and case studies in each chapter to further encourage reflection and put theory into practice.

Part I: The Legal Context of Social Work, Social Policy and Ethics
Chapter 1: An Introduction to the English and Welsh Legal System
Chapter 2: Human Rights
Chapter 3: Anti-discrimination
Chapter 4: Data Protection, Confidentiality, and Information Sharing
Chapter 5: Ethical and Social Policy Considerations Relevant to the Legal Context of Social Work
Part II: Social Work with Children and Families
Chapter 6: The Law, Social Policy and Ethics Relating to Children and Families
Chapter 7: Child Protection and Safeguarding under the Children Act 1989
Chapter 8: Adoption and Fostering
Chapter 9: The Youth Justice System
Chapter 10: Ethical and Social Policy Considerations Relevant to Working with Children and Families
Part III: Social Work with Adults
Chapter 11: Adult Social Care and the Care Act 2014
Chapter 12: Safeguarding Adults
Chapter 13: Mental Health Law
Chapter 14: Mental Capacity and the Mental Capacity Act 2005
Chapter 15: Ethical and Social Policy Considerations Relevant to Working with Adults
Part IV: Social Work in Practice Contexts
Chapter 16: Domestic Abuse
Chapter 17: Substance Misuse
Chapter 18: Refugees, Asylum and Immigration
Chapter 19: Welfare Benefits and Homelessness
Chapter 20: Ethical and Social Policy Considerations Relevant to the Relief of Poverty
Part V: Report Writing and Courtroom Skills
Chapter 21: Report Writing for Social Workers
Chapter 22: Giving Evidence in Court

This book was useful in assisting me with an understanding of Law, Ethics and Policy. I found this specifically helpful in the Law exam that I was required to sit at the start of my course. Further to this, I have used the book within my day-to-day practice as a Student and referred to it when considering sections under the Children Act such as S20 and S17. The literature in relation to working with resistance families was particularly useful and I was able to embed this into my practice. 

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

Straight forward, easy to follow book. Great introduction for new social work students that will help them to see the links between social policy and law.

Mrs Bridget Bennett
Social Work, Staffordshire University
January 24, 2023

A wonderful resource for our Social Work students

Mrs Samantha Dean
Health, Care and Early Years, Yeovil College
September 13, 2022

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ISBN: 9781529723823

ISBN: 9781529723830

Help your students build critical thinking skills