Whether working with families where there are children in need or requiring protection, or promoting adults’ well-being and safety, law provides one mandate for social work practice through the powers and duties given to councils with social services responsibilities. Hence a sound working knowledge of child care, mental health, mental capacity and adult social care law is required. However, that is only half the picture. Social workers also need to understand and apply what the law requires when taking decisions about whether and how to use these powers and duties. That is the purpose of this book. It will set out the key elements of administrative law, and of equality and human rights legislation, which must shape how social workers practise and, specifically, how they reach decisions about whether to invoke powers and duties with respect to children and adults. It will link their professionalism and accountability to legal rules and, through use of cases and case law, illustrate how social workers can reach decisions lawfully and what may happen when they do not. The book will venture into ‘tricky’ or ‘wicked’ issues that routinely confront social workers.
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