In the Shadow of the Law: The Legal Context of Social Work Practice
Publication Date :
1 Jan 2009
3 Rev ed
This third edition draws upon the professional experiences of the law and legal systems, of over 30 academics and practitioners in the social sciences. Like its predecessor editions, it is written by and for social workers, and examines a wide range of practice settings and user populations where social work practice typically entails interaction with the law and lawyers. It begins with foundational chapters considering the place and influence of Aboriginality, of language and culture, and of ethics, on social work practice. The second section considers the legal context and its influence on social work practice. It particularly identifies key aspects of the legal system and its parameters that social workers need to consider as they seek to work alongside courts, tribunals and legal personnel, and examines the importance of record keeping, the place of administrative law in social work practice, and the evidentiary rules to which social workers will be subject as matters of concern are brought to legal attention. In the third section of this book, practice with a series of particular populations from across the community who typically have idiosyncratic interactions with the legal system, are considered. Here chapters variously examine such areas of practice as domestic violence, child sexual assault, adoption and post adoption practice, juvenile justice, the elderly and persons with a disability. In the fourth section a variety of contributors draw upon their experiences of working in specific jurisdictions, including those charged with decision making in relation to family law matters, social security entitlements, offenders, housing and homelessness, and the criminal justice system, refugee review processes, housing entitlements, and psychiatric care - to identify the difficulties and pathways through what at times seem to the inexperienced user to be an impenetrable maze of courts and tribunals. In the final section of the book, the different perspectives of lawyer and social worker, and their areas of common interest and commitments, and drawn together to conclude this volume. The third edition represents a complete revision of content from the earlier editions. In addition to a number of contributors to the earlier editions who have prepared new chapters in the light of contemporary practice, the new edition brings twelve new contributors and new chapters in relation to such areas as domestic violence, working with interpreters, social work and sexuality, housing rights, adoption and post adoption practice, family law, and social work and Indigenous Australians. It is a critical resource for the social work student and practitioner, and indeed for practitioners generaly in the human services area.