You are here

Using the Law in Social Work

Using the Law in Social Work

Seventh Edition

September 2017 | 256 pages | Learning Matters
A core function of social work is to assist, empower, and protect the most vulnerable in society. Social workers make difficult decisions in complex and challenging situations every day. They work in organizations that have clear statutory duties. Therefore, it is essential that social work students know what their responsibilities are. Familiarity with law, legislation, and legal processes is consequently fundamental to sound social work practice.

This best-selling book helps social work students gain this foothold in understanding law as it applies to social work practice. It avoids complicated legal jargon remote from the everyday realities of practice, offering instead a grounding in legally-appropriate, rights-based social work. It covers the full range of social work law, including services for children and families and child protection, adult care law, youth justice, court work, professional regulation, and human rights. 

Chapter 1: But I Want to Be a Social Worker, Not a Lawyer
Chapter 2: Human Rights
Chapter 3: Children's Rights and Needs
Chapter 4: Meeting Children’s Needs When Things Go Wrong
Chapter 5: Adult Care Services
Chapter 6: Vulnerable Adults
Chapter 7: Youth Justice
Chapter 8: Ending up in Court
Chapter 9: Providing a Quality Service

Using the Law in Social Work,, written for the professionals of the social work practice, explains in an easy way and with a simple language, the understanding of the law that is applied to the practice of social work.

Loarre Andreu Perez
CBQ Reviews

Good updated version of a classic text. Very useful overview of 'law' and how it can be applied in social work practice. Good resource for students in placement.

Mr David Watson
Applied Social Science, Brighton University
July 7, 2017

Clearly written relevant text

Dr Liam Foster
Social Sciences, Sheffield University
July 6, 2017
Key features

Key need 1: Social Work Law is a core component of the qualifying social work degree

Key feature: The book covers the core aspects of social work law as it taught on the degree

Key benefit: Students will be able to use this book to complete core assignments


Key need 2: Many social work students find law complicated and difficult to understand

Key feature: This book is accessible and uses lots of real-life practice examples

Key benefit: This direct link between law and practice will develop students understanding


Key need 3: The law as applied to social work is constantly changing

Key feature: The author updates this text every two / three years

Key benefit: This keeps the book up-to-date and more relevant than competitor titles

Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
*180 day rental

ISBN: 9781473972001

ISBN: 9781473971998