Social Work and the Courts
This book will give social workers a good introduction to the law as it affects the practice of social work and social work in general. The book is well designed for use by non-lawyers because its chapters are organized by subject matter rather than by legal principles. Therefore, for example, the reader can quickly go to those cases dealing with aging or income maintenance.
Other parts of the book are helpful to social workers interested in learning more about the laws and legal decisions that affect their profession. There is a brief section that explains ‘how to use this book’ that will enable the nonlawyer reader to engage in additional reading. In addition, there is a nine page section that lists all the cases in the book with a brief description of each case, a glossary and a recent bibliography.
Almost each case description ends with references to additional materials. The case descriptions themselves are clearly written and each contains a section that explains the implications of the decision.
It is these “implications” that are the most valuable aspect of the book because it is here that the author demonstrates how the decision impacts social workers and what they do, their clients and society in general.
Lawyers who are interested in learning more about the relationship between law and social work or who are working in human services agencies will find this book to be useful. Lawyers who wish to research a particular issue can use the cases discussed and other citations to begin their research. By reading this book lawyers who represent agencies can get a good sense of the legal issues that will be of concern to the agency.
Although lawyers will find much that is useful in Social Work and the Courts, it is social workers who will be able to use this book to further their knowledge of the law and gain a better understanding of the legal consequences that flow from the practices and policies of social workers and human services agencies.