This book is a quick and accessible reference guide to the key concepts that social work students and professionals need to understand to be effective. The authors place practice at the center of the text, and include a host of case examples to bring the concepts to life.
Examining the essential topics of the social work curriculum, the concepts covered relate to practice, theory, policy and personal challenges. Further reading is included in each entry, so that the reader can explore what they have learned in more detail.
This book will be an invaluable resource for social work students during their studies and on their practice placement. It will also be useful for qualified social workers, who want to continue their professional education.
Chapter 32: Mental Capacity
Mental capacity can be defined as the ability to make autonomous decisions; a highly valued attribute amongst adults in democratic society (Dunn et al., 2007). Historically, particular groups of people have been classed as lacking decision-making capacity simply due to the presence of mental disorder or disability (Boyle, 2008). Viewing capacity in such global terms can deprive people of exerting any agency in decision making, thus denying their right to self-determination and autonomy. The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, covering England and Wales, was implemented in October 2007 and provides a statutory framework for people over the age of 16 who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves. The Act clearly sets out the steps to be taken in making decisions for people ...