Social policy is central to social work practice. This textbook is designed to help students, practitioners and academics think critically about the relationship between policy and practice; particularly in how policy both structures and informs practice. Reflective questions help critical thinking and links to websites of substantive information across the UK and internationally help keep you up-to-date with policy developments. The authors’ experience and skills in working with different service user groups combine to provide a constructive and critical approach to working with social policy in an era of welfare retrenchment. Key topics include: discretion and practice; social work training and education; safeguarding children; responses to the needs of looked after children; personalization in adult care; ‘race’ and welfare policy; domestic violence; mental health and capacity; and comparing social work and social care internationally.

Mental Capacity and Social Policy

Mental Capacity and Social Policy
Stefan Brown


This chapter explores the link between social policy and mental capacity. It focuses on England and Wales, where the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) has had significant impact on health and social care practice. The merits of the approach taken by the MCA 2005, and how this contrasts with other approaches to capacity are examined. A core theme is the suggestion that the MCA 2005 attempts to occupy a neutral position, but it needs to be recognised that it is subject to prevailing values and ideas of the state and the social work profession. This chapter examines the role of the key players such as the state, which occupies a central role in ...

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