The UK legal system in the area of social work with children and families can be bewildering and complex and it is vital therefore that any textbook on the subject uses case law, case studies and research to critically-engage social workers and students alike. This book does just that - by examining, and putting into clear practical context, the current law and policy relating to social work with children and families. A guide for both students on placement as well as Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) entering their first roles within children and families teams, Practical Child Law for Social Workers is essential reading for a fast-paced and complex area of social work.



Chapter Objectives

This chapter supports the PCF requirement for social workers to engage in ethical decision-making, which includes seeking to establish partnerships with people who use their services. It explores the ethical dilemmas presented by this concept and considers how it is reflected in policy and case law. Within this chapter we are primarily concerned with participation of service users at an individual level. Inter-professional communication and collaboration is considered in Chapter 10.


Although the value base of social work has always embraced the concept of empowerment and self-determination, developments in law and policy incorporate a significant shift towards collaborative and partnership-based practice, together with a weakening of the traditional notion of the ‘professional expert’. The growing commitment to the principle of service user involvement ...

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