The Handbook for Child Protection Protection Practice presents a comprehensive and critical portrait of the phenomenon of neglect. Drawing on theory, research and clinical practice experience, the contributors cover issues facing social workers. They provide a view of child neglect which moves beyond the current child welfare focus on parental omissions in care. Organized in question and answer format, topics covered include: engaging with the client; initial assessments for factors such as neglect and physical and sexual abuse; how to assess the family; interventions with various different emphases; and safeguarding the social workers well-being: legally, physically and mentally.
Chapter 112: How Do I Avoid Being Sued?
How Do I Avoid Being Sued?
If one believes the negative press about lawyers, one will believe that the answer to the question “How do I avoid being sued?” is “You can't.” In fact, there is little incentive for lawyers to file frivolous lawsuits—after all, one third of $0 is $0. Performing your work competently, courteously, and expeditiously reduces your chances of being sued. The following guidelines can be used:
- Be a professional, not an advocate.
- If it is not in the record, it does not exist.
- “Just the facts, ma'am.”
- Explain yourself.
- Comply with internal standards and guidelines.
- Consult your supervisors where appropriate.
- Avoid bureaucratic numbness.
- Judges have immunity—use their shield.
- Do not “cop an attitude.”
- There are worse things in life than being sued.
[Page 541]Be a professional, ...