Social work and social care

Law for Social Work

Module code: L5092
Level 4
30 credits in spring & summer teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Open examination

This module provides introductory knowledge of the legal rules that underpins social work practice, and (building on the Contexts of Social Work course) explores the ways in which law and social policy interact to provide a broad framework for assessment and intervention. You will also explore the relationship between law and social work values, and reflect on the ways in which legal rules support practice that is both lawful and ethical.

Lectures will introduce core knowledge, such as the workings of the English legal system, and the powers and duties of social work in relation to children and families, mental health and adult social care. You will pursue small group e-learning exercises and guided independent reading to consolidate your understanding, before applying the legal rules to case scenarios discussed in class under the guidance of the tutor.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate accurate technical knowledge and understanding of the legal duties and powers underpinning social work in adult social care, children's services and mental health
  • Identify and explain how relevant legal rules give authority to the social work role in given case scenarios, and how they might be used to practise lawfully and ethically in those scenarios
  • Demonstrate understanding of how human rights principles embedded in the legal framework impact upon social work decision making
  • Can access on-line legal sources, use these to inform academic work and reference such work accurately in acadeimic assessments following standard legal source referencing conventions.