Law and the Social Work Practitioner

 Law and the Social Work Practitioner
 Rodger White, Graeme Broadbent and Keith Brown,
 Learning Matters
 ISBN 9781844450596,


Every chapter includes several excellent exercises that invite the reader to build a list of key points and, unusually, to return to these at a later date to monitor and evaluate their own learning, writes John Gatefield. These will stimulate the attention of even the least legally minded lay person.

The exercises are key to the book’s success. Many legal texts can be criticised for “dryness”, whereas these exercises will engage the reader and help to focus and maintain interest.

While not a definitive guide to any of the legislation, it does act as a good guide to several pieces of law, providing a thumbnail sketch of essential points and a rich source of academic references and signposts to appropriate websites.

Perhaps more importantly, it provides an overview of how the law operates in practice and clear examples of legal machinations, through both the consideration of fictitious case studies and the use of case law to emphasise specific points.

The book is prefaced with links to the key roles of national occupational standards, which means that it will be of direct use to – and an essential buy for – student social workers and their assessors, as well as for qualified practitioners.

Although this book contains plenty of references to other texts – almost too many at times – it is good to see my favourite professorial authors, Suzie Braye and Michael Preston-Shoot, regularly appearing here.

John Gatefield is professional development co-ordinator, Halton Council

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