Social Work pp 56-66 | Cite as

Social work and the law

  • Suzy Braye
  • Michael Preston-Shoot


The relationship between social work and the law remains strongly contested. The law can be problematic in terms of its purposes and outcomes. The law can be used for social engineering, the promotion of particular ideologies and the preservation of power structures. Certain social groups are overrepresented in prisons, care and psychiatric hospitals. How should social work respond?


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Further reading

  1. Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M. (1995) Empowering Practice in Social Care (Buckingham, Open University Press). This book explains the core components of community care policy and its application to social care practice within a value base that promotes partnership and empowerment.Google Scholar
  2. Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M. (1997) Practising Social Work Law, 2nd edn (London, Macmillan). This book explores the tensions and dilemmas in the complex relationship between the law and social work, and offers guidance to practitioners and managers for legally competent social work practice.Google Scholar
  3. Hill, M. and Aldgate, J. (eds) (1996) Child Welfare Services. Developments in Law, Policy, Practice and Research (London, Jessica Kingsley). This book reports on research critically analysing child-care legislation, policy and practice.Google Scholar
  4. Jackson, S. and Preston-Shoot, M. (eds) (1996) Educating Social Workers in a Changing Policy Context (London, Whiting & Birch). This book examines the relationship between social work practice, policy and education, providing innovative and creative responses to the challenges presented by the contemporary policy context.Google Scholar
  5. Kaganas, F., King, M. and Piper, C. (eds) (1995) Legislating for Harmony: Partnership under the Children Act1989 (London, Jessica Kingsley). This book provides a critical analysis of the concept of partnership, a key component of social policy and practice guidance.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Suzy Braye and Michael Preston-Shoot 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzy Braye
  • Michael Preston-Shoot

There are no affiliations available

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