The law plays an important role in influencing social welfare policy and social work practice. Court decisions in policy areas, whether the rulings are perceived as positive or negative, determine what social welfare policy is and what social workers do. By reading this book, social work students will gain a useful understanding of and application of key legal concepts that influence social welfare policy. Instead of just telling students that the law has a major influence on social welfare policy, this book will teach students basic constitutional and legal principles as well as how and why the law shapes social welfare policies and social work practices. For example, students will learn that one legal concept, such as the liberty component in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U S. Constitution, affects a social worker's professional reputation, adoption, mental health treatment in an institutional setting, receipt of public assistance from a state where a person has just moved, dismissal of a student from a school of social work, and child welfare.
Social work students will learn about basic constitutional and legal principles and how the law shapes social welfare policies and social work practices. Early chapters introduce constitutional law and explain key legal concepts and principles, and later chapters look at the role of the law in areas where social workers are most likely to practice and areas where significant litigation exists that impacts social workers. To demonstrate concepts, summarized legal cases are presented and referenced using the American Psychological Association format. Alexander is affiliated with Ohio State University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)