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Social Work in the Shadow of the Law

Social Work in the Shadow of the Law

5th edition

Edited by Simon Rice, Andrew Day and Linda Briskman


Eminent social work scholar and practitioner Professor Linda Briskman joins Professors Simon Rice and Andrew Day as editors of this comprehensively updated 5th edition of Social Work in the Shadow of the Law.

This book is an essential resource for all those who work in and study human services in Australia, and especially for social workers and social work students. It features:

  • new chapters on human rights and on research into multidisciplinary practice;
  • new chapter authors;
  • new case studies and references;
  • detailed updates across the wide-ranging coverage of the intersections between social work practice and the law: adoption; bereavement; child sexual abuse; corrections; domestic violence; elder abuse; family law mediation; financial issues; homelessness; human rights; Indigenous Australians; juvenile justice; lesbian, gay and/or transgender people; mental health; the NDIS; out-of-home care; refugees and asylum seekers; social security; social work ethics; record keeping; working with interpreters; being in court; and rules of evidence.

The analysis of law and social work practice is complemented by chapters that reflect on the alignment and tensions between these two disciplines.

23 years since the first edition, Social Work in the Shadow of the Law continues to provide social and human service workers with invaluable insights into the significance and effect of law in their work, enabling them to work effectively for their clients, with lawyers and the legal system.


List of tables and figures
List of abbreviations
Notes on contributors

Socialising the law – Multidisciplinary practice with lawyers and social workers
         Chris Maylea, Nareeda Lewers, Elissa Scott, Penelope Weller and Stan Winford

Towards a reconciliation of legal and social work practice
         Spencer Zifcak

Extending beyond the legal: Social work and human rights
         Linda Briskman and Jim Ife

Child sexual abuse
         Jan Breckenridge and Michael Salter

Indigenous Australians: Continuity of colonialism in law and social work
         Linda Briskman and Terri Libesman

Youth justice and social work
         Wing Hong Chui

Social work and prisons
         Eileen Baldry and Mindy Sotiri

Social work following sudden and unexpected death
         Dorothy Ford and Anne Giljohann

Australian lesbian, gay and/or transgender people and the law
         Damien W Riggs, Clemence Due and Clare Bartholomaeus

Out-of-home care
         Susan Tregeagle

Looking back-looking forward: Past, current, and future child adoptions in Australia
         Susan Gair

Domestic violence, social work and the law
         Susan Heward-Belle

Elder abuse and the law
         David Rose and Ralph Hampson

Mediation of disputes in the Australian family law system
         Dale Bagshaw

Social work practice and debt
         Carolyn Bond and Martin Ryan

Housing and homelessness
         Nola Kunnen and Sally MacKay, updated by Lou Schetzer

Mental health law and its implications for social work practice
         Lisa Brophy, Bill Healy and Chris Maylea

The NDIS – A quantum leap towards social rights for people with intellectual disability
         Christine Bigby and Darren O’Donovan

Refugees and asylum seekers
         Mary Anne Kenny and Lucy Fiske

Social security and welfare rights – What role for social work?
         Terry Carney and Christine Bigby

The ethics of social work practice
         Donna McAuliffe, Phillip Swain and Andrew Day

Record keeping
         Deb Miles and Andrew Day

Social workers, the law and interpreters
         Uldis Ozolins

Courts and tribunals
         Simon Rice

         Simon Rice

Table of cases
Table of statutes


Reviews of previous editions:

This very important book offers contributions from 35 authors on the legal aspects and contexts of social work practice.
          [The book] continues to offer a useful resource, particularly for social work and human resource practitioners, and students of both those disciplines. It is also a useful reference for legal practitioners who will gain an alternative perspective on the way the law impacts on those who may be less fortunate for a whole range of reasons. Read full review...

Allison Ballard, Ethos, ACT Law Society, September 2014

The third edition includes chapters from 12 new contributors. New chapters cover issues such as domestic violence, working with interpreters, social work and sexuality, homelessness and housing rights, adoption and post-adoption practice, family law and social work and Indigenous Australians. ... The book refers to case law and legislation and provides case studies throughout each chapter. References to articles, statistics and law reform committee reports and other relevant government reports in particular areas are useful. Both state and territory legislation in each area is canvassed so the guide is useful nationally.

Law Institute Journal of Victoria, December 2009


Publishing 29 June 2018
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781760021610
Australian RRP $95.00
International Price $87.00
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Law - Social Welfare Law
Social Work

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