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Social Work in the Shadow of the Law

5th edition


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AUD $95.00 gst included

Social Work in the Shadow of the Law is an essential resource for social workers, social work students, and for all those who work in and study human services. Editors Simon Rice and Andrew Day are joined by eminent social work scholar and practitioner Linda Briskman in this fully updated fifth edition.

Key features of the new edition:

  • New chapters on human rights and on research into multidisciplinary practice.
  • Fresh insights from new authors who are experienced social work practitioners.
  • Important additional case studies and references.
  • Updated material for all chapters including those on adoptions; child sexual abuse; domestic violence; elder abuse; Indigenous Australians; lesbian, gay and/or transgender people; the NDIS; refugees and asylum seekers; social work ethics; and being in court.
  • Analysis of how the law and social work practice intersect and of the alignment and tensions between these two disciplines.

More than 20 years since the publication of the first edition, this book continues to equip social and human service workers with knowledge that will enable them to work effectively with their clients, lawyers and the legal system.

List of tables and figures
List of abbreviations
Notes on contributors


1. Why social work and law?
         Phillip Swain
2. Towards a reconciliation of legal and social work practice
         Spencer Zifcak
3. Socialising the law: Multidisciplinary practice with lawyers and social workers
         Chris Maylea, Nareeda Lewers, Elissa Scott, Penelope Weller and Stan Winford


4. Looking back – looking forward: Past, current, and future child adoptions in Australia
         Susan Gair
5. Social work following sudden and unexpected death
         Dorothy Ford and Anne Giljohann
6. Child sexual abuse: Social-legal intersections of practice
         Jan Breckenridge and Michael Salter
7. Social work and prisons
         Eileen Baldry and Mindy Sotiri
8. Domestic violence, social work and the law
         Susan Heward-Belle
9. Elder abuse and the law
         David Rose and Ralph Hampson
10. Mediation of disputes in the Australian family law system
         Dale Bagshaw
11. Social work practice and debt
         Carolyn Bond and Martin Ryan
12. Australian lesbian, gay and/or transgender people and the law 
         Damien W Riggs, Clemence Due and Clare Bartholomaeus 
13. Housing and homelessness
         Louis Schetzer
14. Extending beyond the legal: Social work and human rights
         Linda Briskman and Jim Ife
15. Indigenous Australians: Continuity of colonialism in law and social work 
         Terri Libesman and Linda Briskman 
16. Mental health law and its implications for social work practice
         Lisa Brophy, Bill Healy and Chris Maylea
17. Out-of-home care: Prevention and placement strategies
         Susan Tregeagle
18. The NDIS: A quantum leap towards social rights for people with intellectual disabilities
         Christine Bigby and Darren O’Donovan
19. Social work with refugees and asylum seekers: An ever-changing partnership with the law
         Kirstein Fentiman and Justine O’Sullivan
20. Social security and welfare rights: What role for social work?
         Terry Carney and Christine Bigby
21. Youth justice and social work
         Wing Hong Chui


22. The ethics of social work practice
         Donna McAuliffe, Phillip Swain and Andrew Day
23. Record keeping
         Deb Miles and Andrew Day
24. Social workers, the law and interpreters
         Uldis Ozolins
25. Courts and tribunals
         Simon Rice
26. Evidence
         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.

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 Victoria, December 2009

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