Social care, social work and the law - England and Wales
Social care, social work and the law - England and Wales

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Social care, social work and the law - England and Wales

4.3 Conclusion

Social work practice is based upon assessments of situations and decisions about strategies to be adopted. Sometimes there can be a tension between the law and working within social work values; the law provides the framework for practice. In the next section you are going to examine the legal structures and processes within which social work skills are applied.

Key points

  • The law provides a mandate for practice, but good practice involves more than knowing and applying the law; it also involves social work skills and values.

  • Social workers need to be able to recognise their own values and prejudices.

  • Social workers need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the core values of social work practice, such as respecting and valuing uniqueness and diversity.

  • A commitment to social work values promotes effective practice, such as working in partnership and empowerment of service users.

  • Legal values can accord with social work values and can help social workers to work in a positive way to support and empower service users.

  • There may sometimes be tensions between the need for social workers to fulfil their legal obligations and the need to uphold their social work values.


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