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In the Shadow of the Law

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This third edition draws upon the professional experiences of the law and legal systems, of over 30 academics and practitioners in the social sciences. Like its predecessor editions, it is written by and for social workers, and examines a wide range of practice settings and user populations where social work practice typically entails interaction with the law and lawyers. It begins with foundational chapters considering the place and influence of Aboriginality, of language and culture, and of ethics, on social work practice. The second section considers the legal context and its influence on social work practice. It particularly identifies key aspects of the legal system and its parameters that social workers need to consider as they seek to work alongside courts, tribunals and legal personnel, and examines the importance of record keeping, the place of administrative law in social work practice, and the evidentiary rules to which social workers will be subject as matters of concern are brought to legal attention. In the third section of this book, practice with a series of particular populations from across the community who typically have idiosyncratic interactions with the legal system, are considered. Here chapters variously examine such areas of practice as domestic violence, child sexual assault, adoption and post adoption practice, juvenile justice, the elderly and persons with a disability. In the fourth section a variety of contributors draw upon their experiences of working in specific jurisdictions, including those charged with decision making in relation to family law matters, social security entitlements, offenders, housing and homelessness, and the criminal justice system, refugee review processes, housing entitlements, and psychiatric care - to identify the difficulties and pathways through what at times seem to the inexperienced user to be an impenetrable maze of courts and tribunals. In the final section of the book, the different perspectives of lawyer and social worker, and their areas of common interest and commitments, and drawn together to conclude this volume. The third edition represents a complete revision of content from the earlier editions. In addition to a number of contributors to the earlier editions who have prepared new chapters in the light of contemporary practice, the new edition brings twelve new contributors and new chapters in relation to such areas as domestic violence, working with interpreters, social work and sexuality, housing rights, adoption and post adoption practice, family law, and social work and Indigenous Australians. It is a critical resource for the social work student and practitioner, and indeed for practitioners generaly in the human services area.
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Table of Contents

Preface - Why social work and law? Phillip Swain and Simon Rice Acknowledgments/List of Tables and Figures/ List of Abbreviations/List of Contributors Foundations for practice Social work practice and Indigenous Australians Linda Briskman and Terri Libesman Social workers, the law and interpreters Uldis Ozolins The ethics of social work practice Phillip Swain Legal considerations in social work practice Recording and social work practice Phillip Swain Procedural fairness and social work practice Phillip Swain Courts and tribunals Simon Rice Evidence Simon Rice Practice with diverse populations Domestic violence intervention, the law and social work Raquel Aldunate Child sexual assault - the contribution of social work to the legal process Jan Breckenridge and Kerrie James COut-of-Home care: addressing the support needs of vulnerable children Susan Tregeagle and Louise Voigt Lesbians and gay men - (un)equal before the law? Jude Irwin The changing context of adoption Cas O'Neill, Paul Ban and Phillip Swain Juvenile Justice Wing Hong Chui Social Work following sudden and unexpected death Dorothy Ford, Anne Giljohann and Viv Bateman Elder Abuse and the Law Elizabeth Ozanne The Neverending Story: Deinstitutionalisation and people with an intellectual disability Kelly Johnston and Anna Marriott Practice in diverse jurisdictions Social work practice with migrants and refugees Mary-Anne Kenny and Lucy Fiske Mediation of disputes in the Australian family law system Dale Bagshaw Social Security Appeals, advocacy and the SSAT Phillip Swain and Chris Bigby Social work and corrections Eileen Baldry and Mindy Sotiri Social work practice and debt problems Martin Ryan Housing and Homelessness Nola Kunnen and Sally MacKay Law, psychiatry and social work Lisa Brophy and Bill Healey Conclusion Towards a Reconciliation of Legal and Social Work Practice Spencer Zifcak BibliographyTable of CasesTable of Statutes Index


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

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