4 Why do social workers need to know about the law?

From our discussion of social work and the meaning of law you will already have some answers to this question. We will now bring them together and relate them to wider debates about the content of the social work curriculum.

We have seen that there are few right answers in social work. However, if practitioners do not know where they stand legally they cannot begin to do their job properly because they will not be able to give appropriate advice and support to service users. They will a
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

3.5 The language of law

A potential barrier to understanding, which those new to law can find off-putting, is the use of specialist terminology. This contributes to the perception of law as an elitist and difficult area of study and is something that requires further explanation. Many professions (and social groups) develop their own forms of language to communicate effectively and, in some cases, to signify group membership. In this sense legal language is not unique, but is does have a formal character which can s
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • be able to describe the relationship between social work practice and the law;

  • understand the legal framework that regulates social work in Scotland;

  • have an awareness of the role of law in countering discrimination.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.1 Treaties, conventions and constitutions

International human rights are part of a much wider area, public international law, which in broad terms encompasses law relating to the legal rights, duties and powers of one nation state in relation to its dealings with other nation states. These rights, duties and powers are set out in international treaties or conventions. Such treaties and conventions may be global in their application or restricted to certain regions of the world. Reference to a work on international human rights treati
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

3.3.1 Try some yourself

1 A friend has been quoted a price of £25.50 per square yard for tarmac surfacing of his yard. The yard measures 6 yards by 10 feet. Here is his calculation of the total cost. What is wrong with it?

cost = £25.50 × 6 × 10 = £1530


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

1.9.4 Video task: Taking the A train

Now watch the video.

Video, Click to watch part two

Download this video clip.