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Curriculum guide – Social work law

The QAA Social Work Benchmark Statement, the HCPC standards of proficiency for social workers in England and TCSW Professional Capabilities Framework all highlight legal knowledge, including understanding of the relationship between agency procedures and legal rules, and the ability to think critically about the legal context of work with service users, carers and other professionals. Practitioners and managers in all settings must know when statutory powers and duties should be used to prevent, or protect people from, harm and how legal rules help ensure entitlements are met and rights promoted. They must be confident and skilful in order to take complex decisionsiv informed by social work principles of equality, human rights and social justice. However, research consistently identifies deficits in legal knowledge, failure by agencies to fully meet their legal obligations, and anxiety about whether law supports or undermines social work values.