Higher Education

Understanding Legal Concepts that Influence Social Welfare Policy and Practice, 1st Edition

  • Rudolph Alexander, Jr. Ohio State University
  • ISBN-10: 0534596614  |  ISBN-13: 9780534596613
  • 216 Pages
  • © 2003 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $126.00



The law plays an important role in influencing social welfare policy and social work practice. Court decisions in policy areas, whether the rulings are perceived as positive or negative, determine what social welfare policy is and what social workers do. By reading this book, social work students will gain a useful understanding of and application of key legal concepts that influence social welfare policy. Instead of just telling students that the law has a major influence on social welfare policy, this book will teach students basic constitutional and legal principles as well as how and why the law shapes social welfare policies and social work practices. For example, students will learn that one legal concept, such as the liberty component in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U S. Constitution, affects a social worker's professional reputation, adoption, mental health treatment in an institutional setting, receipt of public assistance from a state where a person has just moved, dismissal of a student from a school of social work, and child welfare.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Rationale, Foundation and Explanation of Constitutional Law, and Organization.
2. Basic and Key Legal Concepts and Principles.
3. Child Protection and the Law.
4. Legal Aspects of Adoption Policy and Practices.
5. Legal Challenges Shaping Public Assistance.
6. The Law's Effect on Mental Health Policy.
7. Legal Liability and Malpractice Affecting Social Workers.
8. Social Workers as Plaintiffs and Defendants.
9. Concluding Chapter.
Glossary of Terms.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"This text makes law accessible to the clinical social worker. Social Workers often have to learn about law on their feet when their clients have legal issues. This book prepares the social worker ahead of time."

— Rachelle Zukerman, University of California, Los Angeles

"I think that many social workers do not realize how much they will interface with the legal system until they begin to practice. I think (this book) could be of help to them."

— Stephanie Brzuzy, Arizona State University

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Rudolph Alexander, Jr.

Rudolph Alexander, Jr. received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and is currently the Director of the Bachelor Science Social Work Program at Ohio State University. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate social work students, with emphasis in areas of research, adult and juvenile corrections, and deviance and psychopathology. He has a 2000 publication with Brooks/Cole-Wadsworth, COUNSELING AND TREATMENT INTERVENTION METHODS WITH JUVENILE AND ADULT OFFENDERS.