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  1. 1. Suzy Braye, Michael Preston-Shoot Amanda Thorpe PEPE 2008 Edinburgh
  2. 2. <ul><li>To explore the interface between law and ethics in professional practice </li></ul><ul><li>Our evidence? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial reviews of professional decisions in human services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research into how students learn about law and use it in practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social work and social services agencies as a case example which may resonate for other professional groups </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Agencies’ and professional practitioners’ failure to observe legal and moral rules </li></ul><ul><li>Professional and managerial decisions that are both unlawful and unethical </li></ul><ul><li>Judicial review findings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R(CD & VD) v Isle of Anglesey CC [2004] 7 CCLR 589 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pierce v Doncaster MBC [2007] The Times, 27 Dec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R(Grogan) v Bexley NHS Care Trust [2006] EWHC 44 (Admin) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>(1) Problems of pedagogy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How social work students learn law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How well students are prepared to manage ethical dilemmas in practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(2) Challenges of practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How use of law knowledge is mediated through the agency context in which practice takes place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How codes of ethics and conduct are mediated through the same agency context </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Knowledge review of law in social work education (funded by SCIE) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systematic review of international literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey of UK education practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User review of the processes and outcomes of students’ law learning in placement (funded by SWAP) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshops and focus groups of key stakeholders in social work education and practice </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. (1) Problems of pedagogy <ul><li>LAW </li></ul><ul><li>Law perceived as “not social work” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>difficult, alien, hostile, oppressive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problematic transition to practice contexts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of confidence and currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No law-related practice learning objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ETHICS AND VALUES </li></ul><ul><li>Education enhances rather than changes values </li></ul><ul><li>Competing ethical paradigms </li></ul><ul><li>Application of values under-theorised </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple accountability left unresolved </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Law is implicit rather than explicit in practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ No-one actually mentions law. It’s more of an assumption that it’s there. No one actually talks about it.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There’s a culture of not talking about knowledge that underpins practice. It is possible to work in an agency and not to know much about the law.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practitioners’ knowledge decays over time, with no focus on law in cpd </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Whilst I am an experienced practitioner, I would not have the confidence in my knowledge to try to pass on that information.” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Organisational culture mediates both legal and ethical rules </li></ul><ul><li>Resources & procedures rule decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I’ve often said to social work students, when you’re qualified you really can’t go out there and change the world, you can only work within the requirements and statutes that your local authority allows you to.” “We need to teach students to implement agency policy.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clashes of perspective over accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses in regulatory frameworks </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Enhanced visibility of law and values as determinant of ‘right’ or ‘just’ practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ protect the rights ... of service users and carers ’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ meet relevant standards of practice and work in a lawful, safe and effective way ’ (GSCC Code) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moving beyond a technical ‘legal powers and duties’ approach to engage with the political impact of law and its role in promoting rights </li></ul><ul><li>Technical proficiency balanced with critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing professional development focus </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding of accountability </li></ul>
  10. 11. How the law/ ethical practice relationship is modelled Rights/ Justice Rational/ Technical Moral/ Ethical
  11. 12. <ul><li>Braye, S. & Preston-Shoot, M. (with Cull, L-A., Johns, R., Roche, J.) (2005) Learning, Teaching and Assessment of Law in Social Work Education: A Knowledge Review . London: Social Care Institute for Excellence. </li></ul><ul><li>Braye, S., Preston-Shoot, M. and Thorpe, A. (2006) Social Work Law in Practice. Southampton: Higher Education Academy SWAP. </li></ul><ul><li>Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M. (2006) Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Law in Social Work Education: A Resource Guide . London: Social Care Institute for Excellence. </li></ul><ul><li>Braye, S., Preston-Shoot, M. and Thorpe, A. (2007) ‘Beyond the classroom: law learning in practice’. Journal of Social Work ,7, 3, 323-341 . </li></ul><ul><li>Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M. (2006) ‘The role of law in welfare reform: critical perspectives on the relationship between law and social work practice’, International Journal of Social Welfare, 15, 19-26. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Professor Suzy Braye </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Sussex, UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Professor Michael Preston-Shoot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Bedfordshire, UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Amanda Thorpe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Bedfordshire, UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>