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Social Work Matters

Social Work have a range of powers they can use, which can have a significant impact on you and your family. We can help you through this process.

Typical Social Work Cases

These are the types of actions we often get asked to represent client in.

Social Work Powers in Scotland

Social work in Scotland is governed by a legal framework that outlines the powers and responsibilities of social workers in their efforts to support and protect vulnerable individuals and communities. This framework provides social workers with specific legal powers to carry out their duties effectively.

The primary legislation that guides social work practice in Scotland is the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, although subsequent legislation has also been enacted to enhance and update social work practices. The 1968 Act establishes social work as a distinct profession and grants social workers the authority to intervene in certain circumstances.

Under the Act, social workers have the power to assess individuals' needs and provide appropriate services to promote their well-being and safeguard their interests. This can include assessing the needs of children at risk of harm, individuals with disabilities, older adults, and those facing social and economic challenges. Social workers have the authority to gather information, conduct interviews, and request reports from relevant parties to inform their assessments.

Moreover, social workers have the power to initiate legal proceedings to protect vulnerable individuals. This can involve applying for Child Protection Orders or conducting investigations into instances of suspected child abuse or neglect. They can also seek Emergency Protection Orders to ensure the immediate safety and welfare of children at risk.

In addition to their child protection responsibilities, social workers in Scotland also have powers under mental health legislation. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 empowers social workers to carry out mental health assessments, recommend appropriate treatment, and coordinate care plans for individuals with mental health disorders.

Social workers also play a crucial role in safeguarding adults at risk of harm. The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 gives social workers the authority to assess individuals' capacity to protect themselves and, if necessary, intervene to ensure their safety and well-being. They can apply for measures such as removal from harmful situations, or seek court orders to protect adults who lack capacity or are at risk of significant harm.

It is worth noting that social workers in Scotland work collaboratively with other professionals, such as police officers, health care providers, and legal authorities, to fulfill their duties effectively. This multi-agency approach ensures a holistic and coordinated response to safeguarding vulnerable individuals.


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