Law Notes

about-legal-law-notesThe NASW General Counsel Law Notes series provides information to social workers about legal topics of concern to the social work profession. Law Notes are developed with the support and financial assistance of the NASW Legal Defense Fund.

Available from NASW Press

The Juvenile Justice System
Social workers have advocated for the application of different standards to the conduct of children and continue to play an integral role in bringing reform to the legal system, with respect to how juveniles are treated. This law note reviews broad legal issues faced by social workers who work in the juvenile justice system.

The Legal Rights of Students
The role of the school social worker has evolved into a link between the family, the school, and the community.  This law note reviews some of the legal issues that affect the practice of social workers within the schools and the jurisdictions that exercise control over public and private schools.

Client Confidentiality and Privileged Communications
Applying the concepts of confidentiality and privilege to social work requires an understanding of federal health privacy laws and regulations, as well as state law standards and ethical obligations. This law note discusses the two principles and outlines some of the exceptions applicable to them, in the context of clinical social work practice and rapid changes in information technology.

Legal Rights of Children
This Law Note highlights the various approaches taken by states concerning how the legal status and age of a child affect the right to sue, the right to make treatment decisions concerning the child's care, the right to contract, the right to educational services, and the right to be free from abuse and neglect.