NASW Press, Legal Defense Fund Collaborate on Law Note Series

'Legal Rights of Children' coverThe NASW Press announced it will market the NASW General Counsel Law Note series in a new and convenient paperback format.

The books will benefit social workers interested in legal resources, particularly at the state level, as they relate to specific areas of practice.

The first title in the series, Legal Rights of Children, is available at the NASW Press website.

This particular Law Note focuses on children’s legal rights within the family context. It addresses how the legal status and age of a child affect the right to sue, the age at which children may consent to treatment, contract rights, the right to educational services and the right to be free from abuse and neglect. The book also outlines such things as what constitutes a “family” or a “child” in the 21st century, social workers’ roles in child custody litigation and parental rights to access children’s treatment records

Sherri Morgan, associate counsel for NASW’s Legal Defense Fund and Office of Ethics and Professional Review, said that some titles in the series have been previously produced and marketed through NASW’s Office of General Counsel.

The new agreement with the NASW Press to produce and market the series will expand the titles to a wider audience, she said.

“The NASW Press has an extensive marketing program that includes online sales and orders,” Morgan explained.

The books will focus on legal issues in a particular field of interest and can benefit social workers who deal with policy and practice issues, Morgan said, adding: “Social work educators and policymakers may also find these titles useful.”

Lisa O’Hearn, managing editor for NASW Press Journals and Books, said the series will provide the reader with the basics of complex legal issues and statutory laws pertaining to the rights of clients and their families.

“This collaboration will benefit not only social workers, but also students, lay people and counsel,” she said.

Morgan said the books’ contents will vary by title, but most often will include legal information relevant to social work practice, including case law examples and appendices of state-by-state statutes, briefs and other resources that can assist social workers in understanding their legal rights and responsibilities, as well as the rights and responsibilities of their clients.

“Many laws that deal with social work issues are applied at the state level,” Morgan said. “While we can’t be an expert in each state, we can help the reader better identify issues that relate to their state and help them in understanding the legal language.”

Since paying for legal counsel may be cost-prohibitive for some social workers, the law notes can aid readers in identifying and narrowing their questions or concerns before meeting with counsel.

“I use these law notes every day when responding to calls from members,” Morgan said.

The series was developed by the NASW Office of General Counsel and supported by donations to the Legal Defense Fund and the Aileen Neely bequest.

Upcoming titles in the series will include:

  • Juvenile Justice System,
  • Legal Rights of Students,
  • Child Abuse Reporting,
  • Client Confidentiality and Privileged Communications, and
  • Subpoenas.

For more information, visit: NASW Press.