Understanding the legal framework for social workers

This training is specifically for social workers to understand the legal framework

There are separate training programmes for adult social workers and children social workers.

The overall aim of the training is to support social workers to understand the application of the law in their day to day practice.

Aims and objectives:

  • To provide an overview of the key legislation in social work practice.
  • private and public law Children Act proceedings process.
  • To understand the role of other key professionals in court proceedings
  • To understand social care professional’s role in gathering of evidence in court proceedings
  • To understand how families can be supported with use of resources when involved with in legal family disputes or when the local authority is involved due to child protection concerns.
  • To understand the court’s expectation for court reports and chronologies

Programme Itinerary:

• Data protection and sharing of information- what is your responsibility?
• Human Rights- which are the main articles that apply to everyday social work practice – group discussion
• The main principles of the Children Act 1989 and how they impact on social work practice- Quiz
Private law proceedings- introduction of case study group work- part 1
• Who are the parties
• Mediation
• The orders S.8 Children Act orders
• The court’s direction- s.7 or S.37- what is the difference.
• Role of family court reporter
• Role of the local authority in private law proceedings.
• Legal Aid
Public law proceedings-
• Terminology of court process and court personnel.
• Role of the Children’s Guardian and the Children’s Solicitor
• Legal Aid for parents’ legal representation
• Criminal investigations- what is your role?
• Court report and chronologies
• Differentiate between evidence- fact, opinion or hearsay.
• Impact of gathering evidence for the local authority
• The importance of language in case recordings and court documents
• Court Etiquette
• How to prepare for court
• Will I have to attend court
• Who else will be there, and their roles
• What do I need to do when at court

Booking information:

Please contact us for the latest information about this course.

Want it in-house?

We can deliver our training courses in-house – contact us to discuss your requirements.


Shefali Shah, is an experienced national trainer, Shefali has been a senior solicitor and was a member of the Law Society Children Panel for 20, with over 25 years’ experience as a solicitor and manager in various Local Authorities. Shefali is a former legal advisor to Adoption for Adopters and Adoption UK, a national adoption charity and the Independent Review Mechanism. Shefali also teaches social care law academically on various social work undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

Shefali is also the author of Key Changes to Family Justice (England), and The Child’s Legal Journey Through Care, both published by CoramBaaf. Both are legal practitioner’s guides aimed at supporting social care professionals to understand the application of the law and the legal responsibilities to children. More information can be found here:



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