Law Paper Guidance
The following paper requires that you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of adult social care law, mental capacity law and mental health law, including statute, associated guidance from central government and any significant case law.
You are specifically required to demonstrate how you would apply the law to social work practice (with the hypothetical case below). While direct quotations may sometimes be helpful, you should show your understanding of the law by paraphrasing in plain English.
You should demonstrate a critical awareness of the law by referring to different interpretations of the law where these exist, and to critiques of the law.
As with all assignments you should also demonstrate your understanding of anti-oppressive practice, human rights (as enshrined in law and international conventions) and equality (in law and practice).
You should base your answer to each question on the information in the ‘phase’ above that question.
4000 Words Limit
You are a social worker in an Adults Service team. You have been asked to carry out an assessment of need for Marie, a twenty year old White woman from an Irish Traveller background. Marie has a mild learning disability due to Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Marie was accommodated by the local authority at the age of thirteen, due to domestic violence in the family home. Marie has been living with the same foster family since she was fourteen, continuing after the age of eighteen under Staying Put arrangements. She has anxiety for which she has received some support from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and she sometimes self-harms (making superficial cuts on her arms with sharp objects when she is able to get hold of them). Marie has been referred to your team by the Leaving Care Team, as they think she will need ongoing support, potentially including supported housing. Marie will need to leave her foster placement in six months’ time, when she turns twenty-one.
Describe and analyse the relevant law, policy and best practice guidance which would govern your assessment in this case.
When you meet with Marie’s foster carer, Yvonne, she tells you that Marie is self-harming regularly while she is out of the house to attend college. She is also concerned that Marie is smoking marijuana with her boyfriend, who attends the same college. Marie and the boyfriend, Ollie, have been together since they started college two years ago. Ollie also comes from an Irish Traveller background. Marie’s college tutor, Jackie, has been in touch with Yvonne to share her concern. Yvonne and Jackie both think Ollie is very bad for Marie. Yvonne wants you to intervene to prevent Marie seeing Ollie.
Describe how you would assess and might intervene in this situation, with reference to adult safeguarding law, policy and guidance, and any other area of law which could be relevant.
You open your emails on Monday morning to find an alert from the Emergency Duty Team. Yesterday, Marie was found by police near a railway bridge in a distressed state and apparently hearing voices. She was taken by police to the nearest hospital and admitted to the mental health unit.
Describe and analyse the mental health law, policy and best practice guidance which could apply in this situation. You should ensure you address any law which sets out Marie’s rights.
Marie spends three months on the ward and is then ready for discharge. Her condition at the time of discharge was diagnosed as drug-induced psychosis and she is no longer hearing voices. Marie states that she does not want to return to her foster placement but intends instead to move back to the Travellers site where her birth family and Ollie’s family live. Yvonne is adamant that this is a bad idea and the Leaving Care Team is also concerned about the prospect. However, mental health professionals from the ward tell you that Marie’s birth mother has been visiting her regularly on the ward, has worked well with them and has had a calming effect on Marie.
Discuss what kind of care and support arrangement you would set up for Marie and how mental health law and/or mental capacity and deprivation of liberty law could be relevant.