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Approximately 520 pages
1 volume bound

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Law for Social Workers, 5th Edition
By: Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D., RSW, LL.M., Janet E. Mosher, B.Mus.A., LL.B., LL.M.
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This is a complete guide to the workings of the Canadian legal system as it relates to the practice of social work. The book uses the family life cycle as an organizing principle which connects legal procedures to the life of the family as it moves through marriage, parenthood, normal events and specific crises along the continuum from birth to old age. This is the 5th edition of the work. The book has been fully updated and revised to include the latest leading case law and legislation in the area. Noteworthy updates and revisions include:
  • Mediation and collaborative law
  • Procedural fairness and natural law
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender identity and social condition as well as a new discussion on equality rights
  • Results of the 2006 amendments to the procedures for bringing complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, changes in the roles of judges in light of the increasing numbers of self represented litigants, and the licensing of paralegals
  • Pretrial conferences and case conferences as informal mechanisms to resolve disputes as well as confidentiality and privilege in the ADR context
  • What constitutes a family today and the challenges of defining it
  • New discussion on shared parenting and taking the views of children into consideration in custody assessments
  • International child abduction and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, including the Hoole v. Hoole decision (2008 B.C.S.C.)
  • New discussion on family violence
  • New section on the Adoption Disclosure Register
  • Mental disorders as they relate to s. 16 of the Criminal Code as well as a new discussion on the defences of provocation, self-defence and duress
  • Extensively revised discussions of pre-trial detention and sentencing
  • Expanded discussions on consent, capacity assessments, and powers of attorney for personal care
  • Substantially updated and expanded discussion on mental health and the law, especially Community Treatment Orders (CTOs)
  • The latest statistics and research on income inequality
  • Updated case law and legislative developments, on refugee claimants, and humanitarian and compassionate grounds for admitting immigrants
  • The latest training and educational requirements of the profession and the various provincial and territorial regulatory bodies
About the Author

Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D., RSW, LL.M., is cross-appointed to Childhood Studies and Social Institutions & Social Work at King’s University College, Western, Ontario, where she teaches about children’s participation in the justice system and social work ethics and the law. Dr. Birnbaum has extensive clinical practice and research experience in working with children and families of separation and/or divorce. She has presented both nationally and internationally at workshops and conferences on children and the law, working with high-conflict families, the voice of the child, and collaboration between law and social work.

She has authored over 100 papers with colleagues in social work, law, psychology, and medicine. Dr. Birnbaum has also co-authored Child Custody Assessments: A Resource Guide for Legal and Mental Health Professionals (2008), Challenging Issues in Child Custody Disputes: A Guide for Legal and Mental Health Professionals (2008), Law for Social Workers: A Canadian Guide, 5th ed. (Thomson Reuters, 2016), and Practicing Social Work Research: Case Studies for Learning, 2nd ed. (University of Toronto Press, 2017).

Dr. Birnbaum is the 2016 member of the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, the 2016 recipient of the Hugh Mellon Distinguished Research Award, and the 2014 recipient of the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award (an interdisciplinary award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts). She was the president of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers for four years, the president of the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators for two years, and the president of AFCC-Ontario from 2015 to 2016.

Janet Mosher, LLM, LLB, BMusA, is an Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. She is a co-founder of the combined JD/MSW degree program at the University of Toronto, where she taught for a number of years in both the faculties of law and social work before moving to Osgoode. She was the director of Osgoode's Intensive Program in Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services from 2001-2005 and 2011-13, and Associate Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School from 2008-2010. Her research focuses on the law's responses to violence against women, the intersections of gender violence and poverty, women's homelessness and access to justice for marginalized communities.