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Working in Statutory Contexts

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4270-3
200 pages
May 2010, Polity
Working in Statutory Contexts (0745642705) cover image
Doing social work in a statutory setting is a challenge that all social workers will face. Social workers are required to work with people who don’t necessarily want their help and who may be antagonistic or even hostile. In such cases, social workers must use their statutory powers with confidence and work effectively within the constraints of procedure and the law.


This thoughtful and practical book focuses on the universal skills that are needed to do this important kind of social work, and to do it well. Drawing on social work’s diverse knowledge base through extensive examples and case studies, Andrew Hill illustrates key skills in practice, such as responding to threats of violence and aggression, giving evidence in court, report writing, and coping with emotional issues. As well as promoting practical skills, the book underlines the importance of working as a reflective practitioner. It carefully outlines a framework for understanding the place of statutory work and how this may be consistent with empowerment and anti-oppressive practice, and with the straightforward desire to help others that brings people into social work in the first place.


This book is relevant to all social work settings including mental health, community care, youth justice, and child protection. It will be essential reading for social work students and newly qualified social workers who are facing up to the realities of social work in statutory settings for the first time.

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List of Summaries of Skills.




Chapter 1: Legal and Organizational Context.

Chapter 2: Aims and Ethics.


Chapter 3: Skills for Working in Organizations.

Chapter 4: Skills for Engaging with People.

Chapter 5: Skills for Assessing and Planning.

Chapter 6: Skills for Court Work.

Chapter 7: Skills for Promoting Change.

Chapter 8: Ending, Evaluating and Reflective Practice.




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Andrew Hill, Lecturer in Social Work, University of York
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'Students will find this book highly accessible. Hill writes in a clear style and the use of case studies is excellent. I can certainly envisage this book being used widely.'
Geraldine Macdonald, Queen's University, Belfast

'This is an excellent book and should be compulsory reading for social work students. It is clearly written, sensitively related to social work practice, with some first-rate examples; above all, it really 'speaks' to the realities of contemporary statutory professional practice in the twenty-first century. Andrew Hill has written a thorough but readable text for students which they will find useful at any stage in their qualification degree.'
David Shemmings, University of Kent
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