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Focus on Social Work Law

by Alison Brammer

Youth Justice


By Jo Staines

Working with young people who are considered ‘at risk’ of, accused of, or convicted of offending or anti-social behaviour is a challenging field of work. Many of these children and young people have caused emotional, physical, financial and social harm to others, yet they have the same needs and are entitled to the same rights as all children. Practitioners need to be equipped to defend the rights and address the needs of the offender whilst also assessing and managing the risk they present to themselves and others.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the youth justice system. It offers a clear, accessible guide to the legal rules and principles by applying key pieces of legislation and policy to the different stages of the youth justice process - from arrest and detention through to community and custodial sentences. Highlighting the importance of upholding children’s rights, the discussion is grounded within a children’s rights framework and considers potential practice interventions to address breaches of rights or harmful practice. By drawing together key legislation, academic research and case examples, this book provides a succinct and up-to-date account of this complex field for both students and practitioners.

The text is supported by a range of innovative features and boxed information to aid learning and stimulate reflection:
  • Key Case Analysis boxes summarize the details of particular legal cases and outline the implications for social work practice
  • Practice Focus boxes apply legal principles and processes to practice through the use of social work scenarios
  • On-The-Spot Questions reinforce understanding and encourage critical reflection

Download the resources which accompany this textbook

With a chapter layout that really mirrors the young person’s journey through the criminal justice system, and case studies that bring the theory to life for the reader, this is an excellent text for both students and practitioners. - Kay Wall, Lecturer in Social Work, Heart of Worcestershire College, UK

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Understanding and Preventing Offending Behaviour
  • Arrest and Detention by the Police
  • In the Youth Court
  • Community Sentences
  • Custodial Sentences
  • Conclusions

About the author

Jo Staines is a Senior Lecturer in the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, UK.