SOWK6305 (Core)

The Law, ethics and social work

The course intends to develop a critical awareness of the interaction between law and ethics in social work practice. Students will be able to examine how law can be used a framework of protection for both service users and practitioners and apply notions of ethics to their day-to-day practice. More specifically, it introduces the legal principles, institutions and processes that underpin the Hong Kong legal system. An emphasis is placed on understanding the impact of laws on social work practice in various settings such as child welfare, criminal justice, domestic violence, guardianship, mental health, and anti-discrimination. It also explores personal values and beliefs, and introduces ethical theories and frameworks that can be used to assist decision making. Ethical issues and dilemmas in relation to work in social service organizations, and relationships with colleagues and managers will be studied. Social workers? legal duties and obligations such as negligence, duty of care, confidentiality and informed consent will be examined.