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The strong nexus between law and social work is beyond dispute. The law informs day-to-day practice in social service agencies, and social workers are employed by the courts. Moreover, they work collaboratively with attorneys in legal aid offices, public defenders' offices, and other law enforcement settings, interviewing clients, preparing reports for use in court, interpreting social science information, and providing consultation on how best to approach client problems. Models for collaborative social worker-attorney relationships have been developed, and social work and law interns practice together in law clinics. All of this is in addition to the traditional role of the law in directing policy choices, setting policy goals, and allocating funds to social work programs. This book addresses this relationship between the professions of social work and law and helps social workers develop the kwledge necessary to practice in a legal environment. The author focuses on how the law affects the day-to-day practice of social work; the creation, administration, and operation of social service agencies; and the ways in which social workers and attorneys collaborate to serve the public
Theodore J. Stein is a professor of social welfare at the State University of New York at Albany. He has authored many articles on social work and the law and on social policy. He is the author of Social Policy and Policymaking by the Branches of Government and the Public-at-Large (Columbia).