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Legal Considerations in Field Education

Social work is one of the most important care-related services that operate in society. By protecting vulnerable individuals, providing assistance to others, and ensuring that each individual can meet a comfortable standard of living, social workers contribute to the general development and prosperity of any community. Social services entail a variety of acts and a wide array of expertise in different fields related to working with other people. In their practice, social workers have to abide by several regulations that they must adhere, to best represent and support the needs and ambitions of their clients. Law is one of such regulations, established by the government of a particular country or state.

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In their practice, social workers and future social workers can have difficulty following the law while providing sufficient assistance and care. Novices are more prone to making mistakes or having a difference in understanding the real-life applications of the practices they have learned. One of the more widespread considerations in a social worker’s line of operation concerns dual relationships between the client and the carer (Garthwait, 2017). A dual relationship describes a situation where the client and their carer engage in a relationship beyond the scope of the profession. When a care worker has an intimate or romantic relationship with their client that can erase the lines of professionalism and proper service provision in a care setting. This problem is especially apparent with intern work. Future care workers and whose only beginning to grasp the kinds of work social service entails can fail to grasp the importance of establishing personal barriers between them and their clients. Feelings may pose a considerable threat to abiding law, and prevent a social worker from accessing a situation carefully and thoughtfully.

In the specific instance of working in adult daycare facilities, other legal considerations may arise to higher prominence. Adult medical daycare specifically provides its services to the kinds of people that may not be able to act following their own health needs. While interacting with these people, remembering to put patient privacy, consent, and wellbeing at the forefront may not only prove difficult but also put the care worker at risk of violating the law. The use of inappropriate or harmful intervention tactics to help a person is one of such considerations, which runs the risk of the social worker harming their client instead of helping them.


Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: a guide and workbook for students. Pearson.

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