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Social Work : Legal & Parliamentary Sources

Understanding Australian laws and how they are made

Parliamentary Information in Social Work Research

Parliamentary sources relate to many areas of social work practice. Parliaments enact laws, debate policy and proposed legislation.  Parliaments also review, report on and investigate many policy issues through parliamentary committees.  Parliamentary debates, reports from committees, bills digests may all provide information on significant changes in policy that may  have  impact on social work. The federal and all state and territory parliaments disseminate a range of information via their websites.

 The Parliamentary Library produces research publications for Parliamentarians.  These publications include overviews of policy areas and chronologies of key Social welfare provisions. Both are useful  for locating background information on a policy area.

Parliamentary resources

Online learning resource on finding government reports

New Publications from the Parliamentary Library of Australia

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Legal Issues Websites

The following websites are useful  for locating discussion of legal issues that may be relevant to social work practice.

Understanding Australian Law

Encyclopedias for Australian Law and Legislation

Legislation relates to many areas of Social Work and policy practice.Landmarks and significant changes in the policy environment are often reflected in new or revised legislation; a new or amended act may have great significance for a policy area and the impact it has on a group of people.  Case law may also result in or influence changes in policy. The legal encyclopedias below will help you locate significant legislation and cases.  


Books on Social Work and the Law

Fisher Research, Fisher 2 Hour Loan and the Law Library: these collections have relevant and current titles (including eBooks) on social work and the law in the Australian and international context. The following links to searches show  a sample of what is available.

Social Work and Law

Social workers -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Australia

Public welfare -- Law and legislation -- Australia

Featured books

Legal abbreviations and referencing