Law for Social Work

Part 1

1.      Identify which “care in the community” legislation could be of assistance to Peter; Maria and the family and why it would be of assistance.

Peter, Maria & Ken all need help from different community care organizations and yet these organizations also will need to work together to put this family straight.  Each of these people need something and someone different.    The Mental Health Act 2007, in the UK, has many options available and certain “tests” to be met to help determine what help can be given and what must be given.  This case will also address UK’s Children Act from 1989-2004 to determine if there is abuse with the child, if so, what kind and what needs to be done with not only the child, but the parents as well.

With respect to Maria, at this time, the UK services available is approached in a legal manner.  The UK Mental Health Act 2007, section 145(3)  (Mental Health Act 2007-Medical Treatment-2007) allows for psychological intervention and specialist mental health habilitation, rehabilitation and care.  The social services people can in fact demand that Maria get help, and they can intervene to get the help she needs should she not obtain it for herself.

This is to alleviate the worsening of any mental health conditions that may affect a person or persons negatively.  At this time Maria would not be institutionalized.  Furthermore, the social services people can provide Peter with a form of respite, they can take Ken until Peter can get a handle on the medical issues he is facing.

Considering at this time that there is no forced institutionalization and the fact that Peter has not inherently done anything wrong, the mandates under this law will not force anyone to do anything.  Advices will be given to Peter regarding how to better care for his son and he will be urged to seek medical help for the diaper rash Ken has occurred.  He will also be given information on classes or schools that will help deal with Ken’s development issues and possibly urged to seek some form of mental health counseling for himself.   It is in Peter’s best interest to seek respite for even a few hours every couple of days.

Seeking respite care services would be beneficial to Peter so that he can have a few hours to mentally rest and refocus and to spend some quality time with his son.  He may also start to see things more clearly and logically with regards to the care Maria needs which in turn can make things a lot less complicated should the social services people take over the care of Maria and Ken.

Considering Maria and Peter have already spoken with mental health care physicians, it is the duty, Under 130D(1) for the physician to give information about independent mental health advocates that Maria and Peter can benefit from.  Also with these two already having sought medical help at one time, this can and will help the physicians to determine to the potential as to whether Maria will in the future be liable to be detained into a psychiatric facility.

As a last resort for Maria and Peter, should they not seek help themselves, the physicians or other approved social services persons may implement and enforce a “community care” directive under 17a of the Mental Health Act  (Mental Health Act 2007-Supervised Community Treatment-2007).  If this is implemented, chances are that Maria would go to a psychiatric hospital, against Peter’s and Maria’s wishes.  Depending on Peter’s reaction to all of this will determine whether or not Ken goes to a temporary foster home. 2.      Which provisions of the Children Act 1989 are relevant when considering assisting Ken and his parents?

Welfare of the child is first and foremost in this situation with this family.  The Children Act of 1989 (now 2004 with amendments), can under Welfare of the child 3(b)(c)(e)(f) & (g), can remove Ken, temporarily, from both parents due to the lack of needs Ken has received.  Ken is getting little, proper education and lacks emotional and obviously physical needs.  Under the circumstances, considering the lack of positive change, Ken is not likely to see improvement until the issues are dealt with regarding his parents.

Neither parent is apparently capable of seeing that Ken gets what he needs for a healthy life.  Peter, if he wasn’t so “busy” with Maria, would be more apt to take care of Ken properly.  Due to these circumstances and the lack of appropriate responsibilities being taken, the courts can deem that Ken be taken away and that Maria be sent to a hospital.

Because Peter and Maria were never married there is also a parental responsibility issue as well.  Maria, as the mother would typically be responsible for Ken’s well being but it is apparent that she is not.  Peter, by UK Law would have to be assigned as Ken’s parent with responsibility issues, as if he was the mother. (Parental responsibility for children (b) the father shall not have parental responsibility for the child, unless he acquires it in accordance with the provisions of this Act-Children Act 1989).

In this instance, the Lord Chancellor (court judge) will determine that Peter can be considered the parental figure or, due to the beginning of neglect with Ken, the chancellor may prescribe that the children social services take control of the child which at this time would make the “state” the guardian of the child.  Before making any decisions in this case the chancellor may also ask for a welfare report on the child as well as the child’s biological parents.  Should the child be temporarily taken from Peter and Maria then they also will need to provide services to the parents that will reunite them as a family.

The authorities providing any form of services will also have to determine if the child needs to be taken and if so where the child is to be taken to.  The financial aspects of care for the child will initially come from the government but the parent who has the ability to make an income will also be made to pay for some of the services so as to reimburse the state.  In some countries this is known as child support.  Ken’s education will have to be determined and decided whether he goes into a public school, a special education school or counseling.

Part 2

3.      Identify which Mental Health legislation and which provisions of those Acts and any Code of Practice are relevant if Maria is to be admitted compulsorily to hospital for treatment?

For Maria to be compulsorily admitted to a hospital, there are tests that will have to be passed.  These are not tests done by Maria.  A doctor would recommend, a second opinion would then be rendered by an additional doctor.  These need to be certified responses as Maria will not give consent.  Consent is needed any time someone is to be checked into a psychiatric hospital.  Considering Maria will not give this, this is where the doctor’s statements come in.  At the same time, all services available need to be presented to Maria first, to give her an option to try and resettle herself back into a life.  In this case, taking her medications and seeking psychiatric help along with additional support groups and services for Ken.

4.      After compulsory treatment, what provisions of the Mental Health Acts would be relevant for Maria’s longer-term support?

Supervised community treatment will be required after Maria’s release from the hospital.  Chapter 4-17(b)(c).  The conditions for supervised community care will be regular medical, psychiatric appointments, the threat of harm to self and other must not be present and if after release, Maria does well for awhile, then backslides, she can be recalled to the hospital under 17E.  If there is a recall of the patient, the patient will be notified in writing and if the patient is unable to understand this notification, the next of kin or civil partner will then be notified.

5.      What provisions of the Children Act 1989 and any other child related legislation since 1989 (if any) are relevant in relation to the harm Ken has experienced?

Ken has suffered neglect in many ways.  Neglect due to not changing diapers enough, improper diet, unintentional psychological problems which can all lead to his apparent lack of normal development.  Ken does not feel safe in his current environment even though he cannot voice this.  The inability to look someone in the eyes helps the determination of this.  Ken’s beginning dehydration does not bode well either.  With all this taken into account, under the Child act 1989-2004, Ken will be removed from both parents.  Determining the placement will fall under Chapter 41, section 4, subheading 31.  The duration of this care order will be determined in part by whether or not the chancellor will allow Peter parental rights.

Peter will be required to obtain some form of services which may be anywhere from an outpatient counseling to parenting classes or stress reduction classes; whatever the “state” may deem as necessary.  Upon the successful completion of these and any other requirements as set forth in the care orders then chances of peter obtaining Ken within a relatively short time is very plausible.

6.      Discuss what provisions are relevant to secure Ken’s safe care.

Ken needs to immediately be removed from both parents.  Peter needs to attend different classes on how to better manage his stress, respite care alternatives, psychiatric counseling and relationship building with Ken.  Ken needs reassurance that he will be safe.  With Ken being taken from his parents, it is assumable that he will be safe and in a more productive environment.  Depending on the outcome of Maria, Ken and Peter may never be allowed to have her live with them, this will be solely up to the chancellor, doctor directives and the social services organizations.

List of References

Mental Health Act 2007 – overview.A) 145(3)B) 130D(1)C) 17a.   October 21, 2008 [online] ( ‘n.d.’) [Accessed December 2, 2008]

Mental Health Act 2007 CHAPTER 12.A) 17a,B) 3(b)(c)(e)(f) & (g).C) Supervised community treatment Chapter 4-17(b)(c)(e) (‘n.d.’) [online]  [Accessed December 1, 2008]Children Act 1989 CHAPTER 41. (Parental responsibility for children (b) the father shall not have parental responsibility for the child, unless he acquires it in accordance with the provisions of this Act-Children Act 1989-pg 4) Chapter 41, section 4, subheading 31 (c. 1989-2007) [online][Accessed December 1, 2008]

Compact Law.  1998-2008 [online] [accessed December 2, 2008]

The Children Act 2004.  November 2004 [online]  [accessed December 2, 2008]

Department for Children, Schools and Families (n.d.) [online] [accessed November 30, 2008]

Mental Health and Growing Up, Third EditionChild abuse and neglect (2008) [online]  [accessed November 30, 2008]List of references continued

For better Mental Health (2008) [online] [accessed November 30, 2008]

Journal of Mental Health Law  (2000-2008) [online] also available as book- ISBN: 1466-2817 [accessed November 28, 2008]

Mental Capacity Act (2005) [online] [accessed November 28, 2008]

Children Act 2004 – guidance on the ‘duty to cooperate’(December 2008) [online] [accessed December 1, 2008]

Mental patients will be forced to take treatmentLaurance, Jeremy (November 1999) [online]

[accessed November 28, 2008]


A.        Mental Health Act 2007Medical treatment Cht 1

145(3), 130D(1),  17a,  3(b)(c)(e)(f) & (g).Supervised community treatment Chapter 4-17(b)(c)(e)

B.        Children Act 1989 CHAPTER 41

Care and Supervision

Section 4, subheading 31

C.        Mental Health Act 2007

Medical treatment 6(1-3)Supervised community treatmentCht 4

17A Community treatment orders17B Conditions17C Duration of community treatment order17D Effect of community treatment order17E Power to recall to hospitalBibliography

Mental Health Act 2007

Mental Health Act 2007 CHAPTER 12. Act 1989 CHAPTER 41 Law

The Children Act 2004.

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Mental Health and Growing Up, Third Edition better Mental Health

Journal of Mental Health Law also available as book- ISBN: 1466-2817

Mental Capacity Act [accessed November 28, 2008]

Children Act 2004 – guidance on the ‘duty to cooperate’

Laurance, Jeremy.  Mental patients will be forced to take treatment