Citation Mackay K (2012) A parting of the ways? The diverging nature of mental health social work in the light of the new Acts in Scotland, and in England and Wales. Journal of Social Work, 12 (2), pp. 179-193. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310382322
Abstract Summary: This article uses the concept of citizenship to explore the recent mental health statutes within England and Wales and within Scotland. It argues that differences in the content, and practice context, herald a parting of the ways in mental health social work in the United Kingdom.
Findings: The author focuses on three key differences: the reciprocity principle, the grounds for compulsory treatment and the place of social work within compulsory intervention to demonstrate how the statutes have led to more limited legal, procedural and social rights in England and Wales than in Scotland. The result for social work is that the practice context created in England and Wales may become more risk averse and that social work services may have a more residual role within statutory mental health work. The differences described in this article may also reflect increasing post-devolution divergence in the provision of social work services across the four countries that make up the United Kingdom.
Applications: Further research is needed to explore if these divergences, within mental health law and policy, are in practice supporting or limiting citizenship.
Keywords citizenship; mental health law; reciprocity; social work
Journal Journal of Social Work: Volume 12, Issue 2