Seven Basic Areas to all Social Work Practice
Jankovic and Green (1981) presented research on child welfare workers at the 1980 APM which was later published in Journal of Education for Social Work. 17(3): 28-35.Out of research, seven basic areas were identified to be basic to all social work practice and its relationship to the legal system.
Those seven areas include:
- client consent to social work intervention
- understanding legal rights of parents and children
- evaluation and documentation of evidence in a case record
- using legal authority of one’s position as a base for practice
- giving substantive, factual testimony in a court hearing
- legal duties implicit in professional practice
Points to Remember for Good Documentation
- Date everything including year.
- Record as soon as possible after an interaction. Learn to dictate from notes.
- Keep copies of all correspondence.
- Instruct support/clerical staff in the importance of documentation. (This includes other staff ((e.g., homemakers) and outside contacts such as foster parents.)
- Avoid value-laden terms. (Examples include egocentric, callous, selfish).
- Support observations with examples.
- Use professional style — avoid jargon and slang.
- Separate impressions from observations and identify them as impressions.
- Note positives as well as negatives. This indicates objectivity.
- Review records for completeness, thoroughness, accuracy.
- Use a calendar with room for brief notes to document appointments.
- Use a log to keep track of phone contacts.