A social work assessment typically consists of two factors – an interview and a final written report.
The interview will help a Social Worker analyse the current situation of the client, gauging what sort of support the client is in need of. And the written report will evaluate these factors, outlining objectives for the client and how their issues will be solved. Treatment suggestions may also be made.
Direct interviews are one of the best ways to gather information.
Prior to the interview, ensure you have all the information and documentation you need, such as past reports.
Interviews can be both with the client themselves and any other parties involved in order to collect all relevant information for the case. These could include family members, former case workers, teachers or friends.
Record everything you collect from the interviews carefully so you can easily refer back at a later date.
A safe and confidential atmosphere is vital to any interview situation. A social work assessment collects some very sensitive information so it is essential that all parties being interviewed feel comfortable and safe, allowing the social worker to obtain the most information possible. Patience and being positive are key in this circumstance and building a good relationship with them will help you in obtaining important information.
Open-ended questions will help you obtain detailed answers. Assessment forms can also provide specific questions you may need to ask.
The Final Written Report
Flexibility is key when writing your final report and remember – each report will differ case by case.
Ensure that you include all detailed notes from your interviews. Even small details such as mental orientation, the appearance of your client and eye contact. You can never include too many details.
Clearly outline the problem you as the social worker are trying to solve. Although remember to be sensitive as your client will see this report.
Write in the third person in an almost story like form.
Compare notes from your client interview and interviews with third parties. Do the needs and problems match up? If not, you may need to consider other issues the client may have that were not obvious in the interview stage meaning they may need further treatment and solutions.
The report should be positive and encouraging for your client. Set realistic goals for your client so they can work towards their rehabilitation. These could also set out further meeting and completion dates.
The report can become part of the recovery process. Go through the report with your client, explaining what you have reported and answering any questions they may have. This may help them to understand what they need to do in their road to recovery.
A follow up meeting should also be booked at this stage to allow you to review the client’s progress in the near future – seeing how far they have progressed with their goals and to set anymore if necessary.
Connect2Hampshire provide free CPD training to all their candidates and offer flexible shifts in various locations across Hampshire. Contact us to discuss career opportunities in Qualified Social Care working for Hampshire County Council.
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