This resource includes a webinar overview of the CA Core Practice model, practice behaviors, and a description of the theoretical framework underlying the model
This is an interactive graphic showing one example of case notes written following an referral. The example corresponds to a vignette and is meant to provide an introduction to case notes for a novice learner.
Hover over a section or paragraph will expose a box around that section. Click on the boxed section to zoom in for more details.
As you explore the case notes example document, consider the following:
Are the individual paragraphs, or sentences, written differently?
What purposes do you think these case notes serve? How might that have influenced the way in which the author wrote them?
How would you describe the style of writing used in this example?
In this activity a learner is asked to find mistakes in example case notes. Three separate excerpts taken from a dispositional report contain sentence(s) demonstrating poor use of facts or evidence, or incorrect use of assessment and opinion. Automated feedback is provided and there are opportunities for the learner to edit an example provided a transcript of the original interview.
At what chronological points during the life of a case might a child welfare social worker need to draft case notes, investigation narratives, case plans or court reports? This vignette timeline depicts when the four core documents were written for a particular case vignette. It begins at the point of the initial referral and proceeds through the first several months of Child / Family - Agency interaction thereafter, from promotion of the referral to the opening of a case. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the non-linear relationship between the four core documents and illustrate the purpose of each document in the cycle of a family's interaction with a child welfare social worker / agency, given the circumstances presented in a vignette.
Click on objects in the graphic to explore more details about the events occurring during the case. Throughout the case you will also see what documents were used to record details of the events. Several of the events along the timeline contain links to the vignette documents. Additional resources can be accessed by clicking on the "resources" link above the top right corner of the graphic.
How similar or different are case notes from investigation narratives? Do case plans have any relationship to court reports? The goal of this interactive graphic is to consider the relationship between case notes, investigation narratives, case plans and court reports by reviewing how they are similar and different from one another.
Click on the icons in the interactive graphic to compare the four documents to each other. The text found in the graphic can be downloaded in doc format by clicking on the "resources" link at the top right side of the graphic.
An approximately two minute interactive video clip asking a learner to watch an investigative interview, interspersed with still images of the case notes written, and culminating with a knowledge check. The interview shows the social worker and child in a school setting, following report of potential abuse by staff from the child's school. Learners are asked to take notes and compare those with the case notes written by the social worker, shown at two points in the video. A multiple choice knowledge check, with feedback for correct and incorrect responses, concludes the video.
An investigation narrative is written whenever a public child welfare agency is alerted to a situation requiring further attention. The narrative tells the story of what actions occurred as a social worker interacted with a family or child on their path to gather evidence surrounding a reported incident.
This interactive activity provides a learner with an example of an Investigation Narrative taken from a vignette. Buttons on the left side of the document highlight sections of the narrative template, identifying what information is typically included in that section and showing an excerpt taken from the vignette. The goal for the learner utilizing this resource is to identify the structure of an investigation narrative and be able to explain the purpose or function of the highlighted sections / headings.
A child welfare social worker conducts interviews on location with children and families. Notes recorded in the field must become formal case notes, serving as formal records of a child or family's interaction with an agency.
Using this interactive graphic allows a novice learner to compare informal and formal case notes, and consider the editing decisions made by a social worker when formalizing his/her case notes.
Hover over a section and it becomes highlighted. Click on any highlighted section to see the social workers thoughts about why she wrote interview notes or the final case notes in the given manner. What differences do you see between the sections?
This is an introductory level module for undergraduate or beginning graduate level social work students, or for public child welfare staff. Basic information about the brain and the impact of traumatic experiences are covered.
The outcome for this introductory module is to understand the basic neurobiological impact of trauma, while respecting the rapid evolution of knowledge regarding this phenomena. The module teaches to the following learning objectives:
1. Know function of key brain parts
2. Recognize key neurotransmitter names
3. Understand that the brain develops into early adulthood
4. Describe impact of early trauma on the brain & how this may impact behavior
5. Define brain plasticity & its relationship to healing
6. To help with terminology, it is recommended that students have a printout of the summary sheet.
The module consists of slides introducing the content, 9 self-assessment quiz questions with feedback for incorrect responses, and a list of references and resources for further study. The module can be used as a self-study professional development resource or to supplement an in-person course.
Four types of documents are often written within the cycle of working with a family as a Child Welfare social worker in California: case notes, investigation narratives, case plans and court reports. While the order in which the documents are written may not always be linear, case notes and investigation narratives are often written before case plans, and these three documents are often used to compose a court report.
Explore the types of documents by clicking through this interactive graphic. It provides key information about each document type including:
* a definition of the document and its purpose
* what role the document plays in a family's interaction with the child welfare system
* how the document is structured
* what writing skills lead to drafting an effective document
Examples of each of the four documents are provided as well. Using the "resources" link in the upper right corner, the example documents and full text descriptions provided in the interactive graphic can be downloaded in pdf or doc formats.
In this interactive document a learner can read the case notes taken during an investigative interview. The interview can be viewed at . Reading through the document, the objective is that the learner listen to audio explanations of the social worker, considering why decisions were made to include, and to exclude, specific information. Hovering over a section of the document will darken that section of the text. Click on that section to hear what decisions the social worker made in an effort to clearly separate fact and evidence from assessment and opinion while writing her case notes.
This is an introductory to intermediate level module for undergraduate or graduate level social work students, or for public child welfare staff. It presents basic information about responses to trauma, along with a trauma-spotting practice tool. SSHARED can help identify trauma survivors and offers some best-practice strategies for planning interventions.
The learning objectives for the module are:
1. Be able to identify key signs (symptoms) of trauma
2. Be able to describe alternative contextual “meanings “ of such signs, most notably developmental stage & culture
3. Be able to describe the associated “lesson, result and help” for such symptoms, using the SSHARED handout
4. Gain an empathic understanding of the impact of trauma in the PCW context
5. Be able to apply SSHARED to a case example
The module consists of slides introducing the content, 9 self-assessment quiz questions with feedback for incorrect responses, and a list of references and resources for further study. A handout outlining the SSHARED assessment tool is provided as a downloadable attachment. The module can be used as a self-study professional development resource or to supplement an in-person course.
This is an intermediate level module for undergraduate or graduate level social work students, or for public child welfare staff with some exposure to Trauma Informed Practice. It presents information about trauma related vocabulary, the Mental Health System, advocacy and DSM V trauma related diagnoses.
Learning objects addressed in this module are:
1. Describe the importance of MH Intervention for trauma survivors
2. Identify MH vocabulary regarding trauma and referrals
3. Describe MH service options
4. Describe the basic DSM V Trauma/Stressor Diagnostic Labels
5. Apply a basic MH risk assessment
6. Complete a best practice case-based MH advocacy, referral, and follow-up plan
The module consists of slides introducing the content, 9 self-assessment quiz questions with feedback for incorrect responses, and a list of references and resources for further study. To support learning of new terminology, a summary sheet of vocabulary common to mental health services is provided as a downloadable attachment. The module can be used as a self-study professional development resource or to supplement an in-person course.
This tool comprised of issue briefs, video interviews, and resource lists tells a story of implementation of trauma informed services and offers guidance and resources to help you on your implementation journey.
The video interviews are of national, state, tribal, and local leaders in many child-serving systems; developers of evidence-based treatments and practices; physicians; researchers; administrators of provider organizations; clinicians; youth and young adults; families; and advocates who share lessons learned and identify remaining gaps.
The interactive video quiz follows a contact visit vignette. Crystal Smith has been living in a group home following physical abuse at home. In the video, a social worker conducts an ongoing interview with Crystal, located at the group home. Pauses throughout the video provide the learner with opportunities to practice editing case note examples to be more concise. The learner is also asked to watch a brief segment of the video and record a case note detailing the segment in a concise manner. The total video run time is approximately 2 minutes and automated feedback is provided for all self-assessment questions.
Case notes are records of interactions children, families, and persons relevant to a given case or incident attended to by a social worker. Good case notes employ strategic, insightful inquiry and an understanding of larger case processes. When well written, case notes provide accurate, objective descriptions grounded in fact and evidence. They leverage a social worker's assessments and opinions thoughtfully, but never include an undue amount of either.
This interactive video is interspersed with questions probing the viewer's understanding of fact and evidence and how to detect unnecessary use of assessment or opinion in case notes. It contextualizes the skills being taught in a realistic scenario, an investigative interview where a social worker is trying to assess whether a claim of physical abuse can be substantiated, and aims to enable learners to differentiate and identify correct / incorrect uses of fact & evidence , assessment & opinion.
*This resource is a remix of "Investigative Interview - Craig Price" , provided by The Academy for Professional Excellence.