Intro to Case Notes for new social workers

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This module defines what case notes are, what purpose they serve and identifies best practices for writing good quality case notes. It is intended for an audience new to public social work, specifically child welfare, with little or no knowledge of they types of writing tasks required. By the end of the module, learners should be able to define the term "case notes", explain what purpose they serve, and begin to identify examples of well written case notes.

Material Type: Module

Author: Tim Wohltmann

Child Welfare Documentation Cycle withVignette

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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.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Case Study, Diagram/Illustration, Interactive, Simulation

Comparing Four Types of Child Welfare Documentation

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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.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Interactive

Overview of Child Welfare Documentation

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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.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Interactive

Writing good case notes: differentiate Fact & Evidence from Assessment & Opinion

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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.

Material Type: Student Guide

Author: CalSWEC

Writing consice case notes: video self assessment

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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.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Interactive