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Case Summary

A case summary provides a summary of events, changes and work undertaken by key professionals over a period of time.

Using a Case Summary

Case summaries support effective practice in a number of ways. They can:

  • support work with families

Completing or sharing a summary with a family offers an opportunity to reflect on progress over the period covered by the summary and to discuss achievements as well as any difficulties or stresses being experienced.

  • offer an opportunity to involve families in recording

Completing or sharing the summary with family members can provide an opportunity for family members to record their views or to have their views recorded.

  • support the implementation of the plan for the child or young person

The summary should be directly related to the aims and objectives for the child or young person as stated in the child's plan. The summary can be a useful tool to set out the tasks necessary to achieve the objectives.

  • Monitor progress

The summary should include details of interventions and the practitioner's and family's view of their effectiveness. Summaries can be used to support supervision.

  • Assist team working

Case summaries can help to ensure continuity and are an important source of information for colleagues and supervisors in the absence of the case holder.

  • Aid analysis

Writing a case summary provides practitioners with an opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of interventions and to review progress towards agreed goals.

Case summaries should be completed at regular intervals, at least every three months and when cases are closed or transferred.

Case summaries should be related to the overall objectives for intervention with the child or young person and their family and should include:

  • what contact the practitioner has had with the family, including when the child or young person was seen;
  • information from other key individuals and agencies on their involvement with the family during the period covered by the summary;
  • any resources provided to the family, including the practitioner's time, how these resources where used by the family and their outcome;
  • the practitioner's analysis of progress towards the specified objectives and whether these should be modified in any way;
  • the young person's and families views of progress.

Example case summary fieldwork (Microsoft Word format)

Click here for further information on using case summaries in residential care

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By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
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