About Write Enough
Write Enough is an interactive training pack commissioned
by the Children's Services Division, Department of Health
(now Department of Education and Skills), to support good
practice in recording.
It is suitable for all practitioners working in children's
services who are required to keep records.
Write Enough is available in two ways: through the Internet
as a web site and as a CD ROM. The CD ROM version contains
a series of video clips and additional exercises, which
for technical reasons are not available through the web.
To order a copy of Write Enough on CD, click
here for our printable order form and details of how
to order by phone.
It is intended that Write Enough will be updated at intervals
to take account of changes in legislation, policy and planning.
We would therefore welcome comments and suggestions about
the individual exercises and the pack as a whole. For practitioners
using Write Enough through the Internet we have provided
a facility for feedback.
The majority of training in children's social services
is provided through training courses involving small group
activities. This is because much of the work we undertake
involves us in interactions with others, talking with children
and young people and their families, meetings with other
professionals, discussions with colleagues. However, writing
up the outcome of these interactions is almost always an
individual activity. Therefore, although it can be supportive
to undertake some of the exercises with a colleague, Write Enough has been designed to enable practitioners to work
on their recording on their own.
Although there are some areas where there is clearly a
'right' or 'wrong' answer, such as, what information can
be restricted if a family member asks to see the file, recording
is not an exact science. It requires reflection and analysis
based on what we know from research, inspections and practice.
For this reason many of the exercises in Write Enough provide
practitioners with an opportunity to give a response to
an issue or to record a situation or event, which can then
be compared with a version we have provided. Where there
are differences practitioners are encouraged to reflect
on these and consider why these have occurred. However,
we certainly are not claiming that our examples are perfect!
A key aim of Write Enough is to get people thinking
about recording and the examples are intended to facilitate
Write Enough contains a number of sets of activities. These
are listed in the column on the left-hand side of the page.
Records and recording: Provides
a number of exercises looking at what actually constitutes
the record in children's social services and what the record
should contain for children and young people who have different
levels and types of need.
Recording skills: Contains
exercises that provide an opportunity for practitioners
to test their knowledge of the legal framework for recording
in children's social services and to practice their recording
Pitfalls in recording: Drawing
on research and information from inspections this section
identifies some of the common pitfalls in recording for
practitioners and managers. It provides some suggestions
for how each pitfall can be avoided and provides some tools
to enable practitioners to audit their recording.
Recording in residential
care: Focuses on recording within the context of residential
care. In addition to a series of exercises, this section
also contains examples of recording formats and a suggested
structure for recording in residential care.
This section contains provides trainers with materials for
a training course for foster carers on recording and an
outline for how a training course for practitioners building
on the material in Write Enough.
Resources: This section contains
copies of audits sheets and recording formats.
Using Write Enough
Write Enough has been designed to be used flexibly. It
does not have to be completed in a certain order or within
a particular period of time. It can be used by individual
practitioners, teams or agencies. The training materials
section contains an outline of how Write Enough can be used
as part of a two-day training course.
When practitioners are using Write Enough on an individual
basis it is important that they work through the materials
systematically. One approach would be to start with the
Pitfalls section, using the audit sheets to review current
practice. Practitioners then complete the exercises. Three
months after completing all the exercises practitioners
again audit their recording using the audit sheets.
What if I have never used the web before?
If you are using the web-based version of Write Enough
you will need to be familiar with the very basics of web-browsing.