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Pitfalls for managers and policy makers 3

Recording is not an integral part of performance monitoring

Recording is a core social work skill. It accounts for between 10% and 60% (1) of practitioners' time. The case record is the key source of evidence for the decisions made by the both practitioner and organisation. Case records have become increasingly important measures of accountability and organisational and personal effectiveness (2).

However, in some authorities recording is not identified as a requirement in job descriptions, or part of the induction and staff appraisal process (3). Where this occurs recording may not be viewed as a high priority, and practice is unlikely to be supported by training and regular auditing of records.

Making recording an integral part of the way the agency monitors practice has been found to raise standards (4).

References

1. Edwards R and Reid W (1989) Structured case recording in child welfare: An assessment of social workers' reactions. Social Work 34: 49-52. Kagle J D (1993) Record Keeping for the 1990s. Social Work 38:190 - 196.

2. Kagle J D (1984) Restoring the Clinical Record. Social Work 19: 46-50. Kagle J D (1993) Record Keeping for the 1990s. Social Work 38: 190-196. Ames N (1999) Social Work Recording: A New Look at an Old Issue. Journal of Social Work Education  35: 227-236.

3. Social Services Inspectorate (1999) Recording With Care. Inspection of Case Recording in Social Services Departments. Department of Health, London.

4. Social Services Inspectorate (1999) Recording With Care. Inspection of Case Recording in Social Services Departments. Department of Health, London.

 
 
 
By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
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