Two day training programme: Recording in Social Work
Suggestions for Supervisors And Managers
How often do you really look at files? And what
are you looking for when you do?
As supervisors and managers you have a pivotal role to
play in helping practitioners to improve their recording.
In addition to encouraging them to work through this website
and then complete the various exercises, there are four
additional things you can do:
- Use team meetings as a focus for discussions and debate
by asking practitioners to complete some of the web pages
before you get together. You and they could use some of
the audit sheets (see resources)
to examine and evaluate each other's recording. Examples
of 'live' recording, so to speak, add a degree of relevance
to the materials that a training programme would find
hard to match.
- Look carefully next time you read files for the kinds
of difficulties and problems identified in the various
sections of the website (especially pitfalls
and recording skills)
and then, perhaps using supervision or reviewing processes,
you might suggest a specific set of web pages for the
practitioner to visit.
- Because reading records can give you and practitioners
unique insights into what practitioners are doing as well
as gain a picture of how they are approaching certain
tasks, looking at files can help you both to identify
gaps in knowledge and practice.
- Try to facilitate and encourage a more 'research-minded'
and evidence-based approach to practice (see Shemmings
and Shemmings, 20011). Is
it your practice to ask the questions like . . . 'On what
evidence do you base your plan/recommendation/assessment
In addition, two courses are available, which we have designed
to be as flexible as possible. The first is a two-day
programme designed for people who write records in files
kept on children and families. Participants may well include
foster carers and specialist family aides as well as practitioners
in fieldwork, residential and daytime settings. The second
programme is designed as a one day course aimed specifically
at foster carers.
Whatever setting participants work in, it is important
that you reinforce the way in which the Assessment Framework
is central to all assessments of children. You might need
to emphasise, for example, that whilst a foster carer is
not the child's parent, nevertheless a fuller understanding
of the way in which the Parenting Capacity domain relates
to the assessment of a child's needs within the wider context
is as important to them as it is to any other child care
Similarly, the implementation of the Integrated Children's
System will minimise the unnecessary duplication of forms
and procedures as well as rationalise and streamline the
various parts of the child care system. You will need to
update staff regularly about the progress of these developments
(to do this use the Department of Health website at http://www.doh.gov.uk).
Shemmings, D and Shemmings, Y (2001)
'Supporting evidence-based practice and 'research-mindedness':
The role of managers and supervisors' in Social Care Management:
A Reader for Course K303, Open University Press.