Social work documentation a guide to strengthening your case recording (Nancy L. Sidell)




“Despite so much time spent documenting, social workers often have a negative response to documentation―it is the bane of many professionals’ existence. To many social workers, documentation means responding to unnecessary bureaucratic demands and tending to tedious and boring details instead of spending time on their true passion: working with clients. Overworked social workers do not appreciate the requirement for case recording and often delay the task. The phrase “if it’s not documented, it’s not done” is commonly used to encourage better documentation habits, but the particulars of how to do so are less well noted. Designed to help practitioners build writing skills in a variety of settings, Social Work Documentation is a how-to guide for social work students and practitioners interested in improving their record keeping and documentation skills. This wildly popular, must-have resource provides practical advice on current practice issues such as electronic case recording, trauma-informed documentation, and assessing and documenting client cultural differences of relevance. The third edition has been updated to view documentation through person-first language, and includes a new chapter on bias-free language selection, with examples and exercises to ensure appropriate wording choices are used related to age, disability, immigration and socioeconomic status, and gender and sexual orientation. Over 120 exercises throughout the book build skills through application and practice. Designed to elicit written answers, the exercises can be completed individually or with a colleague, supervisor, or fellow student. Peer learners can work through the exercises and provide one another with helpful feedback. A supervisor can provide specific and constructive feedback to promote more polished and professional recording abilities. In all cases, the skills learned will greatly enhance a social worker’s professionalism and ultimately result in better service to clients. “