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Report Writing for Social Workers

Report Writing for Social Workers

May 2013 | 128 pages | Learning Matters
Many students and qualified workers in all areas of social work feel apprehension at the prospect of writing a formal report for a court or tribunal. Writing may be a fundamental skill, but it is one that students and practitioners cannot afford to take for granted. Recent reviews (Baby P, Serious Case Review processes) highlighted the need for clear reports, recording and written communication between professionals. This practical and accessible textbook presents the report writing process in a clear and straightforward way. From methods of collecting and presenting evidence, to drawing conclusions and writing up a final report.

General Considerations
Getting Started
Planning and Timetabling
Checking and proofreading
And Afterwards?

This is a useful and largely accessible text that I hope will be helpful to our students. It is helpful to have a book specifically addressing this essential skill as it is a common complaint of empoyers that students learn to write essays but not reports.

Mr Andrew Thomas
Social Work , Havering College of FE & HE
September 24, 2014

This book follows the valuable tenets of the learning matters series: A clear, accessible overview of report writing. Thought-provoking case examples illustrate the complexities and challenges of report writing in social work, offering qualifying students valuable insights within which to contextualise development of their report writing skills.

Dr Niamh Flanagan
Social Science , University College Dublin
November 25, 2013

This is a good read for all social workers. The text is very practical and provides the reader with the confidence to follow suggestions made in the book. A must read for all social workers, particularly if in practice, or teaching students social workers in practice.

Miss Catherine Schumann
Department of Applied Social sceinces, London Metropolitan Uni (North Campus)
November 21, 2013

A useful resource for social work students, many of whom find writing reports a major challenge

Dr John Crossland
Sch: Health Sciences & Social Work, Portsmouth University
September 18, 2013

Used a supplementary reading to a course we run based on report writing. Good case studies with clear information.

Mr Derek Barron
Education , Social Services Department
September 18, 2013

This book deals competently and clearly the essentials of report writing at a basic level for beginning undergraduate students. At the present time many students struggle with writing skills (!), and the book is useful to recommend further along the education continuum also in particular cases.

Professor Brian Taylor
Social Work , University of Ulster
March 26, 2013

I have delivered a annual course in report writing to various government agencies for almost ten years, and so I looked forward to reading this work. It did not disappoint. The structure and content of this book make it eminently 'useable' and useful.

Although it is still early in the course, I have already used this book extensively with my honours students, including exercises in probation report writing, and theory to practice reflection reports. It has been very well received by my students, a number of whom have already purchased this book for themselves. I highly recommend this work and I look forward to using it for the rest of the honours course.

Mr Neil Van Dokkum
Dept of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
January 31, 2013

When I is the title of this book I was excited as I thought it would be very relevant to my role as a practice educator supporting social workers in training on PLO1 & 2 at both undergraduate and Masters levels.
However the book for me falls short, both in what it includes and the level of detail. For example in defining "report" -- what to include -- I would have hoped for sections on writing case files, the importance of chronologies etc.
In the section on notetaking there are only three points made and I find social workers in training need far more than this. For example it could have included different styles of notetaking such as using spider diagrams; the use of abbreviations; using a timeline with service users which shares the power of recording as it is done together.
I would have hoped for a section on how focusing on a form in report writing can be a barrier to communication.

The section on "what to leave out "on page 69 really disappoints. It gives the example of a sentence "Mr M had a difficult childhood". It does not highlight that "difficult" can mean different things to different people and the importance of not using such value judgement words in reports and records but rather replacing them with descriptors. In this section it would have been helpful to include examples of unnecessary details that often we see written in reports.
As a result I have just ordered an inspection copy of the Karen Healy book on writing skills for social workers and I'm hoping for more from this.

Ms Fleur Duke
Social Work , Hull University
January 30, 2013

Currently one of the skills social workers need to develop hi lighted by the reform board agenda. It is useful top use individually and in group sessions.

Ms Merle Fletcher
Health, Community & Social Care, Bradford College
January 28, 2013

Clear and concise. Useful pointers for the basics of report writing often overlooked by practitioners.

Perhaps could have had section on requirements of court rules governing reporting.

Jason Tucker
Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University
January 7, 2013

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