By Judith Milner, Patrick O’Byrne (auth.), Jo Campling (eds.)
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Extra resources for Assessment in Social Work
Sinclair et al. (1995) describe assessment as a preparation for decision making, and this provides a useful way of looking at assessment activity - how good are the decisions arising from it? The only way to estimate the effectiveness, or otherwise, of assessment activity is to assess its outcomes. Summary • • • • • • • • Traditionally, assessment activity has not been well defined in the social work literature. Where there is an obvious psychological dimension, the balance between internal and external factors needs careful consideration.
Keep this on file, but give copies to the informants where this will be helpful. • Prepare a statement of intent that includes purpose, what one is able to do, limits and how one will be accountable for one 's values . Although this may be given verbally to potential service users, keep a copy on file. • Make a note of early (tentative) explanations. 2 Data collection • Prepare a contents page for the file, listing the documents and where they can be found. • Store the data display on file, marking it clearly with details of who can have access to it.
We will discuss this process in more detail later, but here we wish to make the point that there is no evidence that assessment is an on-going process that is improved by the involvement of a formal multiagency group. It is largely an important, single event in which the assessing social worker is the key player: Irrespective of whether cases were Referred or not, the district social worker held case responsibility and was therefore the key individual in the progress of the case and the outcomes following the assessment process.