The Social Work Chronology

08 Jul

Prior to coming to the UK I don’t remember there being such an emphasis on completing chronologies. However, since coming here I have learned the value of them. There has been, and continues to be debate as to what information actually goes into a chronology.

As I stated in my previous post, I think the first entry should be the day the Social Worker was allocated the case. This shows from which point you assumed case responsibility. The other things I feel should be a part of a chronology are:
– Dates of allocations to Social Workers
– Reason for current involvement
– Any police/medical/education reports held
– any significant health changes/hospitalizations etc.;
– any changes in education such as expulsions/exclusions, transfers, suspensions, important meetings like education plan reviews or behavioural meetings;
– changes in legal status such as a child going into care, termination of parental rights, court decisions, child being released for adoption, etc.;
– for children who are in care this should list any placements and placement changes or any other statutory meetings that take place with professionals;
– any case conferences, case coordination meetings, professionals meetings, reviews, strategy meetings, legal planning meetings, hearings etc.;
– history of social service involvement and the outcomes;
– significant events or changes to the family circumstances (i.e. – evictions, moving, births, abortions, new family contact, new partners, etc.);
– professional interventions;
– evidence of discussions with children/young people;
– proof that chronologies are being used in decision making
– evidence of discussions with parents

Personally I believe the format of a chronology should be quite simple with two basic columns, date and what happened. I don’t think there should be excessive detail in a chronology as there would usually be documents or paperwork linked to a particular substantial event which would outline exactly what happened. I think chronologies should be accounts of significant events in the life of the case and the life of the client.

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Social Work Practice


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