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Social work recording

This resource aims to support social workers and other social care staff to improve recording skills – how you write down what you have seen and done, your analysis of that, and what you plan to do as a result.

It is based on the concept of PARTNERSHIP – that recording should be done, as much as possible, in conjunction with the person you are working with.

The resource sets out 11 top tips to consider when recording, whether that be daily case notes, or more formal reports or assessments. You can practice your recording skills with our scenarios.

Not a social worker? We have a separate guide about social care recording.

The importance of recording

Recording is an integral and important part of social work and social care. It is not simply an administrative burden to go through as quickly as possible, but is central to good, person-centred support. Recording is vital:

  • It supports good care and support
  • It is a legal requirement and part of staff’s professional duty
  • It promotes continuity of care and communication with other agencies
  • It is a tool to help identify themes and challenges in a person’s life
  • It is key to accountability – to people who use services, to managers, to inspections and audits
  • It is evidence – for court, complaints and investigations

It will enhance your practice and the support you can offer people if you can make good recording a central part of your work.

Perspectives of the importance of social care recording

These three short films illustrate the actual harm that can occur if recording is done poorly. They show that recording is part of making sure people’s wellbeing is promoted, not an administrative add-on to the main business of social work.

Service user’s perspective – the importance of care recording

Carer’s perspective – the importance of care recording

Professionals’ perspective – the importance of care recording

Top tips

Social care recording is a tangible product of any social care intervention and it is vital to get it right. We usually know what to do but this is often difficult, given the many constraints and requirements placed on social workers in their practice.

This resource shows 11 top tips for good social care recording and uses the acronym PARTNERSHIP as a checklist and to emphasise that the record should be co-produced between you and the person to whom it relates.

Keep up to date

We hope this resource has been helpful. Some aspects of recording are complex, and it is important that they are fully understood. SCIE offers bespoke training to make sure that you and your organisation are aware of good practice and legal duties in this area. If you would like to talk to our team about how we can help, please complete our enquiry form.