Dyke, C (2016): Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work; Critical Publishing Ltd

Write for it to be read, not for it to be written: a guide to writing helpful, meaningful reports.

Writing assessments and reports is a core part of a social worker's role. Yet Ofsted, courts and research all identify a lack of analytical rigour in social work reports. Many are overlong, descriptive reports where what is needed is the application of professional judgement, a clear analysis and the ability to pull out causal relationships. Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work is a guide to the principles of good writing and methodically shows you:

  • how to analyse
  • how to structure the process of writing an assessment (researching, chronologising, informed data-gathering, putting it all together), and
  • how to get this done under time constraints.

Written in an accessible way and packed with examples and case studies, this book is both practically-minded and constantly returning to first principles: reminding you what it is you are trying to achieve and teaching you how to write reports that can be read by families and judges alike. You will learn how to write high quality, useful and timely assessments without becoming mechanistic or managerial. It aims to kill the myth of a trade-off between efficiency and quality of work.

Table of contents

1) Introduction. Key Principles

2) Chronologies: the start and heart of a good assessment

3) Genograms and Ecomaps

4) How to get it done: planning your report in the real world

5) How to write

6) How to analyse

7) Summary chapter with bullet-points

Appendix on family court template