Auckland is at Alert Level 2 and the rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. Read the guidance, especially regarding masks.

COVID-19: implications for our practice

Page URL:
Printed: 25/09/2020
Printed pages may be out of date. Please check this information is current before using it in your practice.

The Practice Centre is being improved. We're moving content out of this section as we rewrite it.

Summary of key reading

The following provides a brief summary of key literature in the area of good social work recording.

Ames, N. (1999) Social work recording: A new look at an old issue, Journal of Social Work Education, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 227-237

  • The author states that recording is an integral component of social work practice yet few texts on recording exist and recording skills fail to be taught. This article looks at the changing focus of recordkeeping (as becoming increasingly important measures of accountability), technology, style and content.
  • The author is an assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at North Carolina State University in the United States.

Cousins, C. & Toussaint, S. (2004) You wrote what?! … dangers and dilemmas in record keeping, Developing Practice, Winter, pp. 38-45

  • The authors state that note-taking is a crucial and valuable skill that when performed effectively has a variety of purposes. The article looks at purpose and role of recording, what to record, how to record, timing, storage, and confidentiality/privacy.
  • Australian authors – each has worked for a decade in direct and specialist child protection work.

Preston-Shoot, M. (2003) A matter of record?, Practice: Social Work in Action, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 31-50

  • This article reviews literature and research evidence which suggest that recording remains a residual activity in social work practice. The article concludes that social workers know that recording is important, but getting them to recording is dependent on them feeling valued and empowered by management
  • The author is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom

Shepherd, O. (1997) The policy and practice of recording iwi affiliation, Social Work Now, No. 6, pp. 12-16

  • This article describes the Porirua Iwi Affiliation Project, which collected iwi affiliation information on all Māori children and young people who had come to the notice of the Porirua site during the 1995/1996 year. This Project had been prompted by earlier analysis which showed poor recording of iwi affiliation data.
  • The Project identified some barriers to iwi affiliation collection, and recommendations to National Office were for specific training to be provided to all social work staff to enable them to collect iwi affiliation information, and for social work recruitment procedures to incorporate a process for assessing an applicant’s practical ability to work with Māori.

Staniforth, B. & Larkin, R. (2006) Documentation in social work: Remembering our ABCs, Social Work Review, Spring, pp. 13-20

  • The authors state that social work in New Zealand has seen a shift towards increased accountability and professionalism, and one of the ways social workers can demonstrate their competence in practice is through documentation. The article attempts to remind social workers about the basics of sound documentation and looks at why we record, how to record, what to record, and the importance of language.
  • Authors – one is a lecturer in social work at Massey University; the other is a team leader for the Community Social Work Service of the Auckland City Mission.

Taylor, C. (2008) Trafficking in facts: Writing practices in social work, Qualitative Social Work, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 25-42

  • The author states that writing and documentation are vital elements of social work education and practice, and explores some of the differences in the forms and function of different types of social work writing: the report, the case record and the reflective account.
  • The author is a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom.