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Social Work Documentation and Technology

The Columbia Guide to Social Work Writing by Green & Simon (2012)

Rhondda Waddell

on 30 June 2017

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Transcript of Social Work Documentation and Technology

Social Work Documentation and Technology
Dr. Rhondda Waddell
Saint Leo University

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 9-10
Chapter 11, 12

Chapter 14, 15
Week 12:
Social Work

Week 13:
Social Work
Final Exam Review

Week 14
Edited by: Warren Green and Barbara Levy Simon

SWK 3XX: Social Work documentation and Technology
Saint Leo University: Rhondda Waddell, PhD, LCSW

Chapter 1: The Columbia Guide to Social Work Writing

The Purpose and Mission of Social Work

Answer: Practice writing focuses on the interrelationships among theory, technique,
context, and interpersonal connections with a client or community members.

Highlights the Complexity of Effective Practice

Question: What does the writing of social work practitioners focus on?

Writing As Professional Practitioners

Answer: Social workers during and since the Progressive era have embraced the interdependent triad of direct practice, systematic advocacy, and social and behavioral scientific inquiry as the three-sided foundation of the profession.

New Perspective Follows the Progressive Era…..

Question: What makes up the three-sided foundation of the profession of social work?

Social work as a civic profession?

Answer: First, “What do I think is most important to say?”, Second, Who will be my primary reader(s)
of this document?”, third, “ What will my reader(s) most likely care about in this written communication?”

Questions to consider…..

Question: What are three pivotal questions a social worker should ask before finishing any kind of social work writing?

Ask Three Pivotal Questions?

Answer: An effective social worker learns an organization’s vernacular and employs it in writing, while constantly noting and incorporating
the national and sometimes international linguistic requirements of regulatory and accrediting bodies, auditors, and auspices.

Social workers have flexibility in writing:

Question: How does a social worker determine which vocabulary, syntax, and format to use in writing, given the triple dimension
(micro, mezzo, and macro levels) of practices involved in the overall profession?

Chapter 1: The Foundations of Good Writing

Answer: Writing by social workers who contribute to the evidence bases upon which practitioners, advocates, and other researchers rely is,
most of the time, shaped in accordance with two major scholarly traditions: that of the social and behavioral sciences and that of the humanities.

Social Work Evidenced-based Practice

Answer: Social work has as part of its core mission the importance of economic and social injustices in local and global societies.

Advocacy writing in social work is often characterized by a sense of urgency. Authors of articles, blogs, or op-ed essays ordinarily
make demands of officers and bodies with authority to make changes in policy, procedures, and resource distribution.

Question: How do some social workers add to the professions foundation as scholars, researchers, and authors?

Writing As Social and Behavioral Scientists
and Humanists

Question: Why do social workers write about ways to improve the human condition, and how do they do this typically?

Writing As Social Work Advocates

Active Learning Exercise:

1. Write Your Own Personal Mission Statement and Values.

2. Write Your Obituary Tell What It Would Say About You?
Who is this man?
Mid-Term Exam
Final Exam
Spring Hill

In Groups Discuss These Technology Questions:
1. Has there been a computer-driven revolution in the American workplace?
2. What repects has computers had on social workers?
3. Explain to what extent computerizing necessarily "clericalize" social work?
4. What are the pros and cons of the use of computers for social workers today?

Syllabus Review
Chapter 1 Review
Active Learning: Writing Exercise
APA Quiz
Group Technology Discussion
Reading Review
1. Learning Objectives:
SLU Core Values: Community & Integrity
2. Learn how Computers Revolutionized the Work Place
3. Understand the importance of communications as related to social work practice
1. Green & Simon: Chapters 1: The Foundations for
Good Writing.

2. Giffords, E. (2009): The internet and social work: The Next generation.

Week 7
Week 1
Week 2
Week 4:
Week 5:
Week 6:
Week 8:
Week 9:
Week 10:
Week 11:
Week 12:
Week 13:
Final Exam Review
Happy Thanksgiving Break
Week 14:
Prezi Chapter 2 Writing Strategies for Academic Papers
Discuss Readings
Active Learning Exercises

Learning Objectives:
1. SLU Core Values: Respect and Integrity
2. Plagiarism Discussion
3. Learn Steps in Writing Process

1. Formulate your idea, subject, or issue
2. Begin the exploratory research-searching through the databases
3. Narrow or expand your topic as needed—your search criteria
4. Focus in, read abstracts, make choices as to readings
5. Skim through articles, choosing and eliminating
6. Summarize what the chosen authors have stated
7. Decide what to include and from which articles—
constructing piece by piece
8. Write the first (free writing) draft(s)—editing for content
9. Write the second (draft(s) –editing for organization and development
10. Write the third draft(s)—editing for language issues and APA style

Helpful Checklist for Writing Research

What can free writing help the writer overcome?

Free Writing Prescribed?

1. Reread the abstract, note the length of the article, and scan through all the headings, subheadings, graphs, tables, and pictures. Doing so will provide you with a needed preview.
2. Read the introduction. Of critical importance is to identify the author’s purpose or intent, and thesis.
3. Skip to the end and read the conclusion: It should elucidate what you noted in the introduction and inform further on the issues involved.
4. Return and read the first and last paragraphs of the section immediately following the introduction, usually the methods section, though there may be a literature review proceeding it. The essential elements of the methods section will usually be found in these two paragraphs. Then read the middle paragraph.
5. Follow this same pattern with the results and conclusion sections: Read the first and last paragraphs of each section, followed by the middle paragraphs.

The Simple 5 Steps to Writing Good Papers

What is free writing?

Thinking and Writing

Answer: Editing your paper in descending order of importance: Content, Organization, Development, and Form (APA style, grammar, and punctuation).

See page 37 of text for some questions to ask yourself about each of these steps.

Editing Elements In Order

What are the important elements to keep in mind when editing your paper?

Editing Your Paper?

Answer: In the introduction comes the statement about what you are writing about
clearly, along with the purpose and thesis about why this is important.
It is best to write the introduction after you’ve covered all the questions, and maybe even the conclusion. Starting with the intro may slow you down until you know exactly what’s the paper’s about.

The Introduction Comes Last

Answer: Free writing can help you begin the writing without regard for form. If you are blocked, then your thinking is blocked, so free writing can be used to engage with yourself in a dialogue that stimulates your thinking.

A Note About Writer’s Block

Answer: The literature review is an up-to-date report on the work that scholars have conducted on
a subject. The purpose in writing the review is to both convey and critique the published knowledge and thinking about the subject of interest. See page 33 in text for tips for gathering articles and critical assessment.

Review of the literature provides…..

Pauk and Owens (2010) method for academic writing consists of what five steps?

Producing an Academic Paper

Answer: Free writing consists of committing to writing continuously for a prescribed period of time without regard to grammar, punctuation, or any kind of evaluation.

Why focus On Free Writing?

Free writing can be stifled by word processing with it’s focus on grammar, punctuation, and evaluation. When we stop too soon to edit we loose flow.

Elbow (1998) first articulated the approach…..

What’s most important in social work writing is knowing what’s important—and
stating that clearly in your paper. Where does this information go in the paper and when should you work on it?

How to speed up the process?

What is the literature review?

Writing the Literature Review

Chapter 2
Green & Simon (2012)

Chapter 2: Writing Strategies for Academic Papers

Active Learning Exercises: Discuss Reading: Pew Internet and American Life (2010). How the internet and
mobile phones impact Americans’ social networks.

1) Learn why it is important to write for publication
2) Learn how to write for publication
3) Learn about the three phases of writing for publication

Prezi Chapter 3: Writing for Publication
Active Learning Exercises & Technology Exploration
SLU Core Values:
Community & Integrity

What are the central features of the post-writing phase?

Post-Writing Phase

Answer: Attention needs to be paid toward a positive writing environment, structuring critical components
of the manuscript, determining whether and how to incorporate visual aids, and refining and polishing the manuscript.

Structural components include: Introductory and background considerations, describe key features of the pertinent programs or interventions, explicate the researcher methodologies employed, present the results of the research, discuss implications and findings, and summarize the manuscript’s overall findings and conclusions.

The Tasks of the Writing Phase

What are the tasks of the writing phase?


What are the tasks of the pre-writing phase?

Pre-Writing Phase

What are two compelling reasons for social workers to write for publication?

Why Write?

Answer: The pre-writing phase, the writing phase, and the post-writing phase.

And the three phases are…….

What are the three phases of the writing process in professional writing?

Three Discrete Phases of Writing Include?

Answer: For personal enjoyment and to advance the knowledge base for the social work profession
When both of these motivating forces converge the likelihood is that the writing conditions will be at their best.

Two optimum reasons are……..

Green and Simon (2012)

Chapter 3: Writing For Publication In Social Work Journals
Answer: The post-writing phase include responding to reviewer’s critiques, monitoring post-publication reactions, and preparing for subsequent manuscripts.

The Tasks of the Post-Writing Phase

Answer: Selecting the topic, delineating and refining the goals of the manuscript, choosing the preferred venue for publication, identifying the most appropriate journal for the manuscript, reviewing relevant background literature, collecting and organizing pertinent information or data, and envisioning the final draft.

The Tasks of Pre- Writing Include…..

Active Learning Exercise:
Reading: Reardon, C (2009).: Tech savvy social work: Meeting the Digital Demand.

In groups answer these questions: What kind of printed documents could be used to publicize a social service agency's programs? What kind of information would be included in such documents? What information would you emphasize the most?

In your group using publisher, design a flyer that would be circulated and posted throughout a large agency to publicize an orientation meeting in which staff would learn about a planned computerization of the agency's operations.

Written Reflection On Practice
Writing In Social Work
Writing In Social Work
Week 15
Prezi Chapter 4: Writing in Research
Active Learning: Practice Writing Process Using Outlines for Research Writing & Explore NASW Media Tool
SLU Core Values: Community and Respect
Learning Objective:
1) Define Research Writing
2) Discuss the purpose and style of 3 types of research writing
3) Learn uniform and rigorous standards for reporting research
10 Steps for Writing
A Research Paper

Mixed-methods research combines quantitative and qualitative methods and, when possible,
compensates for their respective disadvantages in the same study.
5 purposes for mixing methods: (page 77 in your text)

1. Triangulation, or convergence on the same phenomenon to improve validity;
2. Complementarity, which aims to get at related but different facets of a phenomenon;
3. Development, or the use of results from one phase of a study to develop another phase;
4. Initiation, or the intentional analysis of inconsistent qualitative and quantitative findings to derive new insights; and
5. Expansion, or using multiple components to extend the scope of a study.

The Combo Effect of Research Methods

Provide a working definition for research.

Define Research?

Green & Simon (2012)

Chapter 4: Inscribing Knowledge:
Writing Research In Social Work

Uniform and rigorous standards for reporting research:
1. Clarity in writing, interpretation, and organization;
2. theoretical development and insight;
3. empirical rigor and focus, as defined by a particular methodological tradition; 4. innovation
and creativity in research questions, theoretical argument and development, and/or research methodology and analysis design.

* The clearer this focus is, the more purposeful, engaging, and influential the writing of social work research will be.

Good Writing Research Standards

What is Mix-Methods Research?

What happens when you combine research methods?

Guba and Lincoln (2005) compare 5 major philosophical paradigms for social science inquiry:
positivism, post-positivism, critical theory, constructivism, and participatory.

Quantitative = Positivist View/post-positivist in social science, uses numbers & produces value-free knowledge producing for the research goals.

Qualitative = Roots in Critical theory and postmodern thought, uses words to discover new insights and to develop novel understandings of social phenomenon.

Quantitative VS Qualitative

The first type of research reporting involves straightforward factual reporting.
The second type requires the skillful us of evidence to synthesize relevant facets of an issue.
The third approach, argumentation, the researcher poses an open-ended question that lacks a
ready answer, then uses evidence to convince the readers of a particular stance on a debatable topic.
Three main types of research methods: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed-methods Research.

3 Prominent Types of Research Reporting

What are the three types of research reporting?

Describe different types of research reporting?

Answer: “ A detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding.

The purpose of writing research is to convey knowledge by situating it in a broader context and, in the case of social work, by linking this knowledge to practice, policy, and professional education in an effort to improve the quality of human life.

Cambridge dictionary definition of research….

What are the uniform standards for reporting research according to Roscigno & Hodson?

Roscigno & Hodson (2007) Standards:

What are the two distinct approaches to social science inquiry?

The Paradigm Debate

Active Learning Exercises:

In groups explore:
NASW (2008). Media Tool Kit. National Association of Social Workers. Share what you have learned from this tool kit in class.

*Practice Using Outlines
in class go to the Hunter College Reading/Writing
Center (see handout) and write an outline for a research
topic of your choice.

Active Learning Exercise:
Discuss Reading: Choose and read an article of interest from Tech Soup’s Learning Center be prepared to share in class what you learned.

Practice writing Process
Recording in Narrative Model in class using handout from the professor in assigned groups.

Explore Social Work Software
Prezi Chapter 5: Writing in Field Education

Active Learning Exercise:
Practice Process Recording: Narrative Model & Explore Microsoft Windows Sharepoint case management software

SLU Core Values: Respect & Dignity
Learning Objectives:
1) Explore Field Education Writing Techniques

2) Practice writing process recording and case documentation

3) Discuss both reporting and reflective writing in fieldwork
What is the purpose of the reflective journal?

The Reflective Journal

Green & Simon (2012)

Chapter 5 Student Writing In Field Education

Students must be careful not to self-disclose with a client except only when it is necessary in the service to the client, so it is best to disclose in fieldwork writing only when it is in service to their learning as well.

Student must know the ground rules to writing documentation in the agency they are doing their fieldwork. Memos, letter, and e-mails that are fieldwork related are professional documents and the degree of formality is dictated by the culture of the organization and in accordance with the NASW Codes of Ethics.

Student’s must not use an agency’s email for personal correspondence or anything else not related to business.

Confidentiality must be maintained both in the field placement and on social media sites, or risk violating client confidentiality or their own professional reputation.

Be aware of the following issues…

What questions and precautions should a student be aware when writing in fieldwork settings?

Caution here…..

Answer: The reflective journal provides another format for teaching/learning in the field through writing .
This device is most helpful for students in the areas of policy, administration, and community organization. In it’s simplest form, the student makes one entry per week, following this outline (page 92 text):

A. Write a narrative of salient moments, activities, or events during the past week with your colleagues and program assignments.
B. Reflect on the conscious use that you have made of your professional self in the moments, activities, or events you have identified.
C. Comment on parallels that you noticed between your way of working on program tasks, interacting with colleagues, and through supervision.
D. Articulate some implications of these reflections for your field education and practice in the immediate future.

Another format for teaching writing….

Answer: Process recordings are an instrument used in teaching
both basic social work skills and advanced methods of practice.
It is a simple way to track progress and to analyze one’s work and
the best tool for field instructors to use in teaching writing skills.
Process recording allows the student to:

1. Reconstruct the interview.
2. Describe the words they spoke and actions they took.
3. Reflect on the way in which they used themselves in the interview.
4. Assess their practice; and, in some examples.
5. Name the specific skill they were using at the time.

Process Recording Includes….

What is process recording in social work fieldwork?

Trust the Process…..

Answer: Social work students must honor each field agency’s reporting requirements, as well as the respective social work school’s or program’s field writing stipulations. Like the profession of social work itself, field writing requirements shift with the times. Writing may be dictated by agency funding sources, governmental or organization reporting requirements.

More importantly, client’s lives may be negatively affected if fieldwork recording and reporting is inaccurate, verbose, or unclear. This writing may be documented using the clinical methods, policy, administration, organizing, or advanced generalist practice methods of writing.

What to consider first?

What forces shape the forms of student writing in fieldwork?

May The Force Be With You….

Answer: Three parties generally participate in fieldwork writing:
the social work student, the social work supervisor at the fieldwork site,
and the fieldwork adviser from the social work school. Sometimes a fourth
person may involve a task supervisor who may or may not be a social worker.

A Three- or Four- Person Endeavor

Who participates in the Fieldwork Writing?

Participants Include……

Answer: Student fieldwork requires formal reporting and communication in the form of case notes, chart notes, progress notes, other records, letters, memos, and e-mails.

Other student writing is reflective and to stretch a student’s self-awareness, cultural sensitivities, professional vocabulary, and developmental competence with clients, citizens, patients, or other students.

Formal Reporting and Reflective

What are the two basic parts of writing done by students during their fieldwork experience?

Fieldwork Writing

Prezi Chapter 6: Writing for Clinical Practice

Active Learning Exercises:
Discuss Reading:
Stoecker, R. (2000). Cyberspace vs. Face to face: Community Organizing in the new millennium.

Group work: Become familiar with newsletter software & SOAP Note
Group work: Write a newsletter

Journal Entry Due: Case Note Recording

Learning Objectives:
1) Explore Clinical Writing Methods
2) Discuss the Connection of Social Work Theory (P.I.E.) to writing
3) SLU Core Values: Community & Respect
SOAP Note Example
Social Work SOAP
Process Recording
How is hope an important factor is social work clinician’s writing?

Hope for me and I’ll hope for you…

How should social workers use diagnostic and
other identifying labels when working with clients?

Word Power

What is the treatment plan and why use it in social work?

Treatment (Service) Plan

What are case notes and why are they used in social work?

Case Notes

What is the primary theory of social workers and how does it relate to clinical writing?


What do clinical social workers write?

Clinical Writing

Green & Simon (2012)

Chapter 6: Writing For Clinical Practice

(See page 129 of text)
1. Write with the profession’s values and ethic as your foundation.
2. Avoid words and phrases that could depersonalize, dehumanize,
or marginalize people.
3. Infuse your writing with a solid appreciation and description of client strengths.
4. Write in way’s that demonstrate your respect for client’s rights, including the right to confidentiality and self-determination.
5. Explore and adhere to agency and state guidelines pertaining to written communication about clients.
6. Understand your intended audience and purpose, remember that once words are on paper, they may be read by unexpected eyes.

Guiding Principles for Clinical Writing

Answer: As clinicians we are respectful of each individual’s perspective about his/her own past, present , and future and mindful of the ways that our writing (like our verbal communications with clients) might undermine, disrespect, or otherwise fail to tune in to a person’s emotional state and decision-making process.

Hope Matters

Answer: The treatment plan can be conceptualized as either a specific type of case note that provides a detailed description about the work you intend to engage in with your clients to address the issues and achieve objectives and goals that you have jointly identified.

Treatment (Service) Plan

Answer: Case notes provide a historical record of the therapeutic relationship and the work that clinicians themselves refer to as a means of evaluating and, if necessary, modifying the treatment process.

Case Notes: Historical Records

Answer: Social work’s professional person-in-environment (P.I.E.) (i.e., ecological) perspective—which has at its core the belief that the problems of individuals, families, and communities arise from some tension or dissonance between them and the broader context within, which they live and work---is continuously conveyed through our clinical writing.


Answer: Standard written documents include:
A) Biopsychosocialspiritual assessments
B) Treatment plans and case notes
C) Letters to clients
D) Letters to lawyers, teachers, health care professionals
E) Professional publications
F) Newsletters and journals

Standard Documents

Answer: The DSM-IV-TR is the prevailing classification of mental health disorders used by social workers and other mental health professionals in the United States. Any use of diagnostic terminology can and should be complemented with fuller details about the person being described.

Medical social workers must be careful about the use of labels in their written documentation so as not to label a patient by their illness such as “cancer patient” or “diabetic”. Such terms run the risk of conflating the disease with the person who has it and of blunting our and other’s empathy for that person.

Use Labels With Caution

Active Learning Exercises:

Discuss Reading:
Stoecker, R. (2000). Cyberspace vs. Face to face:
Community Organizing in the new millennium.

In Groups: Practice writing Case Documentation, Treatment Plan, Progress Note, Letter To Professional

Prezi Chapter 7: The Policy Message

Active Learning Exercises:
Practice Writing A Policy Memo discuss in groups and choose the best to share in class

Review the NASW Social Work Technology Standards.

Social Work Practice Paper due.

Learning Objectives:
1) Learn how policy analysts shape legislation
2) Explore the goals of policy writing
3) SLU Core Values: Community & Integrity

How To Write A Policy Paper & Policy Brief
Policy Memos-2 pages addresses specific people for the purpose of recording an agreement,
transmitting information, or enabling action.

Legislative Analysis – a detailed analysis of a bill considered in the legislature which carefully examines the effects of the proposed policy change on specific populations, systems, or processes.

Op-Ed- an article that appears opposite a newspaper’s editorials which can be light-hearted or satirical, timely pieces by writers who have expertise on a particular subject.

Letters to the Editor-letters written in direct and timely response to a specific article based on an analysis of a policy issue, focused on essential issues, using convincing evidence, and present a policy response to a significant social problem.

See List of Dos and Don’ts of Effective Policy Writing in your text page 146-149.

Other Policy Writing Methods

Answer: A policy brief is a relatively short document addressing specific people or groups for the purpose of transmitting information, updating policy or research developments, and summarizing knowledge to date about a social issue. Here is a generic outline for writing a policy brief:

One to two paragraphs briefly defining and summarizing the problem and making recommendations
Evidence of the significance of the problem
Contextual information regarding actions taken to date to remedy the situation
Alternative policy responses
Recommended policy options

The Policy Brief Defined

What is a policy brief and what is it’s purpose?

The Policy Brief

What is the format of a policy report?

The Policy Report

Answer: 5 Steps to Writing a Policy Paper Include: 1) Know Your Audience: Who are you trying to influence?; What style and tone is appropriate to use?
; How informed is your audience?; What do you want your audience to know?; What kind of knowledge would be helpful to your audience?; What do you expect a reader to do after reading your report?

2) Define the Problem: Why does the situation need a policy response?; Why is it a social problem?; How is the issue framed and why?; What factors have contributed to the social issue? Are there other ways of defining the social issue?; What are the advantages and disadvantages of defining the problem in each of those ways?; Will your audience really understand your definition of the problem?

Easy Steps to Writing A Policy Paper

What are the five easy steps to writing a policy paper?

5 Easy Steps to Writing a Policy Paper

What are other forms of social work writings for addressing social policy issues/problems?

Other forms of Writing in Social Policy

Answer: The policy report is the longest and most detailed typically
20-30 pages and is written in response to a client’s (i.e., agency,
government department, community action group)request usually.

The general format includes:
An executive summary
One to two section on defining the problem, its causes, and evidence
supporting the existence and extent of the problem
A section evaluating different policy options
Conclusions and recommendations

Writing The Policy Report Up

3) Present Evidence to Support the Existence and Extent of the Problem:How do you know the social issue exists?; Is there evidence to support the existence of the social issue as defined?;
Are there reliable data sources that support or refute your definition of the problem?; If no t, why hasn’t the social problem been previously identified?; If there is no direct evidence, what data sources can you use to support the existence of the defined problem?; What policy responses have been tried and what were the consequences?

4) Propose and Evaluate Policy Responses: What are the policy response options?; What principles guide the policy options? What criteria will you use to assess each of the responses?; What are the trade-offs for each of the proposed policy responses you have identified?; Who has jurisdiction over the social problem and the recommended policy responses?; How will the policy responses identified be financed? What are the economic, social, and political risks?; What responses have been tried and what were the consequences?

5) Now choose a policy recommendation by summarizing the defined problem, goals, and guiding principles, and how the policy alternatives measure up.

5 Steps Continued to Writing a Policy Paper

Where do you find policy analysts working as social workers?

Where are policy analysts?

Answer: Policy analyst help to shape legislation, evaluate budgets, assess the effectiveness of programs and design new ones, and explain policy issues to a broad audience (Bardach, 2005).

Roles of Policy Analysts

What do Policy Analyst Do?

Policy Analysts

Green & Simon (2012)

Chapter 7: Getting the Policy Message
Across To Diverse Audiences

Answer: Policy analysts work in large bureaucratic agencies, small not-for-profit agencies, and in for profit-making organizations to affect social change. The policy analyst tends to focus on analyzing the information needed to make informed decisions and play critical roles in bring about social change, and written communication remains fundamental to the work.

Unlimited Places….

Active Learning Exercises:

In groups explore on-line the NASW Social Work Technology Standards

In groups write a policy memo discuss the best one written by your group members and select the best one to present to class.
Prezi Review: Chapts. 9 & 10
Active Learning Exercises: Identify personal types of language used in writing, practice writing memos, letters, and op-ed pieces.

Learn about website development using weebly and others.

Learning Objectives:
1) SLU Core Values: Respect & Integrity
2) Discuss the challenges associated with Advocacy work
3) Learn how administrators write in social work settings
Easy Advocacy
Conservatives: strong, disciplines, authority, character, vistue, competition, tough love, self reliance, standards, authority,
heritage, earn, hard work, enterprise, property rights, reward, freedom, intrusion, interference, meddling, punishment, human nature, traditional, common sense, dependency, self-indulgence, elite, quotas.

Liberals: social forces, social responsibility, oppression, free expression, human rights, equal rights, concern, care, help, health, safety, nutrition, basic human needs, dignity diversity, deprivation, alienation, big corporations, corporate welfare, ecology, ecosystem, biodiversity, and pollution.

Where did you stand?

Lakoff (1996) Conservative and Liberals
use different words (page 180-181 text)

What are the ways to Challenge the Mainstream Chatter About a Problem?

The Problem Addressed by Writing

Where should social workers first start in terms of advocacy
for their clients or community?

The First Lesson in Advocacy

What is Advocacy in social work writing?


Bulleted List for Easy Reference when writing for Advocacy:

Pay equal attention to reason and emotion and to facts and faith.

Start where the client is and explore and address the figurative ground.

Use frames and language that communicate the values underlying your argument.

Don’t bore your reader; use lively and succinct prose that tells a story.

Use qualitative evidence for interest and depth and quantitative for context and extent.

Build your argument logically, using chains and clusters.

Tailor your writing style and arguments to your audience.

Make your ending as memorable as your beginning.


In class individually write down the words that represent your values about the social issue of capital punishment.

Communicating Values

Answer: Frames are the lenses through which people see the world.
They are the mental structures we use to process and categorize information.
Frames facilitate the absorption of new information by fitting it into our existing
view. Frames are fueled by values, which are abstract concepts of what is
right or worthwhile.

Choosing A Frame

What are frames in terms of writing for advocacy is concerned?


Answer: To challenge the mainstream chatter about a problem requires LISTENING to mainstream commentary about the problem through sources such as: public opinion polls, editorials, op-ed pieces in leading papers, and the experts who pop up on talk shows and news programs such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN.

Social Work Advocacy in Writing

Green and Simon (2012)

Chapter 9 Advocacy

Livening up your language avoid bland academic writing, advocacy writing should educate and inspire.

Telling a Story: Your argument should also tell a story that encompasses a villain and victim and allegations of blame set against a backdrop of values. Tell what the problem is and how to fix it.

Choosing your Evidence: Good arguments rely on good evidence. The best approach is to
combine qualitative and quantitative information.

Building Your Argument: Effective arguments have three main components; Claims, Grounds, and warrants. (page 186-187 text).

Choosing a Writing Style: Formal, Informal, or a combination of both.

Tailoring Your Arguments To Context and Purpose: Create a sense of urgency through different
types of writing: Agency reports, policy briefs, editorials, letters to the editor, letters to legislators.

Tips for Writing for Advocacy

Answer: The first lesson for any social worker is to start where the client is.
It is the common understanding of a problem as represented by existing laws,
institutions, customs, and ideas that provide the “figurative ground” or
“conventional wisdom” on how people view a particular problem and
solution at a particular point in time.

Start Advocacy ready set go!

Answer: Advocacy is about persuading others to adopt our ideas and proposals, and words are our most potent tool. Across many audiences and venues social workers cooperate from testifying
at public hearings to draft policy briefs and op-ed pieces, to composing agency-based reports, now we communicate is as important as what we communicate. The spoken and written word is our vehicle for change, and our words must appeal to both reason and emotion.

Advocacy defined….

Green & Simon (2012)

Administrative Writing

Use straightforward writing style
Know who is your target audience
Consider the tone of your message
Use engaging language

Memos-form the day to day interoffice communication whether written or through email.

Policies and Procedures: communicate the bedrock of how an agency organizes goals and services.

Mission statements- is a tool to tell your organization’s staff, constituency, funders, and the general public about your agency’s focus, values, and aims.

Agency Priorities- a list of priorities that might include items like timeliness of appointments, expectations regarding interagency collaboration and contacts with collaterals, and documentation requirements.

High-Risk Areas of Practice- risk management priorities involves staff licensing, emergency management, client safety, abuse reporting requirements, timed deadlines for certain tasks, etc.

Evaluations- written evaluations of individual social workers and qualities he/she possess that add value to an organization.

Minutes- minuets provide an official record of decisions made during a meeting.

Executive Summaries to Boards- a progress report that describes how the agency as a whole is meeting its goals, why or why not.

Writings in Administration

General Writing Principles: First, use a clear writing style that is straightforward, brief, and focused; this enriches the value of content.

Second, think about your intended audience.

Third, review the tone; is it appropriate for the audience and content?

Finally, use jargon-free, engaging language. As your write your content, measure it against these principles to gauge how your style supports your message.

Basic Principles

Answer: Memos, policy and procedure manuals, evaluations, minutes, agendas and reports for board presentations.

Administrator’s Write…..

What types of written materials are administrators responsible for in social work?

Administrative Writing Methods

Active Learning Exercises:
Reading discussion: United Nations (2009). Wireless Technology for social change.

Active Learning: Practice writing & technology skills :Handouts on topic for discussion. *Practice types of Writing for administrative purposes in class.

2nd Journal entry due. (Case Documentation)

Prezi Chapter 11 & 12: Writing in Child Welfare and School-based Social Work s
Active Learning:
Group 1 & 2 Chapter Reviews
Check out apps for social workers for use on smart phones, iPad, or computer to discuss in class.
Practice writing a Project
Log recording for an agency in class.
Active Learning:
1) SLU Core Values: Community & Respect
2) Examine recording requirements for child protection settings
3) Practice how to write a project logs
School Social Work
Answer: 1) Initially the social worker is a mandated reporter of child abuse and maltreatment.

2) This commonly done by telephone or email and then by a written report. This report requires demographic information about the child or children involved and other
persons in t he household, the nature of the abuse and the specific reasons for the worker’s suspicion the time and date of the alleged incident(s), extent of injuries, and evidence or suspicions of the parental behavior that led to the problem. The reporter
must provide his or her name, address, and role in relation to the case, but this information is kept confidential from the family.

Child Protective Worker’s Responsibilities

List of types of Foster Care Writing Requirements:
1) Writing communications between workers from different departments or different agencies
2) Writing reports to court with recommendations about the most desirable action in a specific case situation.
3) Psychosocial assessments
4) Process recordings
5) Informal notes
6) Intake Reports
7) Case assessments and service planning
8) Referrals for other services
9) Advocacy Initiatives

Other Foster Care Required Writing

What are the two primary roles for social workers in foster care?

Foster Care

What are the initial required steps for social workers to take in writing and working up a child protective case?

Child Protective Services

What are the common writing requirements (common reports)
of child protective service workers?

The Family and Child Welfare

Green 7 Simon (2012)

Chapter 11 Writing in Family and Child Welfare

Answer: Advantage: Computers provide intake, case assessment, and service plan sections of reports that are carefully laid out that would be difficult for a worker to neglect any major factor that should be remembered in the service planning section of the report. It saves a good deal of recording time.

Disadvantage: It permits easy copying of text from one report to another without careful attention to the need of the individual case. This places an agency at risk for losing credit at a time of accountability review, perhaps losing funding sources.

Computers Roles in Foster Care

What are some advantages and disadvantages that computerized systems provide foster care workers?

Computerized Information Systems in Foster Care

Answer: 1) Foster care social workers must explore many aspect of family life when conducting home studies to include: the parent’s motivations for caring for children who are not their biological children, who may be different from them in many ways, and who may be very difficult to care for. 2) The worker will write a full assessment of the family’s strengths, limitations, and motivations. 3) The worker will describe the fit between the child or children with the foster family. 4) The worker will describe the gender, the ages, as well as the types of children (those with disabilities and mental illness) that this family potentially could or could not handle. 5) The limitation of the family that has volunteered to assume responsibility for a child in need.

What Social Workers Do in Home Studies

What are the main focus of home studies conducted by foster care social workers?

Home Studies

Answer: The foster care social worker is responsible for foster and adoptive homes, and working with the foster children, their biological families, and their foster families.

Social Worker’s Role in Foster Care

Answer: The types of writing common to protective services includes: intake summaries, psychosocial assessments, referral letters, and position statements on public policy issues relevant to the agency.

Writing in Protective Services

Answer: Common types of writing conducted by school social workers include:
1) Letters of Introduction: formal letters to parents and primary family members
2) Mandatory reports of child abuse and neglect
3) Curricula for workshops for students and family members
4) Adolescent Risk Behavior focused writing on substance abuse prevention,
sexual behavior, delinquency, etc.
5) Reports for special education services Individualized Education Program (IEP)
6) Grant proposals for outside funding and letters of intent

Writing in School Social Work Settings

What are the common services offered by school-based social workers?

School Social Workers?

Green & Simon (2012)

Chapter 12 Writing Strategies for
School Social Workers

What are some common types of writing encountered by school social workers?

Common types of School Social Work Writings

Answer: School social workers offer:
1) consulting with other school-based professionals as part of an interdisciplinary team
2) provide direct interventions and practice with students and their families in individual
group and family practice modalities
3) assisting with and leading program development
4) conducting assessments to identify unmet needs

School Social Worker’s Responsibilities

Active Learning Exercises:

1) Assigned Groups Review Handouts for School Social Worker Tool Kit.

In groups check out apps for social workers for use on smart phones, iPad, or computer to discuss in class.

Practice writing a Face Sheet and Biopsychosocialspiritual report in class.
Prezi Review: Chapters 14 & 15
Active Learning Exercises: Assigned groups 3 & 4 present on chapters 14 & 15 in class

* Practice writing a Bio-
psycho-social- spiritual history in class.

Social Work Leadership Paper due.

3rd Journal entry due. (Project Log)
Learning Objectives:

1) SLU Core Values: Community and Respect
2) Learn how to write respectful of diverse cultures
3) Practice writing a biopsychosocialspiritual assessment
Intake Assessment: Sometimes know as screening refer to a report of the initial interview
and the worker’s judgment as to the agency’s ability to meet the client’s needs.

The Referral: Older adults and their families sometimes have needs that require intervention from several agencies

The Chart Note: Chart notes also known as progress notes are required periodically throughout the tenure of an agency case. Quarterly or semiannual notes are the norm in most settings.

The Assessment: This form has three categories to include the study (the facts), the assessment (inferences you have drawn from the facts), and the plan (what you plan to do and how you will do it).

The Reports for Aging Include:

Green & Simon (2012)

Writing in the Field of Aging

Answer: It is essential to uphold privacy rights of older adults in a society that does not always accord them their due.

Social workers should write only what is needed to meet agency expectations while honoring the privacy rights of their clients.


What is a most important rule to adhere to when writing agency records for the aging or any clientele?

Telling The Story

Answer: Record writing is essential for documenting and supporting diagnoses; meeting time frames; managing risk; meeting funding and audit mandates;
and reflecting quality, coordinated care and client successes” (Anderson, 2007).

In the field of aging, computerized check-off or fill-in the blank forms that might number a dozen or more pages are the norm. *We owe it to our clients to provide a full and thoughtful writing so as not to lose the individuality and humanity of the person who is named on the case record.

Aging Records

What are the purposes of record keeping for social workers in the field of aging?

Record Requirements in the Field of Aging

In assigned groups of three write a biopsychosocialspiritual assessment watching a brief video of an interview of an elder and their family members and use the handout tool (The psycho-social summary outline) provided by your text on page 292-293.

Practice In Class Writing the Biopsychosocialspiritual Assessment

What is normative inflection referring to in reference to social work writing?

Normative Inflection

What is the most important question for social workers to consider
when doing international work in the globalization debate?


Green and Simon (2012)

Chapter 15 Writing in International Work

What does the term agency mean when used by social workers in terms of each
person, group, or communities importance in international social development work?


Answer: Social Workers writing for international audiences must answer the most important question in the globalization debate which is that of empowerment. A crucial aspect of empowerment is social development.

The field of developmental social work espouses a “capabilities approach,” which, like developmental models of social work, strives to empower individuals and communities by building on extant strengths and traditions as a culturally appropriate and sustainable strategy to increase access to socioeconomic resources and thereby enhance social development (Midgley, 1995; Payne, 2005; Sen, 2002)

Social Development

Answer: Writing for an international audience and social development encompasses different communications:

One might write up the results of work done in a developing country for a Western-audience in which cultural translations may be required.

Social science researchers are called upon to discuss relevant projects conducted including foreign contexts or social welfare systems or lack of to pursue grant funders interest.

Social workers may need to provide consultation for multinational organizations as consults or to evaluate programs operating in developing countries but run by staff from one or more third-party states.

Writing for a Purpose

What are the reasons a social worker might write while working in an international setting?

Writing in International Social Work

Answer: Normative inflection refers to writing that implies or expresses value judgment, or judgement that holds
one perception up to a perceived universal standard. Social workers should strive for objectivity and neutrality.

Value-laden Terms

Answer: Agency the human ability to make conscious, meaningful choices. Agencies indicates
the degree to which an actor is able to “envisage and purposively choose options” (Alsop & Norton, 2004, p. 4)

Agency Refers to Capability

Writing Rubric
Social Worker Superheros
Green & Simon Chapts. 14 and 15 (2012): In chapter 14 Ann Burack-Weiss’s chapter achieves its goals of revealing the uniqueness of the lives of older clients despite the standardization imposed by computerized forms.

In Chapter 15 Fred Sswamla and Elizabeth Sperber address the delicacy of intercultural translation in their chapter on writing in international social work settings.

Social Work Leadership Paper due.

3rd Journal entry due. (Project Log)

Active Learning: Practice writing & technology skills
Handouts on topic for discussion. * Practice writing a Bio-psycho-social- spiritual history in class.

Class Activity: The Internet and Social Work

In small groups define and present what the following are:
1) Social Networking Site
2) Blog
3) Really Simple Syndication
4) Tags
5) Folksonomy
6) Wiki
7) Second Life
Active Learning: Ask the class to choose a current event or issue. Then put them into small groups (3-4) and ask them to write a short article about it together. They should try to make the article as informative as possible. Once the groups have finished the articles are then passed around. Each group should look for pieces of information or facts which their group did not remember. Students can then vote for the most informative (and best written) text.
*See handout for practice in social work document writing.
Process Recording Practice

How to write a research paper

To write a research paper:
1.Choose a topic of interest
2.Find information about the topic using the internet, a library or encyclopedias
3.State thesis, or a declaration of your belief
4.Make a tentative outline
5.Organize notes
6.Write a first draft
7.Revise your outline and draft

8.Write final paper

For example outlines, notes, and more, this is a good resource.

Reference: www.aresearchguide.com/1steps.html
How to Write A Policy Brief
Mistakes in Writing Briefs
How to Write for Advocacy

Check out This Website: United Nations Wireless Technology
Check out Story Corps App
SOAP: This format, most frequently used in medical settings, includes the following elements: S-Subjective: This describes how the cclient feels or what he or she thinks about the situation. It is written from the client'sperspective and should include a statement that the client has made about his or her situation. Direct quotes are found her commonly.

O- Objective: This describes facts that have been directly observed by professionals or indicated by testing or other data. This information can be verified and is based on the facts of the situation.

A-Assessment: This states the social worker's professional conclusiions, drawn from the subjective and objective information.

P-Plan: this indicates what the worker and client will do next and when the next contact is scheduled.

Worlds Apart Mrs. Mercado
Worlds Apart Mr. Koreschi
Shift Happens
Waddell's Writing Landmines

Alfred Nobel
Free Writing Exercise
Shameless: Process Recording Practice

Alicia Mercado
SOAP Note Rubric
Worlds Apart: Robert Diagnosed with Kidney Diease
School Social Work Case Study
Full transcript