Getting organised for a social work assessment – it's a topic that can spark some lively debates.
After all, no amount of color-coded folders or perfectly arranged schedules is going to magically grant you extra hours in a day or make the emotional rollercoaster of this job any smoother.
But here's the thing: while organisation won't solve all your problems, there are some habits you can build, especially if you're just starting out in social work.
So, let's dive in and explore some ways to keep your sanity intact while tackling the assessments piling up in your inbox.
Building Habits That Stick
You've probably heard it before, but it's worth repeating: habits are your secret weapon. When something becomes second nature, you're not constantly wrestling with it, and that's precisely what we need in the world of social work. So start by ingraining a few key practices into your daily routine.
The Power of Print
Think about getting an example assessment form printed off. Some local authorities even provide handy packs with everything from consent forms to informative leaflets for families. Having these materials at the ready can save you a ton of time during those initial, often nerve-wracking, conversations with families.
Master the Art of Scheduling
Okay, I can already hear the chorus of new social workers saying, "But emergencies happen all the time!" True, but not always. Try scheduling visits when possible. Yes, it might mean juggling a bit, but it also shows respect for the families' lives outside of social care intervention.
The School Conundrum
When your assessment involves children, it's likely to involve school visits. My biggest mistake as a new social worker – vague promises of a school visit with no specific time, which ends up causing more trouble than it's worth and a huge amount of stress for children. Instead, sit down with the child, young person, and their teachers. Find out the best times to meet without turning them into a classroom spectacle.
Organisation in social work assessments won't wave a magic wand and make all your problems disappear.
But it can make life a tad more manageable. Building good habits, having essential materials at your fingertips, and respecting the time of those you work with are all steps in the right direction. I'm always here for more tips and insights to make your social work journey a bit smoother. You've got this!
If you are a newly qualified social worker, and the thought of child and family assessments leaves you feeling overwhelmed, take a look at my Introduction to Assessment Guide, Video and Audio course. Created for Newly Qualified Social Workers like you, it is a step by step support through the assessment process, saving you time, energy and stress.