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Report Writing and Documentation. Family Preservation, Outcomes Based Service Delivery. Presented by: Jacqueline Dagneau. Paperwork to Have With You. Introduction Letter Service Plans Contact Notes FAF Scales Suicide Risk Assessment Suicide History Inventory. Critical Incident Form

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report writing and documentation

Report Writing and Documentation

Family Preservation,

Outcomes Based Service Delivery

Presented by: Jacqueline Dagneau

paperwork to have with you
Paperwork to Have With You
  • Introduction Letter
  • Service Plans
  • Contact Notes
  • FAF Scales
  • Suicide Risk Assessment
      • Suicide History Inventory
  • Critical Incident Form
  • Genogram/Ecomap/ Resiliency Map
  • Relationship Rating Scale
  • Internal Referral Forms
  • Consent Forms
contact note writing
Contact Note Writing

Video and


  • Groups of Four
important to note
The date, time, names and roles of persons at the meeting, the name of the person completing the contact note (also if it was a telephone or face-to-face meeting);

The pertinent information* shared; concerns and strengths;

List the work that was completed during your visit.

*Note: What we consider pertinent is influenced by our world view.

Important to Note:
world views
World Views
  • It is important to be self-aware in terms of our world views.
  • Our world view is the lens through which we understand events/experiences; it is influenced by our collection of previous experiences, social location, culture, values, and etcetera.
  • Chris Boyle (a Senior Practitioner in Australia) refers to a Munro (2002) publication when speaking to the influences over our assessments. The following is outlined:
    • “Formal knowledge: Professional training, policy, legislation;
    • Practice wisdom: Understanding through experience (self and peers);
    • Emotional wisdom: Self awareness, empathy;
    • Reasoning skills: Critically reflect on practice;
    • Values: Own ethics/values.”
contact notes
Contact Notes
  • Why are contact notes important?
          • A means to monitor our purpose and practice of work.
          • Credibility (we provide a service that we are paid to do).
          • To facilitate communication between workers.
          • Highlights the needs/progress/concerns of our families.
          • Assist us in report writing.
          • Contact notes are legal documents that could be called in court.
  • When?
          • These should be completed after each visit/conversation (no more than 24 hours after contact).
  • What?
          • In point form or sentence: describe the work you did in the home, including any significant observations (language, behaviour, home condition, etc.) should be reported in your notes.
observations vs judgements
Observations vs. Judgements



  • What are Observations?
      • Observable, measurable activities
      • Verbal or Non-Verbal
      • Include any significant quotes that are relevant and necessary
  • What are Judgements?
      • Assumptions about what occurred or the intent
      • Avoid making absolute statements
completing contact notes objectively
State facts.

Use your senses, for instance what you saw or heard.

Do not make generalizations.

List the work that was completed during your visit.

Avoid these pitfalls.

Labelling: Susan is depressed

Using absolutes or slang: always, never, very

Setting client/family up to fail: documenting only negative behaviours or concerning information—important to present a balanced picture

Completing Contact Notes Objectively
examples of problem sentences
Examples of Problem Sentences


Erin’s family is refusing to support her during this time.


Katie’s home is a disaster.


Sheila was angry at the Caseworker.


Examples of

Appropriate Wording

  • Flip Chart Exercise
report writing
Report Writing

The importance of…

  • Format
    • Family Assessment Functioning (FAF) (must be completed 40 days after referral)
    • Summary of Service Team Meeting/Progress Reports
    • Interim Letters/ Termination Letters
    • Termination Report
  • Deadlines
  • Who, what, when, where, who?
  • Professional language (do not use the first person)
  • Reviewing reports (Supervisor, Caseworker & Family)
report samples
Report Samples
  • Reviewing well written and poorly written reports. Please see handouts.


Do You Have Any Questions?



We would be happy to help.