The process of making social work 'auditable' is in danger of being destructive, creating a simplistic description of practice and focusing on achieving service outputs with little attention to user outcomes. Alternatively, however, if it is linked to research methods, it could be highly constructive, producing reliable evidence not only on efficiency but on effectiveness.
Eileen Munro, The Impact of Audit on Social Work Practice, British Journal of Social Work 34(8) pp1075-1095
Case audit should be undertaken:
- All case files will be audited at a frequency appropriate to the level of contact (at least every 6 months). This should correspond with the child's review.
- Following the decision to close or transfer a case, it is expected that the allocated worker will have self-audited the file before passing the file to the team manager.
- If there are any gaps in the information which are identified by the team manager, the electronic or paper file will be returned to the allocated worker for completion.
- No file will be either closed or transferred without an accurate and fully completed audit.
Purpose of auditing
- To understand the journey of the child through our hands
- To explore hypotheses from performance information
- To test specific areas, such as the effectiveness of partnerships; quality of communication; how the views of children and their parents are listened to and recorded; as well as, how decisions are made and executed
- Develop self-auditing approaches as a key part of planning and improvement
- For senior managers to effectively monitor individual cases
Audit log pro forma
Audits should be recorded in the following manner with frequency being set by the team manager:
Frequency of Audit (depending on contact with service user and level of need/risk):
Date of Audit:
Name of child:
Name of person writing record (case accountable worker):
Name of team manager:
Actions Required from Audit:
Case discussed in formal/informal supervision and closure/transfer agreed, or routine audit is required.
|Supervisor||Supervision/ case note placed in electronic or paper records||Immediately|
|An audit will be undertaken, at least 6 monthly, on all files and will be recorded on supervision notes and the appropriate section on electronic or paper records||Supervisor||Audit log||On file at the point of audit|
|Audit logs will be completed.||Case accountable worker||Supervision record Audit log||Next supervision|
|Within Residential/Foster placements the team manager will set up a system to counter sign a child's record and maintain a separate audit log.||Accountable Residential/foster carer||Child's record|
- Child protection
- Youth Offending
- Children with Disabilities