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Risk Management through Client Access to Case Records

Sheldon R. Gelman
Social Work
Vol. 37, No. 1 (January 1992), pp. 73-79
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23716545
Page Count: 7
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Risk Management through Client Access to Case Records
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Abstract

Recording has long been recognized as an integral part of social work practice. Unfortunately, recording is not given high priority by most social workers. Today, records must go beyond the documentation of accumulated knowledge and practice wisdom, for they are an account of how agencies conduct their "business." Risk management, the practice of identifying practices or activities that potentially may lead to legal liability, is a preventive activity that is dependent on appropriate documentation. This article examines the dynamics of recording that may increase agency exposure, proposes a useful model of recording, and discusses how a policy of client access to agency records can lead to improvement in the quality of recording. Recommendations for improved recording as a means of risk management are based on the author's research on recording practices in England's largest voluntary child care agency, which introduced a client access policy in 1987.

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