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Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work

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Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work

AUTHOR : By Chris Dyke

ISBN : 9781915713308

Edition No : 3

Publication : Sep 11, 2023

Extent : 240 pgs

ISBN : 9781915713315

Edition No : 3

Publication : Sep 11, 2023

Extent : 240 pgs

ISBN : 9781915713322

Edition No : 3

Publication : Sep 11, 2023

Extent : 240 pgs


You write something so that it can be read, not in order that it can be written – write reports that achieve and illuminate!

The third edition of the best-selling Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work guides you through the principles of good writing and methodically shows you:

  • how to analyse
  • how to structure the process of writing an assessment (researching, chronologising, informed data-gathering, putting it all together),
  • how to get this done under time constraints.
  • how to break down the practical and psychological barriers to good practice and
  • how to turn good analysis into useful recommendations.

This new edition features brand new content, on subjects such as decision-making and cognitive fallacies in assessment, how to conduct analysis on domestic violence and systematic thinking and reflexivity in assessment. There are also updates on MCA assessments, new legislation and documents.

Written in an accessible way and packed with examples and case studies, this book is both practically-minded and constantly returning to first principles: reminding you what it is you are trying to achieve and teaching you how to write reports that can be read by families and judges alike. You will learn how to write high quality, useful and timely assessments without becoming mechanistic or managerial.  This book kills the myth of a trade-off between efficiency and quality of work.

Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work is an essential companion whether you are a newly-qualified social worker, a student about to undertake your first placement or a seasoned professional looking to improve your skills. It is also suitable for all branches of social work.


1)    Chronologies: The start and heart of a good assessment
2)    Genograms and ecomaps:Knowing the networks
3)    How to get it done: Planning your report in the real world
4)    Writing
5)    Analysis
6)   What Next?
7)   Summary 
Appendix 1: Writing for child care proceedings
Appendix 2: Deprivation of Liberty assessments


Chris Dyke graduated in social work from Goldsmith’s in 2006, before working in statutory teams in London, and as an independent social worker from 2015. He started teaching at Goldsmith’s in 2013 and has taught social work, education, economics, and social policy. He completed his PhD at UCL in 2022, on parole decisions about domestic violence perpetrators. Chris has work published in Community Care, Professional Social Work magazine, the British Journal of Social Work and Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health.  

Publication Overview


Your Reviews on this book

....For those who are familiar with the first edition of the text, it is important to note that the author has written two completely new chapters for this second edition, which cover the topics of ‘why assessment is important’ and ‘what happens after assessment’ – in my opinion, these are welcome additions which significantly improve what was already an excellent book, and one which I thoroughly recommend to all social workers and those working in social care – be they still in training, newly qualified or with many years of experience – as well as practice teachers, field educators and trainers.

Sue Taplin

Very impressed as for 130 pages it provides information on a wide range of document writing - chronologies, genograms, analysis and other aspects of report writing. The information is easy to read and the layout assists in showing why certain report writing styles are effective and not-effective. It is what I really needed as it had shown myself the impact of how I would provide analysis can be useful but could be improved and it has made me aware of why it is important to develop my skills in report writing. IT covers the areas of bias and the impact of language used in report writing which can have long term implications for a case one is dealing with. Very useful for social work students like myself as well as colleagues who need to work more effectively. I also like the fact that the book is light enough to carry in my bag so I can use it whenever I am on placement. Highly recommended and will make your life easier as it gives you the background to effective report writing.

Verified Purchase

"This book is about the art and science of report writing in social work and provides an ‘everything you need to know but were afraid to ask’ account of how to produce concise, analytic writing in social work. The author locates effective report writing in the wider context of ethically aware, critically reflective practice which prioritises accurate recording as a means of freeing up time for what matters most: direct work with people.  The book is written in an exceptionally clear and engaging style which  combines a sense of authority with professional humility. It is a must for any social work student, newly qualified social worker or practitioner wishing to hone and develop their writing skills."

Joan Fletcher, Head of Social Work, Goldsmiths College
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