Assessment Frameworks

These frameworks are designed to be guidelines for practice learning assessment and not rules. Each framework provides some guides for baseline expectations of students. However in working with these, variations between students and placements must always be considered.

Framework: Assessment

Assessment Framework: Assessment Skills

Developing appropriate social work assessment skills is a key part of student learning during their social work degree. Field education provides unique opportunities for students to both further develop and be assessed on their skills development. Assessment involves gathering and assessing multidimensional information about the client’s (hyperlink to definition) situation using appropriate social work knowledge and theory with a focus on strengths-based assessment to develop a plan that involves all the relevant parties and levels. 

The aim of the assessment framework is to provide guidelines rather than a set of rules. It is anticipated that field educators will select, and adapt as required, the aspects of the framework most relevant to their particular placement context. It may be useful to consider using this framework in conjunction with Interpersonal Communication, Team Work, Policy, or Ethical Practice 

Learning Goal

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This learning goal is based on applying knowledge to practice Standard 5.1.  For the purpose of student learning the standard is then divided into key elements which underpin sound social work assessment practice. Each element is accompanied by a set of learning strategies (tasks and activities) designed to assist the student develop the requisite knowledge and skills to achieve competency in that particular aspect of assessment. Following each set of learning strategies are suggestions about the types of evidence to collect in order to make an assessment of the students competency in the given area. The final part of the framework consists of a series of reflective questions designed to assist the field education assessor/s in the process of making a judgment or coming to a decision about the competency of the student.

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Practice standard

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Standard 5.1: conduct an assessment and analysis of needs to inform the service being offered

Learning to practice this standard includes 5 elements 

 

1. Micro (individual) level

  • Clients’ understanding of the situation
  • client’s strengths, resources
  • Physical factors eg health, wellbeing, addiction
  • psychological factors eg grief & loss, experience of violence, abuse, neglect

 

2. Mezzo (organisational-systems) Level

  • family, sig others, social support
  • membership of groups, associations, strengths
  • organizations involved eg health, education, income, housing, employment, strengths

 

3. Macro (societal) level

  • legislative and policy requirements relevant to client’s situation
  • ethical factors
  • discrimination, cultural, dominant discourses
  • other relevant environmental factors
  • community demographics and strengths

 

4. Nature and level of risk for clients and others is assessed and appropriate intervention taken

DEVELOPING A PLAN BASED ON CLIENT'S STRENGTHS AND CAPACITIES, PRIORITIES AND LIKELY OUTCOMES

 

5. Identify appropriate social work knowledge and theory

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Learning strategies

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1. MICRO (INDIVIDUAL) LEVEL

2. MEZZO (ORGANISATIONAL-SYSTEMS) LEVEL

 

Student engages in role-plays focusing on purpose and processes of assessment within agency context, including elements of ethical practice

Student undertakes assessment with increasing independence eg individual psychosocial; child well-being and protection assessment,  family,  group assessment, community assessment, organizational assessment

Student learns to document progress of skills development about the assessment eg. regular process recordings of an individual assessment, family assessment; group assessment, community assessment. (underpin with links)

Student is guided to develop written assessments, given feedback on these and modifies if necessary.

 


3. MACRO (SOCIETAL) LEVEL

Student and FE establishes a baseline of current knowledge, understanding and skills and where further development is required considering the stages of assessment skill development. From this a written plan is developed.

Student identifies and discusses elements of ethical practice,  theories, policies and legislation relevant to assessment.

 


4. NATURE AND LEVEL OF RISK FOR CLIENTS AND OTHERS IS ASSESSED AND APPROPRIATE INTERVENTION TAKEN

DEVELOPING A PLAN BASED ON CLIENT'S STRENGTHS AND CAPACITIES, PRIORITIES AND LIKELY OUTCOMES

 

Field educator provides student with any framework used in the agency for assessment, risk assessment  and documentation. 

 


5. IDENTIFY APPROPRIATE SOCIAL WORK KNOWLEDGE AND THEORY

Student and FE regularly discuss the place and power of the client in the assessment process according to the agency’s purpose and the AASW Code of Ethics (link here to COE).

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Gathering evidence for assessment

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1. MICRO (INDIVIDUAL) LEVEL

2. MEZZO (ORGANISATIONAL-SYSTEMS) LEVEL

  • Increasing capacity to articulate the purpose of assessment, the stages involved, the skills required
  • Improving capacity to practice and then undertake each of the assessment stages
  • Improving capacity to document the assessment stages, suggested interventions and outcomes for learning purposes

 


3. MACRO (SOCIETAL) LEVEL

  • Demonstrates ethical practice in conducting assessments – respect  for diversity, sensitivity to service user’s and carers wishes; actively engaging and empowering service user’s throughout  the assessment process ; limits to confidentiality and self-determination in statutory area of practice eg child protection, mental health, aged care

 


4. NATURE AND LEVEL OF RISK FOR CLIENTS AND OTHERS IS ASSESSED AND APPROPRIATE INTERVENTION TAKEN

DEVELOPING A PLAN BASED ON CLIENT'S STRENGTHS AND CAPACITIES, PRIORITIES AND LIKELY OUTCOMES

 

  • Improving capacity to document the assessment according to agency requirements
  • Ability to change assessment practices or / writing style in response to feedback (being able to listen and not become defensive)
  • Document risk assessment process (added)
  • document assessment plan (added) 

 


 

5. IDENTIFY APPROPRIATE SOCIAL WORK KNOWLEDGE AND THEORY 

 Improving ability to articulate relevant knowledge eg legislation, policies, and theories in conducting the assess

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Making a judgement about competency

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WHAT LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE DOES THE FIELD EDUCATOR HAVE IN CONDUCTING RESEARCH? 

 

IS THERE A GOOD MATCH BETWEEN THE EVIDENCE YOU ARE GATHERING  AND THE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES USED?

 

HAS STUDENT HAD  SUFFICIENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP THE COMPETENCIES YOU ARE ASSESSING? 

 

IS THIS THE STUDENT’S FIRST OR SECOND PLACEMENT?

 

WHAT IS THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF THE PLACEMENT ? 

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