The review is an important stage in the planning process. To ensure that the correct services have been provided, an initial review of the plan must be completed within three months and then at least every six months.
How to do it
The review must be agreed with the child, parents, significant others and relevant agencies, and must be based on the information and needs identified in the assessment.
A review must include the following:
- any changes since the plan was introduced or last modified
- any revised aims and objectives of the plan
- the contribution from the child and his/her family in resolving the issues
- services provided by each agency, including timescales
- whether a further assessment is required
- whether the social work case file should be closed
- the date of the next review.
A social work case file should be closed when all services are no longer required. The reason for closure and an evaluation of the success (or otherwise) of the work should be clearly recorded. The file should be up-to-date and all records complete when presented for closure. The closure statement should be signed and dated.
Lessons from research
Over 80 per cent of parents agree that they are treated fairly and with respect, and that they are involved in decisions, but not all are satisfied with the services offered. At any one time just over 50 per cent of all children in need are receiving a service of some kind, but there are variations, with proportionately more African than Indian children receiving help, for example. Professionals often struggle with how best to address the needs of black children and their families, and minority ethnic cases tend to be closed more quickly, or the families are offered inappropriate services once the immediate problems have been patched up. Files often provide little evidence that race and culture have been considered.
Chand A and Thoburn J: Research Review: Child and family support services with minority ethnic families: what can we learn from research? in Child & Family Social Work, Vol 10, Issue 2 (2005).