Solution-based casework is an approach to assessment, case planning, and case management that combines what we know from clinical social work with what we value about sound social work practice. It is grounded in family-centered social work and draws from clinical approaches within social work and mental health. By integrating problem- and solution-focused approaches that form the clinical and social work traditions, treatment partnerships are more easily formed between family, caseworker, and service provider.
Solution-Based Casework is a skill-based, practice-oriented text that provides the specific guidance that students and new practitioners need in order to make sense quickly of the complex tasks of assessment and case planning in child welfare. The book flows out of a long practice experience, and was developed in consultation with workers and supervisors who were attempting to remedy problems viewed as contributing to recurrent abuse and neglect. It seeks to end adversarial relationships in casework and advocates case plans based on specific outcome skills rather than on those written with vague outcome goals measuring attendance in counseling. It serves as a common conceptual framework for integrating disparate segments of a response network, thereby allowing all providers in a therapeutic system to work toward common goals.
The text is divided into three sections. In Section I the conceptual history and theoretical foundations of solution-based casework are presented so that the reader can place this approach to casework within the ongoing professional conversation about what constitutes sound practice. Section II addresses issues of assessment and case planning. Section III focuses on case management issues and how treatment team members experience a solution-based casework approach.