In this section we will provide you with resources, information, and templates to support you with administration in your organisation. We cover reporting, audits, and performance planning. Visit our policies and procedures page to find sample policies and templates for you to edit and use.
Case note writing
Case notes are integral to case management and many forms of social work. Case note writing can be a tedious task, but case notes form the basis of decision making and planning – their importance cannot be underestimated.
Case notes help to inform new plans of action, assist new workers and contributing professionals to better understand an individual’s history, and assist in identifying patterns. Sometimes, they will be used in court proceedings as evidence. In many cases, the information contained within case notes have made a significant difference to an individual’s life.
It is essential that those authoring case notes have a robust understanding of the purpose of their case notes, and form good habits around case note writing, including:
- factoring in time for writing case notes regularly
- reflecting on possible bias
- following organisational policy on record keeping
- checking case notes for accuracy
- keeping case notes brief, accurate and able to easily understood by others.
Resource: How to write case notes – creating useful, accurate and dependable records
QCOSS’ conversations with organisations often highlight skill gaps and opportunities for improvement across the sector. Throughout 2020, case note writing skills began to emerge as a practice skill that needed further support.
Utilising workshop content developed by Peakcare Queensland’s Lindsay Wegener, a respected social worker with over 35 years of experience working in child protection and youth justice, a guide has been developed providing an overview of how to write case notes that are accurate and authentic, strengths-based and that comply with legislative requirements. While this resource contains helpful content, it should not be used as your only source of professional development on writing case notes.
Reporting means an organisation formally collects information and distributes it to internal and external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders may include the organisation’s management board and employees, while external stakeholders may be the general public, government, and funding providers.
By accurately reporting information, organisations help decision makers identify important managerial and administrative issues and develop evidence-based strategic plans.
Reporting on Evaluation is an important part of the planning and evaluation process.
Every organisation must create an annual report. They can be used for various purposes such as financial reporting, marketing and auditing.
Our Community provides a variety of help sheets on how to prepare and present your organisation’s annual report.
Management and administration
Improved management and administration of your organisation will ensure it protects information, improves communication and meets its obligations – resulting in better outcomes for clients.
Our Community has help sheets and how-to guides, to help with managing staff in community organisations.
There are two types of audits: internal and external.
Internal audits establish the current state of your organisation’s finances, reporting procedure, record keeping, governance and management.
External audits determine compliance with legal, ethical and governance requirements, usually with particular attention to the organisation’s finances.
Our Community has help sheets on auditors, assets and auditing your organisation’s assets. It also has help sheets and how-to guides to help with managing staff in community organisations.
Compliance reporting for the Department of Communities and Department of Disability usually focuses on reports your organisation produces to comply with funding and service agreements.
The Queensland Treasury and the Queensland University of Technology have developed a Standard Chart of Accounts and data dictionary for small non-profit organisations that receive government funding. These tools help your organisation report on how you spent grant funds.
The Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy funding webpage contains information about funding conditions and reporting requirements.
Performance and evaluation
Measuring an organisation’s performance involves the regular collection and reporting of information about the quality of its service. Reporting requirements can vary between funding agencies and service agreements.
The Standard Chart of Accounts is designed to help community and disability organisations with financial management, financial reporting and to standardise bookkeeping practices.
Management Support Online has tools and information sheets about developing, planning and implementing performance and evaluation measures.
Department of Communities funding requires periodic performance reports and performance and progress appraisals. These usually refer to your organisation’s service agreement.
Sample policies and templates for you to use and edit: