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Social work Inspection Agency: Practice Guide: Chronologies

DescriptionPractice Guide: Chronologies
Official Print Publication DateJanuary 2010
Website Publication DateJanuary 27, 2010


Improving Practice in Scotland
ISBN 978 0 9563265 3 9
This document is also available in pdf format (136k)


A guide to chronologies


1. What is a chronology?

2. Why are chronologies useful to practitioners and managers?
2.1 Examples of inquiries which have promoted the importance of chronologies

3. The chronology as a tool in assessment and practice
3.1 Compiling a chronology
3.2 Core elements of a chronology

4. A chronology is not an assessment - but part of assessment
4.1. A practice example - James aged 7

5. A chronology is not an end in itself but a working tool which promotes engagement with people who use services
5.1 A practice example - Michael aged 18

6. A chronology must be based on up-to-date, accurate case recording
6.1 A practice example - Mrs Anderson aged 82

7. A chronology should contain sufficient detail but not substitute for recording in the file

8. A chronology should be flexible - detail collected may be increased if risk increases

9. The importance of review and analysis - a chronology which is not reviewed regularly is of limited relevance
9.1 A practice example - Malcolm, aged 43, who is on licence and on the sex offenders register

10. Different types of chronology are needed for different reasons, e.g. current work and examining historical events

11. Single agency and multi-agency chronologies set different demands and expectations

12. SWIA experience


Appendix 1 - Chronology guide - consultation
Appendix 2 - The role of SWIA
Appendix 3 - Example from Lambeth Council
Appendix 4 - References