Accurate Social Work Records. Why Record Keeping is an Important part of your licensed social work job?
Do not be sloppy or postpone writing your documentation. Be prompt, thorough, and accurate. Every incident, claim, and lawsuit starts with records and documentation evidence. Failure to comply means probable loss of your license.
- Maintain your client records as though you are ready to appear in court, or in a state Licensing Board tribunal. Would you walk in the rain without an umbrella?
- Maintain your client records with a third-party “critical eye” and include:
- Dates of pertinent action and contact
- Type of action, communication, or service rendered
- Precise, detailed diagnostics and treatment codes;
- Therapy progress notes;
- Billing and transaction records;
- All signed agreements, waivers, and all forms;
- Maintain your records onsite on a secured location, or offsite secured for the length of time required by state law. States vary on this, and also change for minors.
Disposal of records: Some states allow destruction after five years from the date of the termination of therapy. Check with your state, and disposal must be performed to protect client confidentiality. We recommend that you shred the records yourself.
- Do not hire a moving company to remove your records with a promise that it will dispose of your files. Dumpsters are not a solution.