First Advisor

Lynn Thompson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Social case work, Social case work reporting, Social case work, Social case work reporting



Physical Description

1 online resource (83 p.)


This practicum report discusses the adaptability of problem oriented case planning to casework which is practiced in the Northeast Multnomah County District Office of the Children’s Services Division. Problem oriented case planning is an approach designed to make casework more explicit by specifying the target problem(s), goals(s), tasks and an evaluation scheme which are agreed to and stated in a written contract developed by the participants. Such explicitness is essential to permit agency collection of useful information about its casework and casework programs needed to respond to today’s accountability demands, i.e., demonstration that the agency operates at a reasonable level of problem solving effectiveness and efficiency based on the level of effectiveness.

Two instruments were developed to be used in this exploratory study: 1.) the “Service Contract” which embodies the stated case plan and a means to develop it, and 2.) the Caseworker Questionnaire which solicits caseworker reactions to the Service Contract’s use. Caseworkers are asked to voluntarily use the Service Contract during a nine week trial-use period and report their reactions to its use.

Data obtained in the study is incomplete because of very limited Service Contract use. The focus of discussion is on caseworker reasons for non-use. This discussion remains somewhat speculative because there is little agreement among caseworkers relative to reasons for non-use. Flaws in the research design e.g., insufficient formal training in Service Contract use and compensation for its use may have significantly impeded additional utilization. Because the data does not support any serious problem with Service Contract use in most caseloads, by most caseworkers, with most clients a more systematic study of the Service Contract using an experimental design is recommended.


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A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier