A Simple (But Detailed) Social Worker Assessment Guide for All Social Workers


The Best Guide for Social Work Assessments & Case Management with Templates, Samples & Tools – Everything You Need.

This article has been published for all social workers, from new professionals to those with many years or decades of social work experience. As social workers, one of the most critical parts of your job is to conduct social work assessments on a regular basis using a social worker toolbox.

However, social worker assessment is an area that a lot of social workers struggle with (both new and experienced professionals), because until now, there has not been a consistent set of social work best practices, streamlined social work analysis templates, step-by-step checklist, or social workers toolbox to help those in the industry.

This free guide below, which has become the #1 guide for social workers, provides you with best practices for conducting social work assessments. We provide social work assessment examples of what makes a good social work analysis, and also give you free 1-click downloadable “assessment in social work” pdf and PowerPoint templates that you can use for your needs.

Complete Set of Social Work Articles

You’ll also learn about the AGS 360° Social Work Toolkit and Case Management software to make assessments in social work much easier to do! This social work toolbox contains social work templates, samples, best practices, a “tasks checklist”, social work assessment examples, and tools, and everything you need to increase your success with clients and as a social worker.

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a social worker assessment?” or “What is an assessment in social work from A to Z?” then this guide will help you.

As pioneers of best change management practices, we believe strongly in supporting the social work community.

If you have any questions or feedback, please click here to contact us: AGS Social Work Editorial Team.

Table of Contents

Keep on scrolling down this page to read each section, or click any link below to go directly to that section.

Looking for Social Work Assessment Templates & Software to Make Your Job Easier?

Assesment in social work

AGS has a flexible, easy-to-use, social work needs assessment template, planning checklist, and much more.

Learn More About AGS 360° Social Work Assessment Toolkit


What is Social Work? What Does it Really Involve?

Let’s begin by first answering the question, “What is social work?”

Social work is a practice that focuses on helping individuals, families, and communities to meet their basic needs and to function well in society. It involves defined processes and methodologies to enhance the well-being of individuals, and help meet the basic and complex needs of social communities, especially those in our communities who are vulnerable.

The way that the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) answers, what is social work, is by describing the primary mission of social work as, “to enhance human well-being and help meet basic and complex needs of all people, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.”

What is social work to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics? This agency defines social work this way, “Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.”

See also: Complete Set of Social Work Articles

The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) has a longer definition to answer, “What is social work?” This definition includes the fact that social work is both a practice-based profession and an academic discipline. It notes that social work “engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.”

An analysis in social work definitions finds that the common thread is that social work is about caring for others and helping people with a variety of basic survival needs so they can live a better and healthier life.


Contact us if you have any questions or feedback about this end-to-end social worker assessment and management guide. 


What is an Assessment in Social Work? What is the True Goal?

What’s the definition of assessment in social work?

An assessment in social work involves a set of steps designed to evaluate someone’s needs in order to match them with the best public support or the best social program services that can help them.

As you can imagine, social worker assessment tools and techniques for evaluating individuals can vary according to the type of situation that is being assessed. A social worker will generally apply a different methodology when evaluating a child for potential educational deficits than they do with someone struggling with substance abuse.

However, the goal with each type of social worker assessment is the same, which is to help someone reach their full potential and give them the support they need to work through their situation.

The definition of social work assessment may vary slightly according to the type of assessment being done, there is an initial assessment social work practitioners will do for psychiatric needs, for safety needs, for immediate shelter, for family interventions, and many other situations. Though the situations and evaluation methods may differ, the social work assessment definition will always include trying to help the person with the resources available.

What is social work assessment?

It’s a vital first step in evaluating a person’s situation so the right type of help can be rendered.

social work assessment

Social Worker Assessment and Intervention

The sample social work case assessment tools and examples presented in this article will guide you – the social worker – in assessing multiple aspects of a person’s situation.

Assessed factors can include habits, family dynamics, social/friend relationships, social-economic attributes, mental and physical health, social norms, employment history, cultural considerations, personal issues, social challenges, and more.

An assessment in social work practice needs to be ready to gather data from a wide variety of areas of the person’s life and immediate needs. The best types of assessment tools in social work will include the ability to capture all that information.

Evaluation in social work is a detailed process because there is generally not one single factor that causes a crisis situation in someone’s life. Often, it’s a combination of environmental, cultural, societal, and individual factors.

Each of these factors has to be assessed and connected so a social worker can get a full picture of someone’s potential strengths and challenges. The assessments in social work practice help in identifying the best plan to assist that person to overcome their current situation – resulting in a permanent positive social change.

This section aimed to cover the frequently asked “what is assessment in social work?” question. The sections below involve a deep dive review on the various types of assessment in social work, as well as sample social work case assessments.

See Also: Social Work Case Management Software


Why is a Social Needs Assessment Truly Important for Social Work?

If you work in any type of social work capacity, then you know the importance of individual needs assessment social work tools. A needs assessment in social work matches the situational needs of the client with the resources that are available.

Social needs assessments are really important because they help social workers determine the issues preventing their clients from reaching their desired goals.

There are many types of social service agencies (elder care, psychiatric and medical, child welfare, religious organizations, shelters, etc.), and something they all have in common is the need to conduct several types of social work assessments.

If you are a social worker or social work organization that seeks a more robust toolkit for conducting a social work needs assessment and to manage your social workers assessment programs, you can review this page for our Social Work Assessment & Management Toolkit.

Using available social work assessment tools and the best practices referenced below, you can quickly increase your social work successes and performance. 


What Are the True Goals of the Social Work Assessment Process?

The stages of the social work process are designed with a simple goal in mind, which is to help people. Social workers are usually on the front line when someone has a crisis in their lives and needs assistance.

The overarching goals of assessment in social case work include:

  • Helping people achieve the best possible outcome for personal and social well-being
  • Working towards social justice for underserved populations
  • Identifying the personal tools and external resources an individual needs to live a better life

Individual goals for social worker assessment examples will be more specific to a person’s immediate situation and needs. For example, for domestic violence victims, the goal is to get them to a safe place and connect them to the resources to help them rebuild their life. For substance abuse victims, the goal may be to guide them through successful rehabilitation and give them the mental techniques they need to change destructive, long-term habits.

Social work assessment and intervention are vital to achieving a positive outcome for a person in need and providing support to help them live a happier life. Next, let’s cover how to perform the most effective assessments for social work programs.

Social work assessment and intervention are vital to achieving a positive outcome for a person in need and providing support to help them live a happier life. Next, let’s cover how to perform the most effective assessments for social work programs.


Complete Set of Social Worker Articles and Guides

Do you have any questions or feedback about this assessment social work article? If so, click here to contact us.


How Do You Conduct the Best Levels of Social Work Assessment?

A social work assessment includes a report that outlines an individual’s situation and immediate and long-term needs. It also includes some type of intervention recommendation designed to help that individual overcome their immediate challenges.

Assessment in social work consists of sitting down with a person (in person or virtual meeting) and asking them a series of questions designed to ascertain a number of factors that will guide any intervention plan. When conducting such types of virtual or in-person sit-down sessions, social workers often use a social worker assessment template that includes pre-determined social work client assessment questions.

The importance of assessment in social work can’t be overstated. Without the careful evaluation of information and resources laid out in a needs assessment example social work report, it would be nearly impossible to properly help a person with the right type of resources and guidance.

To effectively carry out this process it’s helpful to use an assessment framework in social work. Using a social work assessment framework can help those new to social work with a set of steps they can follow and a social work intake assessment example.

An assessment framework social work process also helps seasoned social workers ensure consistency for all their social work assessment forms, surveys, and reporting.

A social work assessment template will have several categories that can be used to assess a person’s current state, weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities. Completing as many of these categories as possible will help you create a complete picture of each client or individual being assessed.


AGS Social Work Toolkit to Simplify the Assessment Process in Social Work

Social work client assessment questions

Social Work Case Assessment Example | AGS Social Worker Template

In addition to the AGS Social Work Toolbox, you can also download the free assessment in social work pdf and PPT documents below to use for your needs. These documents include sample social work client assessment questions.

Download Social Work Assessment Questions PPT

Download Social Work Assessment Questions PDF


Social Work Red Flags – What Do You Need to Know?

Social Workers are trained to look for specific red flags and areas of potential strengths so they can steer clients away from destructive forces in their life and towards those that are supportive and positive.

Every circumstance is different, and what you assess for one person might differ from what you assess with someone else.

However, some of the common categories of a person’s life that can be gathered and entered into your social worker assessment tool and template include:

  • Family history
  • Cultural values
  • Social circle
  • Education
  • Past trauma
  • Substance use
  • Employment history
  • Skills
  • Leisure activities
  • Motivations
  • Immediate needs
  • Patterns of crisis
  • Attitude about money/finances

Some of the information needed when doing an evaluation in social work can be gathered from government agencies, such as patterns of crisis or from your organization’s database. However, most of the information will come from the social assessment interview that you conduct directly with the individual.

The sample social work case assessment tools, templates, and pdfs including the downloadable ones referenced above will include typical questions to ask as well as methods that can be used for self-assessment by the individual. Often self-assessment frameworks in social work can highlight some important data that might not be uncovered otherwise.

During meetings, you should use one or more assessment in social work method and tool, depending upon the client type you are working with. This will guide the process and zero in on the information needed to create a successful path forward for the client. See below for the “assessment in social work” tools and methods used by a lot of social workers.

Don’t miss the section in this guide that addresses the frequently asked “what is assessment in social work?” question. Contact us if you have a social work client assessment example that you would like to see listed on this page.

Don’t Miss:

Assessment in Social Work PPT – Free Download

Assessment in Social Work PDF – Free Download

Social Work Tools & Templates for Social Workers!

 Best Social Worker Toolkits

Best Social Worker Toolkits - Mobile and iPad

Best Social Work Assessment Toolkit

Questions about this “What is social work?” article and guide? Contact the AGS Editorial Team.


What Is a Social Work Assessment? | Example of Social Work Assessment Types

As mentioned above, the social work process assessment can differ according to the agency. There is a wide range of various social agencies that help people in varying circumstances.

An assessment example social work plan for someone with dementia being assisted by an elder care facility will be unique to the needs of seniors and their families. It may include plans for long-term care and help to get basic needs taken care of (shopping, prescription refills, companionship, etc.)

While the assessment examples social work process for a domestic violence shelter, will be focused on the urgent short-term needs of its clients, such as food, shelter, and safety.

An assessment social work example includes the same basic goal of assessing needs and matching those with available resources, no matter the agency.

Here are some of the many different types of social workers assessment examples:

  • Gerontological social work assessment
  • Medical social work assessment
  • Child & family welfare social worker assessments
  • Criminal justice social work assessment
  • Disability needs assessment in social work
  • Domestic shelter needs assessment social work
  • Substance abuse social work assessment
  • Mental health social work needs assessment
  • Military & veterans social work assessments
  • School social worker assessments
  • Youth/teens social workers assessment

Types of Social Work

Types of assessment in social work

Don’t Miss:

Questions about this “What is social work?” article and guide? Contact the AGS Editorial Team.


What Tools and Assessments Do Most Social Workers Use the Most?

To accommodate the many types of social work assessments, social workers use a variety of tools when interviewing clients and while putting together the social work assessment report.

You will not need to use each of these tools for every client.

However, having them all in your social work framework for assessment ensures you have a variety of different tools for gathering the detailed data you need.

Some of these tools for assessment in social case work will include mapping out an individual’s relationships with family and friends. Others include social work questions and answers that you can ask in a variety of different situations.


(1) Genogram & Ecomap | Family Personal & Social Relationships

Genogram and Ecomap social work tools help clear up social work assessment questions related to the family and community dynamics of an individual.

These social worker assessment tools originated from Dr. Ann Hartman, a leading social work best practices practitioner, scholar, and educator who has operated in the field for more than 40 years. She received her DSW from Columbia University and was a dean and professor at the Smith School for Social Work.

Social workers use the Genogram process to map out the immediate family relationships of an individual. The Ecomap is then used to expand farther from the family to friends, groups, community services, etc. that impact the individual’s life.

Genogram Ecomap Dashboard Sample

 

Sample-eco-map-social-work-min Social-work-genogram-template-min

Social work assessments: Genogram & Ecomap Template from AGS’ Social Worker Template & Online Toolbox. Generate your own genogram/ecomap automatically!


Genograms and Ecomaps are used in the early stages of the social work process to get a full picture of the relationships in an individual’s life.

When mapping family and friends, males are represented by a square and females by a circle – as shown in the images above. Connections that are non-binary are represented by a circle, and community institutions are represented by a triangle in the AGS social assessment example from our Toolkit.

Different types of lines between the connections are used to designate a relationship that is:

  • Strong/positive (solid line)
  • Weak/tenuous (dashed line)
  • Stressful (solid line with horizontal lines like train tracks)

If you happen to use our AGS 360° Toolkit for assessments in social work, then you’ll notice that we also provide different colors for the lines (green/solid line, yellow/dashed line, red/train tracks) to add additional graphical representation of the relationship status.


(2) Self-Assessment Templates | Individual Insight

A self-assessment client template is a social work assessment tool used by a lot of social workers at various stages of the social work process. It is provided to the client for them to complete and provides you with insights into an individual’s strengths and challenge areas from that individual’s perspective.

To put things in perspective, the type of social worker assessment examples and answers that the person fills into their self-assessment social work template includes:

  • Personal responsibilities
  • Financial responsibilities
  • Spirituality
  • Needs
  • Skills
  • Leisure activities
  • Motivations
  • Values
  • Interests
  • Goals & priorities
  • Health

A self-assessed client social work template is often used by social workers as it quickly helps their clients put their challenges into perspective – this is achieved because the clients have to think through and categorize several areas of their life versus the social worker doing it for them. And, when compared to past self-assessments, it can show them their progress, and how they’ve grown.

When you provide a self-assessment social work template to your clients, encourage them to enter as many details as possible, as this enables you to better determine the best programs and plans for them.


(3) Culturagrams | Examines 10 Cultural Parameters

This is one of the assessment tools in social work that is used only in certain circumstances. A culturagram is used by social workers to better understand families that come from different countries, regions, or cultural backgrounds. In general, the Culturagram is used to assess immigrant families or refugees to understand the cultural aspects of their lives and situations.

The culturagram was first introduced by Fordham University professor, Dr. Elaine Congress.  It was first developed in 1994 and then revised in 2000 and again in 2009, according to Wikipedia.

It includes sample social work assessment questions that have to do with 10 cultural parameters. These include:

  • Contact with cultural and religious institutions holidays, food, and clothing
  • Health beliefs
  • Impact of trauma and crisis events
  • Language spoken at home and in the community
  • Legal status
  • Oppression, discrimination, bias, and racism
  • Reason for relocation
  • Time in community
  • Values on education and work
  • Values on family (structure, power, myths, rules)

Assessment Tools for Social Work Practitioners: Culturagram

Culturagram

Social work assessments: Culturagram PPT screenshot from AGS 360° social work initial assessment template


(4) Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Gad-7 | Anxiety Assessment

Another sample social work case assessment tool that is often used – as needed – is the GAD-7.

This tool is designed as a rapid screening of a clinically significant anxiety disorder, such as General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PD), Specific Phobia (SP), or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The GAD-7 consists of a list of seven questions related to anxiety. During this evaluation in social work, the individual will answer on a scale of frequency how often a particular anxiety-related event or feeling occurs. A score of 10 or greater signifies a strong case of GAD. From a scaling perspective, points of 5, 10, and 15 are often associated with mild, moderate, and severe levels of anxiety on the GAD-7 scale, which is similar to levels of depression on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9.

example of assessment in social work

Sample social work case assessment template – GAD-7

See also: Social work evaluation example samples.


Looking for GAD-7, PHQ-9, and other social work survey questions examples and templates?

Check out the AGS Social Work Assessment & Management Toolkit.

It has several tools designed specifically for social worker assessments.

(5) Systems | Situation, Safety, Survival Needs, Supports, Short-Term/Crisis

The Systems method is an effective social work assessment template used by many social workers because it guides a social worker through the key areas of a client’s life which they need to evaluate for their assessment.

This type of social worker assessment and intervention uses five different “S” words that represent important components of an individual’s life. Asking questions in these areas can help a social worker put together an intervention plan to help the client through their more urgent problems.

Initial assessment social work examples from the Systems method include:

  • Situation: What is the situation that brought the client in?
  • Safety: Is safety an issue? Is the client in a crisis situation that requires immediate help?
  • Survival needs/other needs: Does the client have basic living needs being met?
  • Supports/strengths: What supports are already in place? Has the client had this challenge before and received help?
  • Short-term or crisis: How immediate is the client’s need?

The social work feedback examples above are especially helpful when categorizing needs for a care plan. One social work agency might have multiple care plans, and they choose one of those depending upon the answers to the social work assessment questions for clients.

Assessment in Social Work Example from AGS’ Social Work Assessment Toolbox

Care Plan Type Report

The Social work assessment report example above is one of the many reports that are built into the AGS Social Work Assessment Framework.


This section aims to cover the often asked “what makes a good social work assessment” question. We hope we were able to answer that question for you. When looking at social work assessment examples and samples, you’re bound to run across different assessment methods that social workers use. These are designed to help social workers make connections between the several variables in a person’s life.

The sample social work case assessment and intervention tools referenced above also assist a social worker in their approach with a client. For example, one popular approach is called a Strength-Based Approach and it focuses on a person’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.

The approaches used in the social work tools and techniques outlined in this guide are a combination of psychology-based techniques and organizational tools to connect multiple factors. A social worker assessment template helps put all those moving pieces into a comprehensive assessment and game plan for support.

Do you have additional answers to the often asked “what makes a good social work assessment” question? Contact the AGS Editorial team to let us know.

(6) Social Work Assessment Report Example

For additional examples of assessments in social work, see this AGS social work assessment report example and social work needs assessment template page: Best Social Work Assessment Toolbox With Reporting Dashboards & Checklists.

Initial assessment social work-min

Social work assessment report example.

The social work assessment questions example surveys you get when subscribing to the AGS Social Worker Toolkit are customizable so you can tailor them to your organization’s needs.

You’ll also find a unique feature in our AGS social work assessment templates. Once you enter your assessment data, you can click to export an MS Word social work assessment report. This will save you a lot of time compiling the reporting from your social work assessments examples.

The examples of social work assessments in the sections above are provided to help guide you, as well as other social workers. If you have an additional example of assessment in social work that you would like to see listed in this guide – that can help other social workers – kindly let us know.

AGS Social Workers’ Assessment Toolkit

AGS Social Work Assessment Toolkit

Save time with this needs assessment social work template & toolkit. Get assessment questions social work templates, free social work feedback form surveys to use, a step-by-step social worker assessments tasks checklist.


Assessment in Social Work Process | Step-by-Step

The various social work tools and techniques used during the assessment are just one step in the social work process. When assisting a client and putting them on a path toward problem resolution, multiple steps are taken to execute a plan based upon the social work assessment.

These social work steps are listed and reviewed below.

1. Interview & Engagement

The initial interaction with a client is when the assessment in social work begins. This initial engagement may be when a client first walks in for help or when you initiate a meeting with the individual, and it can last 15 minutes or longer, depending upon the time available.

If there is time, the social worker may ask initial interview questions to understand the person’s situation or might give them a self-assessment questionnaire to bring back to a subsequent meeting.

After the initial interaction, the social worker will sometimes schedule a follow-up meeting where they can conduct a more thorough assessment using social work assessment tools, if needed.

When the client returns for their meeting, this stage is where the bulk of the data collection happens. A social worker may use one or more of the assessment tools in social work to gather details about the individual, their situation, their needs, supports, and so on.

Information that social work assessments cover includes everything from the client’s current health and well-being to any immediate needs they have to their general mental state.

2. Research

The next step when answering, “What is a social work assessment?” is to do research on the client. It’s logical to begin by looking for any history of the individual in your organization’s database or files.

As the assessment in social work process continues, you may wish to widen your research to other government data sources or local non-profit organizations.

  • Research the individual in government or other agency databases.

It can be helpful to research any other agency databases you have access to for additional data on the individual and their social assistance or crisis history that will further inform your assessment process in social work care planning.

  • Contact agencies that the person stated they have visited/received help from during their interview.

If during your interview, the individual mentions any other help agencies or non-profit groups they’ve either received help from or been turned away from, it can be helpful to reach out. Any information you receive from those agencies can inform your social work assessments.

3. Social Work Assessment

The social work assessment questions that are asked during the initial or follow-up interviews are used for the social work assessment report. This report includes notes from the social worker on the individual’s situation, resources identified that can help, and an intervention and support plan to help the client.

The social work assessment process will lead to the care plan. This involves reviewing all interview information and research and distilling that into a strategy to help the client.

4. Create Social Work Plan & Goals

After writing the case assessment social work report, the care plan needs to be created in detail.

The social worker will often use a social work assessment template for data input so they can chart correlations that can help in creating a comprehensive plan for the client. They will look for strengths and positive forces in the client’s life that can be drivers for change.

Goals and milestones to be achieved will be included in the social work assessments plan. These are designed to show whether or not the intervention is going in the right direction and the change will be sustained.

A social work assessment example for someone fleeing a bad domestic situation may include a goal of opening a new bank account in their name. Another might include obtaining affordable housing through a community resource.

The care plan is the path forward to a better life for the impacted client and will be dependent upon the needs of that individual and guided by the social work assessment and intervention identified.

5. Social Work Plan Implementation & Monitoring

Once the social work assessments care plan and goals are developed with the help of social work assessment tools, the client will be presented with the plan. The social worker will attempt to get them on board with the intervention and game plan.

Monitoring is important during the implementation to ensure that the plan is going according to design and that any necessary adjustments are made. The goals serve as markers that someone is going in the right direction.

During the monitoring process, other assessment tools in social work can be brought in to help gauge the individual’s progress and keep them on the right track.

An assessment example social work professionals will use to chart progress for a client is a genogram and ecomap. This type of combined example of assessment in social work can show how relationships are moving from stressful or tenuous to more positive over time.

An assessment social work example might also be a personal SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. They’re often done for businesses but can also be very helpful when incorporated on an individual basis into an assessment framework in social work follow-up and monitoring.

assessment in social work

Social Work Assessment Tools

6. Final Review | Case Assessment Social Work

Once the intervention and care plan is complete, there is a final evaluation in social work done to assess the client’s progress and whether they have reached the end of the plan successfully.

Many assessment examples social work reports will include the end goal for the client’s care plan and alternate referrals or follow-up steps that could be made if the client doesn’t successfully complete the plan.

If successful, the ongoing intervention activities can be terminated as the person is now able to carry on without the additional assistance.

If the final evaluation shows that the goals of the intervention and care plan have not been met, then another social work assessment example may need to be done to determine if there is a viable path forward to assist the client.

7. Social Work Care Plan Termination

When looking at examples of social work assessments, there will sometimes be a date noted when the care plan will end. Or this may be left open and dependent upon the progress made by the client.

Conduct an exit interview for the individual to transition the person to self-sufficiency or another care agency.

During your exit interview, you will review their progress during your time working together on their care plan and lay the groundwork for any potential interactions in the future.

For example, you would want to let the individual know they could reach out to your organization should help be needed again. You may also set up a schedule for ongoing follow-up visits to check on their welfare.

What is a social worker assessment for those follow-ups?

Follow-up social worker assessments would mainly consist of noting progress, any new issues the client is facing, and making recommendations either for continued follow-up, intervention using the social work framework for assessment again, or possibly to end the follow-ups if things are going well.

During the exit interview, give individual time to get all their questions answered, as this is a time when you may be “taking off the training wheels” so the individual may be anxious and needs to know where they can reach out for support if needed.

If you are transitioning the individual to another agency to continue their care, you’ll be meeting with the receiving representative(s) and sharing pertinent information to help them continue caring for the individual.

8. Social Worker Follow-up

Ongoing “touch base” contact for follow-up is a good practice if possible. In this way, the social worker proactively checks to ensure the positive changes brought about after the assessment in social work are still in place and that the individual has not slid back into a negative situation.

If any issues are found during follow-up, then another assessment using social work tools can be done, and the data from the prior assessment will be included.

Don’t miss: social work evaluation examples.

Do you know of a social work assessment example that you would like to see listed in this guide? Contact us to let us know. In your message, you can use this subject line: “social work assessment example.”


Are You Looking for a Social Worker Tasks Checklist That Includes These Steps in Detail?

Social work assessment questions for clients

The AGS Social Work Toolkit includes a checklist and workflow that answers, “What is an assessment in social work?” in detail!


Do you know of a social work assessment example that you would like to see listed in this guide? Contact us to let us know. On your message, you can use this subject line: “social work assessment example.”


Social Work Assessment Questions

The social work assessment questions used for a particular client will depend upon the person’s age, situation, and type of evaluation being done.

If someone has a health-related issue, then questions and the assessment framework social work tools used will revolve around health and well-being subjects. If the individual requires basic needs assistance (food, shelter), then the questions will differ and be related to those urgent necessities.

The assessment tools social work professionals use include many different types of questionnaires. This helps ensure they’ll be ready with the right social work survey questions examples for any situation.

Open-Ended vs Closed-Ended Questions

When doing a social work process assessment, you want to gather as much information from the subject as possible. How you phrase social work assessment questions is important because if they’re worded the right way, they invite a fuller answer than just “yes” or “no.”

See also: Social Worker Assessment Questions – Examples

This is why most social work tools recommend using open-ended questions, which invite more feedback.

A close-ended question is one that you can answer with a yes or no, whereas an open-ended question requires more elaboration to answer.

Social Work Assessment Example Questions:

  • Closed-ended: Are you feeling better today?
  • Open-ended: How are you feeling today?

We’ve categorized potential questions to use with social work assessment tools based upon the five key categories of the System model, which also includes strength-based questions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to learn more about the assessment tools social work professionals use. Also, contact the AGS team if you have questions or feedback about the social work assessment examples listed in this guide.


Downloadable Templates – Assessment Questions

You can download a PPT and PDF of these social assessment example questions below to use for an assessment in social work. These documents include multiple sample social work client assessment questions.

Social work skills chart

Download Social Work Assessment Questions PPT

Download Social Work Assessment Questions PDF

Social Work Assessment Toolkit & Software

Social Work Assessments & Case Management Tool

Social Work Case Management & Assessment Tool!

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Don’t miss: Example of assessment in social work.

Do you have a social work client assessment example that you would like to see included in this guide that other social workers can learn from? If so, contact us to let us know. Also, let us know if you have sample social work client assessment questions that can be included in this guide for other social workers to leverage.


AGS Social Work Case Management Template & Tools

There are several variables to consider when doing an assessment in social work, from emotional considerations to physical needs. Having a social work assessment template can standardize assessments as much as possible by ensuring key data is collected so it can be analyzed in a comprehensive report.

In addition to a robust template for multiple assessments in social work of different kinds, our social worker software includes many other tools to support your success. This includes insightful real-time analytics, a checklist to use with assessment frameworks in social work, and multiple templates (Ecomap, Culturagram, etc.)

The AGS Case Management Tool for Social Workers Features:

    • A customizable template to capture individual needs assessment social work inputs
    • Insightful & automated analytics dashboard reporting
    • Sample social work intake assessment example for reference
    • Input your data directly or upload it from a spreadsheet
    • Export your needs assessment social work report from the template directly into an MS Word document
    • Bonus social work assessment forms & surveys
    • Great to use for the initial assessment social work practitioners do as well as subsequent assessments
    • Real-time collaboration with team members
    • Access your social work case management template from any device
    • Customization capabilities to fit any definition of social work assessment

AGS Social Work Assessment Toolkit

Best Social Work Case Management Tool

Would you like to get a free walkthrough of our Social Work Assessment Template to see how it works and view initial assessment social work examples? Book a free walkthrough here.


Example of Social Work Assessment (Sample Data)

When looking for different types of assessment tools in social work something that is very handy to have is sample data. Sample data that provides a social work case assessment example can help those new to social work gain valuable insights.

The importance of assessment in social work can be illustrated when using sample data. It helps answer, “What is social work assessment” in practical terms by showing an assessment instead of just telling what an assessment is.

Having a social work assessment definition is helpful when someone is first grasping the concept of assessment in social work practice. But it can only go so far.

The definition of assessment in social work can’t go into the practical use of an assessment like a needs assessment example social work template can. What do we mean by this?

Well, the AGS Social Work Assessment Toolkit provides sample data and sample analytics along with a social work initial assessment template that you can use.

Social Work Toolkit Sample Data

AGS Template with Sample Social Work Questions and Answers

These social work feedback examples include several different scenarios for analysis in social work settings to give users a variety of different assessments in social work practices.

This includes medical social work assessment, emotional social work assessment, help with basic needs, and other types of client intake assessments.

Needs Assessment Template - Examples and Free Downloads

AGS Social Work Initial Assessment Template with Sample Data


Would you like a free walkthrough to see this social work assessment questions example template? Click to book a demo here.


Social Worker Assessment Questions (Downloadable)

Would you like a free set of social work assessment questions for clients? We have a free download in both PDF and PowerPoint full of questions that are suitable for assessments in social work.

Click below to download the list of diverse social worker assessment questions that can be used for a social work feedback form or asked directly. This list of social work evaluation examples and questions has been put together based on best practices.

Social work skills chart

Download – Free Social Work Assessment Questions PPT

Download – Free Social Work Assessment Questions PDF

Don’t Miss:  Social Work Assessment Toolbox for Social Workers

Do you have your own example of social worker assessment questions that can help other social workers that you would like us to include? Contact us to let us know.


Conclusion | #1 Guide to Assessment Tools in Social Work

Most of the social work assessment tools used for evaluating clients are based upon industry practices for approaches, questions, and mapping of the social environment around an individual.

It’s vital to learn the positive and negative forces that impact a person’s crisis situation and to explore strengths along with challenges.

Some assessment tools in social work can be used for many different types of clients, such as the self-assessment questionnaire. While other tools are distinct to a specific situation, such as the GAD-7 for anxiety assessment.

Social work assessment and intervention can be as unique as each individual, but they all start from a baseline of best practices and experience that social workers and their social work tools are designed to provide. The social work client assessment example(s) and samples provided in this guide are included to help lead you through your social work path. To provide more social work client assessment examples, feel free to contact us.

Social Work Management Toolkit

Assessment in Social Work PPT – Free Download

Assessment in Social Work PDF – Free Download

Social Work Tools & Templates for Social Workers!

 Best Social Worker Toolkits

Best Social Worker Toolkits - Mobile and iPad

Best Social Work Assessment Toolkit

Do you have questions about this social work documentation guide? Contact us.


Social Work Assessment Guide FAQ

What is a social work assessment?

A social work assessment is a report that outlines an individual’s situation and immediate and long-term needs. It also includes some type of intervention recommendation designed to help that individual overcome their immediate challenges.

Assessment in social work consists of sitting down with a person and asking them a series of questions designed to identify a number of factors that will guide any intervention plan.

What assessments do social workers use?

The approaches used in social work tools and techniques are a combination of psychology-based techniques and organizational tools to connect multiple factors together. A social work assessment template helps put all those moving pieces into a comprehensive assessment and game plan for support.

Social work assessment tools include:
• Genogram & Ecomap
• Self-Assessment Template
• Culturagrams
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Gad-7
• Systems (Situation, Safety, Survival Needs, Supports, Short-Term Work)

What are social work skills?

There are several important skills that a social worker needs to have. These include a combination of formal academic training and psychological and emotional skills.

Typical social work skills include:
• Empathy
• Organizational skills
• Decision-making ability
• Critical thinking
• Excellent communication
• Ability to set boundaries
• Active listening
• Time management

What are the goals of social work?

The stages of the social work process are designed with a simple goal in mind, which is to help people. Social workers are usually on the front line when someone is in a crisis in their life and needs assistance.

The overarching goals of social work include:
• Helping people achieve the best possible outcome for personal and social well-being
• Working towards social justice for underserved populations
• Identifying the personal tools and external resources an individual needs to live a better life


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Image sources:

    • Stock.adobe.com
    • Microsoft 365 Clip Art Image(s) (Bing images licensed under the Creative Commons license system.),
    • https://www.ls.graphics/free/free-pixel-4-and-pixelbook-go-mockup
    • https://adaa.org/sites/default/files/GAD-7_Anxiety-updated_0.pdf
    • https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sun-Sun-Lim/publication/324031114/figure/fig1/AS:608736229994497@1522145435527/Culturagram-Congress-2005.png