working with outcomes

Working with outcomes: Practice Tool (2014)

Published: 10/01/2014

Author: Johnstone L


Outcomes are, by definition, personalised where they relate to the priorities and aspirations of an individual person. An outcomes-focused approach must place the person at the centre of discussions from the outset, finding ways to engage and empower them so that they are able to explain their needs, concerns, problems and circumstances. Only then can the whole person, their current situation and history be understood so they can discuss and negotiate with those supporting them what their desired outcomes are and how they might be achieved.

Personalisation places the focus firmly on outcomes - with much less emphasis on inputs and outputs such as the assessment process, how resources are allocated, whether timescales are met, how many weeks or hours of care and support are put in place. Having said that, good assessment is still pivotal to the process of identifying need and desired outcomes. Practitioners will spend increasing amounts of time on support, brokerage, advocacy, prevention, early intervention, safeguarding and promoting social inclusion.

Professional Standards

PQS:KSS - Values and ethics | Developing confident and capable social workers | Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision-making | The role of social workers | Person-centred practice | Effective assessment and outcome based support planning | Direct work with individuals and families | Organisational context | Level of capability: at the end of their first year in employment

CQC - Responsive | Well led

PCF - Values and ethics | Rights, justice and economic wellbeing | Critical reflection and analysis | Contexts and organisations

RCOT - Understanding relationship | Service users | Keep records | Qualified