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Storytelling through case notes - language, empathy and validation

Date: Tuesday, 11 July 2023

Time: 10am-12pm (London, UK) with a ten-minute break

Price: Free

Speakers: Michelle McClintock, Senior Practitioner (Pathways Reviews) for the Throughcare & Aftercare Service at Aberdeenshire Council, Dr Katie Ellis, Senior Lecturer in Child and Family Wellbeing at the University of Sheffield, and Cameron Draisey, care experienced  


Language helps to construct our world view, and the words used to describe us and tell our story have a significant impact on how we view ourselves, our values, our place in the world, and, crucially, tells us whether we have been understood.

Whether you are a teacher, social worker, youth offending team worker, probation officer, foster carer or police officer, you will have the responsibility of recording your understanding of a child and their story in different scenarios. This webinar is an opportunity to critically reflect on your own approach to this important work and to consider the impact of the language you choose.

In this webinar you will hear first-hand testimony about the power of the written word, and how case note recording can shape an individual’s perception and view of themselves.

Research in this area has shed a light on our understanding of case notes and recording, and part of this webinar will be devoted to recognising why it is important to see these as an essential building block in person-centred and relationship-based practice.

You will get to hear about the innovative work taking place in this area, and where, through co-production, this has given ownership and agency to care experienced young people.

If you work with children and young people, this webinar will allow you to feel what’s at stake when writing your notes. If you’re passionate about the need to give young people the opportunity to see themselves validated in the notes you write, this webinar is for you.

Expect to leave charged with confidence that you can make a difference, motivated to take the learning into your own practice and organisation and with an understanding of how it has been done in Aberdeenshire.



Learning outcomes:

  • Gain an understanding of why Aberdeenshire’s Throughcare & Aftercare Service re-evaluated their case recording processes
  • Gain an understanding of the practical, low-cost changes that were made and understand how this has revolutionised the service
  • Reflect on the experiences of young people in care, and the importance placed on case notes
  • Gain an understanding of the power of personalised, person-centred and emotionally-sensitive case notes
  • Reflect on the importance young people place on their relationships with the people they work with, and how this is reflected in the notes kept about them
  • Develop renewed confidence in your ability to make a difference



Who should attend?

  • Social workers (newly qualified to very experienced)
  • Senior leaders in health, education and social care services for children
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Principal social workers
  • Youth offending team workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Health professionals
  • Teachers and others working in education
  • Police officers
  • Probation officers
  • Foster carers
  • Any other professional who takes notes about young people


Meet the speakers


Cameron Draisey

Cameron Draisey is a care experienced young person with experience of accessing his care records.

Dr Katie Ellis

Dr Katie Ellis is a lecturer in Child Wellbeing in the Health Sciences School at the University of Sheffield. She has over 15 years of research experience and has focused her work around the perspectives of children and young people in care, and leaving care. Ellis has received public acclaim for her work around pathways between care and university. Her published work critiques understandings of vulnerability and resilience. Ellis has received funding from The Leverhulme Trust, ESRC and British Academy.

Michelle McClintock

Michelle McClintock is a Senior Practitioner (Pathways Reviews) at Aberdeenshire Council. Michelle graduated from Robert Gordon University in 2003 with an Honours degree in Social Work. She has spent her Social Work career working within Education and Children’s services, including Children & Families, Youth Justice and for the past nine years, she has been part of the Throughcare and Aftercare Team in Aberdeenshire. Michelle has been a Senior Practitioner since early 2021, where the main focus of her developmental work has been on The Promise with particular attention to recording and the use of language and relationship based practice. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys travelling and stand up paddle boarding around local coastlines, rivers and lochs.