Genre Guide

What is case assessment report writing?

For simulated learning, you are given an individual or family case to study. Often the case is presented to you in a dramatized video. You will write up the case, give your analysis, and suggest an intervention plan. This is in preparation for your fieldwork study when you will practise handling real life cases.


What are the different sections in a case assessment report?

Your lecturer often will specify the different sections you need to include in your case assessment report, so that you can demonstrate your skills in interpreting and describing the case. You will then draw on discipline-specific theories and concepts when analyzing it. After that, you will suggest possible ways to handle the case.

Here is more specific advice to you for each section:



Your skills involved

  1. present the case
  • Describe the individual, or family 

individual case – age, occupation, family make-up, events that have brought the case to the attention of the social worker.

e,g, Wing-sum, a 12-year old school girl, lives with her parents, and a younger brother in a public housing estate.          

e.g. The mother came with her to see the social worker.  The event that brought them to the social worker was that the daughter attempted suicide by jumping out of a window.

  1. give background information about the case
  • Identify clearly the relevant information in order to establish the background and causes of the individual or family’s areas of need
  • When describing cause and effect relationships, it is sometimes better to use tentative language to show that the causation may not be 100% certain.

e.g. Helena suffered from bad quality sleep, which likely affected   her performance at work. This could have aggravated the already strained relationship between the couple.

  • Can reflect the service user’s view of their situation by including direct speech.

e.g.The relation between the daughter (case) and her parents deteriorated after she started secondary school. One time, the mother used a clothes hanger to physically punish the daughter because of her behavioural problems at school and unsatisfactory schools results. The mother locked the daughter in her room. The mother was crying when she said this.

  1. assess the case
  • Cite discipline-related theories, or concepts from lectures or reading materials to assess the case

e.g. ​Another characteristic of a good ego in functioning, as Lloyd suggests (1965), is that it can tell what is important and what is trivial, and can prioritize, focusing on one thing at a time.

  • Use non-integral citation to highlight the content of the theory itself.

e.g. When the ego is weak, the person can suffer from the tension between the impulse from the id and the harsh, unapproving response from the superego (Lloyd, 1965).

  1. design an intervention plan
  • Start by describing the goals and objectives of the intervention plan.

e.g. The goal of the proposed intervention plan is to strengthen the ego’s capacity to endure and adapt to frustration.

  • Then describe your approach or methods


e.g. In addition to providing psychological help, the worker should emphasize the help the mother needs in order to learn to manage such problems as how to feed, discipline, and toilet-train the child.

Use of such facilities as pre-school nurseries, special education classes, day care centres, and sheltered workshops should be made available when they can be used appropriately.

Moreover, the mother should be given an opportunity to be away from the child at recurring intervals.


Now, try an activity on designing an Intervention Plan

  1. reflection (often required)
  • Often, you are free to respond to any part in the process of writing up a case assessment report, e.g. the experience of the individual in the case, or possible solutions, or theories used to understand the case
  • Response can be personal, or impersonal, depending on the chosen aspect for reflection.
  • Quality of the reflection probably lies in the depth of the reflection, or how clearly you are showing you have learnt from the experience.


Points to take note of when writing the case assessment

  • Before you write:
    • analyze the given problem / case
    • think about what relevant theories you can use for the case
    • plan how much information you are going to write for each section – i.e. which section should be longer / shorter (sometimes your lecturer may give you a word limit for particular sections of the report) TIP: you may want to write an outline of the case assessment report
    • think about how much your audience (could be the person who is marking your work) knows already (this would affect how detailed you want to be when explaining certain theories and details of the problem / case)
  • While you write:
    • give appropriate headings for each section you write (do not just copy headings that are given in the writing guideline provided by your lecturers)
    • make sure you explain, rather than just mention  theories you are applying in understand a case  so as to demonstrate your understanding of those theories. Your explanation does not need to be long. (make sure you cite your sources
    • make sure your ideas are logical / logically linked
    • read what you have written so far from time to time to check the logic and language (this is also helpful to see if you have written too much / little for each section)
  • After you write:
    • reread and proofread your work (this will help you find mistakes in your writing that you have missed)
    • make sure your in-text citations match with the end-of-text reference list.  What language would be helpful when writing case studies?

About this website

This website has been developed as part of the UGC funded project, "Supporting and developing students’ English literacy practices in the disciplines” which is funded by the University Grants Committee’s Competitive Funding Scheme on Teaching and Learning for the 2012-2015 triennium. This inter-institutional literacy project aims to examine the provision of English literacy across three broad disciplines in Hong Kong tertiary institutes, namely Social Science, Science and Engineering in the participating institutions that include the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University. The website consists of a comprehensive support system to help provide a stimulating learning environment for students, content and language teachers. It also aims to help teachers become conversant with disciplinary genres and the linguistic and pedagogical resources suitable in a second language learning environment. The resources on this website will be open to and shared by all tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and beyond.