Best Practices for Developing Courses of Action in Social Work
Best practices for developing course of Action (COA) are strategic in nature. While every case and client is different, the handling of these cases and clients can be distilled into a COA plan that can be applied in most instances. Most important to the COA plan is the establishment of objectives that comply with policy and legal requirements. This is to say that objectives must take advantage of current resources and programs in order to avoid risk.
COA plans are strategic in nature because they may share the overarching mission to help the client but they must also be tailored to the worker in terms of their unique position within the organization and the type of organization. For example, the worker in a state department of social services may not have agency access to certain resources that other workers in different states are able to access. Some systems are more compartmentalized, and this means a strategy for helping may entail best practices such as developing lists of resources as well as directions for their access rather than just pointing to website (Woodside & McClam, 2012).
Best practices may also include the development of solutions based on prior client needs and solutions. This practice can be developed individually by the worker to allow the worker individualized solutions. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, the worker can apply more client centered options.
Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2012). Models of service delivery: Online instructor’s manual (p. 56). In An introduction to human services (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.