Things to Remember When Writing A DAP

A DAP is a brief write up in a health care setting when a client first seeks help or is brought in for help. This write up covers information regarding the patient, their immediate needs, the social workers assessment of what appears to be the reason they are there, and a plan to help them.

  • D— Record data immediately presented by the client including the reason they’re there, a brief history, and any other information that is provided directly by the client. The data portion of this report should be factual focusing only on the facts directly stated and presented.
  • A— The assessment portion of this report should be observational, focusing on symptoms the client may present, how they are acting, if they appear to be a danger to themselves or others, whether or not their speech is pressing, and how they seem to be reacting to the situation or interacting with others.
  • P— When creating a plan for your client, you must take into account all of the data and assessments you have done. The plan should include the next move for the client; whether or not they should be held for more observation, admitted, or if they are safe to leave, the services you think they will need to reach an end goal based on observation of their needs,  and any medical help you think they might need.
  • When recording assessments, be sure to put emphasis on the clients strengths as it is a social workers job to use a clients strengths to push them towards their end goal. If the client shows up and is seeking help, that is automatically a strength and should be recognized as one. Try to use some observations that may have had a negative connotation and make them positive and strengths based. For example, if a client appears to be bossy, and is yelling about what they want or a problem they have, rather than observing “bossiness”, view it as the strength to be assertive and their ability to articulate what they need or want.
  • To help your client understand their strengths, point out that they are not on the low end of the scale regarding their strengths. Point out what their strengths are in order to help them see that although they may appear to have several weaknesses, they can be seen as strong and can only get stronger.



Abby Arnold
Notes taken from Lecture – March 3rd, 2016

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