Case work in Social Work: The use of reflective letters in Motivational Interviewing

Karen Roscoe, Marie Marlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper begins by reviewing the current policy context of ‘evidence based interventions’, a term littered in social work literature and more recently working with complex families in Wales. This study demonstrates the application of practice of a range of workers located in the Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS) in Wales in the context of reflective letters utilising motivational interviewing (MI) techniques. As part of the MI method, which is used as a model for practice in the IFSS, the consultant social worker, alongside other practitioners, uses a range of tools including the use of reflective letters and narrative principles. These letters are evidence themselves of the work and therapeutic conversations that happen during sessions within the family home, and with various family members. This paper draws on 14 samples of reflective letters from current practice in Wales and explores and considers their application to practice and areas for further development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-40
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2013
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2013


  • therapeutic conversations
  • reflective letters
  • motivational interviewing
  • intensive family support services


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