The purpose of these assignments is to facilitate a deeper understanding of the assessment and problem-solving process by applying this knowledge and skills to a case in your own practice. Through these assignments, you will demonstrate skills in problem-identification, observation, development of case theory, applying the evidence, engagement, contracting and goal setting, planning.
In order to complete these three integrative assignments, you must select a client or group of clients (also called a “client-group”) you are working directly with that will be the subject of each of these assignments. This can be an individual, couple, and/or family, or a group of clients that may be a small treatment group, work team, or community task group. Your case selection will be used for all of these 3 assignments, so it is important that you think carefully about the selection. Some of you may be in placements in which you are not working directly with the agency clients or beneficiaries. Instead you may be working with a community task group such as an advisory board. No matter who the client is, it is expected that you are working directly with people whether it be the Director of an Association; a legislator; a neighborhood watch group; or an individual client and/or family. You need the very same skills in communication, engagement, goal-setting, problem-solving and evaluation whether it is an individual or a community group. Make sure to discuss the selection of your client with your supervisor. Note: limited contact, i.e. 1-2 encounters with the client system, is acceptable. The idea is to choose a case that you can use as a learning experience to assessing and researching clients and others like this client or client-group. You are required to discuss these case study requirements with your field supervisor at the beginning of the course in order to jointly determine which case you can use as illustrative of the social work problem-solving process with a client or client group.
The School of Social Work requires the use of APA Style Writing for each section that includes a title page and references (you do not need an abstract). Deductions will be made for inaccurate in-text references and references on the references page as well as other writing and organization errors.
Tips on Writing the Case Study
Organize the Information: According to Bisman (2014; 1994), the assessment is a mutual process engaging the client and social worker in “gathering and organizing the evidence [or information] that advances from the particular or specific, to the universal or general, and then to the singular or individualized (p. 95). The assessment includes facts, observations, evidence from the literature, and interpretations or judgments(pp. 104-105). An assessment must be done before an intervention – and continues throughout the intervention process (pp. 94-95). It is important in writing a case study that the different categories of the evidence or information are organized and labeled with the respective headings. The evidence includes 1) facts (identifying information such as age, gender, employment, etc.; facts about problems; historical information; laboratory reports; research evidence, etc., 2) observations (non-verbal cues, the way the client dresses, conditions of community or house, behaviors you hear and see, and observation of your own thoughts and feelings), 3)evidence from the literature, and 4) interpretations or judgments (the social worker and other colleague’s hypotheses of what is going or – case theory; in some ways it is the synthesis of the facts). See Bisman, 2014, pp. 104-106 and Miley et al., 2017, pp. 236-243 for additional information.
Pay Attention to Verb Tense: Assessments present and organize information that use present, past, and future tense – presenting problems and referral information is present tense; historical information on health, education, employment, etc. are past tense; case theory incorporates past, present, and future; and observations are present tense, and sometimes future tense in terms of predictions, future worries, and/or desired goals.and intervention, and evaluation.
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