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The Purpose Of The Case Study Social Work Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 2720 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The purpose of the case study is to provide the student with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to analyse and evaluate the use of a method of social work intervention with an individual, family, or group of service users, and where appropriate, the carers.


In consultation with the practice teacher, tutor and where applicable the on-site facilitator, the student will select a situation where substantial social work intervention will be required. The student should carry out an assessment, choose an appropriate method of intervention and analyse and evaluate the subsequent use of the chosen method.

In undertaking this task students must:

  1. Provide a summarised social history of the case, highlighting significant past and present events in the service user’s life.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to select an appropriate method of intervention and offer supporting rationale for this choice.
  3. Provide an analysis of their assessment, reflecting on the model used the knowledge base in relation to the service user’s situation, relevant government and agency policy and legislation.
  4. Drawing on relevant theory, analyse and evaluate the processes and outcomes of the intervention for both the service user and for themselves as a student social worker. This must include:
  5. An account of the use of interpersonal skills and how these informed and impacted on the effectiveness of practice
  6. An examination of the influence of social work values throughout the work, including AOP
  7. Present the assignment to an acceptable standard which conforms to academic conventions regarding grammar, spelling and the Harvard system for referencing cited works.

Other guidelines for the case study

  1. The word limit should be no more than 4, 000 words (+/- 10%).
  2. Students muststate the exact word count on the front cover.
  3. The hand in date for the case study is before 10am on 14th May 2009. Late submissions require a formally agreed extension.

The On-Line Discussion Forum


Students are divided into specialist tutor groups

Specialist tutor groups are made up of students who are in the same/similar programme of care

Each specialist tutor group is headed by a specialist tutor

Details of which group students have been assigned to can be found in Appendix One


It is expected that students will participate in the on-line discussion forum once weekly. Please book the on-line slot into your diary (in the same way that you would your lecture attendance or a home visit). This way you are less likely to forget!

Your weekly submissions will be based around a series of practical tasks to help you link your learning both from semester one and your placement with the requirements of the case study.

The programme for your weekly input can be found in Appendix Two


It is expected that:

  • Students will contribute once weekly to the on-line discussion forum
  • There is no word limit regarding student contributions on-line but it is expected that they will be concise contributions addressing the pre-set tasks and that these should act as an aide memoir to your case study
  • Each submission should not take longer than 15 minutes to complete
  • Students can visit the discussion forum whenever they wish and can make more than one weekly contribution if they wish

· In order to preserve confidentiality the on-line discussions MUST avoid references to people’s names, locations, and other specific details by which an individual might be identified (e.g. chronological histories detailing specific locations and events, specific and unusual medical conditions)

· On-line discussions are monitored by the module coordinator as well as tutors. In the event that there are concerns regarding potential breaches of confidentiality you will be asked to edit your contributions accordingly

On-line Tasks

See Appendix Two

The Recall Days

12thFebruary 2009

10am-1pm Specialist tutor groups

Specialist tutors to discuss, re-cap and provide relevant references on the following:

  • Social issues and research, policy and legislation relevant to the identified social issues
  • Assessment frameworks and their benefits, limitations, effectiveness
  • Methods of intervention

Materials for tutors and students will be provided nearer the time.

2pm-3pm Lecture by K Winter

8th April 2009

10am-1pm Specialist tutor groups

Specialist tutors to discuss, re-cap and provide relevant references on the following:

  • Processes regarding methods of intervention referring to any relevant research, practice guidelines
  • Outcomes relating to methods of intervention referring to any relevant research, practice

Materials for tutors and students will be provided nearer the time.

2pm-4pm Lecture by K Winter

Module Review

The module is the subject of an annual review. The main issues arising have concerned:

  • Structure and content of on-line discussion forum
  • Structure and content of recall days
  • Date for submission of the case study
  • More teaching on group work as a method of intervention

The module has been re-structured this year to address most of the above points.

Reading Materials

It is recommended that you purchase Wilson et al. (2008) Social Work: An Introduction to Contemporary Practice, Harlow: Pearson Longman as it offers a broad guide that will help you consider the key elements of your case study including: social issues/social histories; assessment frameworks; and methods of intervention. The book also includes up to date references to policy and research. Other more specialist references will be added to QoL.

Appendix One

Specialist Tutor Group Allocation

Older people and physical health and disability (13students)




Christine Bowden

Sensory Impairment Team Newry

Alana Carr

Ivybrook Newry

Michael Cunningham

Shankill Centre, Belfast

Corey Doyle


Emma Goligher

Lagan Valley Hospital

Fiona Kelly

Sensory Impairment Bradbury Centre

Emma McClure

Mount Oriel

Samantha McGreevy

Lagan Valley Hospital

Clare Murney


Sheena Quinn


Eliza Shields

Day centre Banbridge

Heather Stewart

Holywood Arches Centre

Karen Watson

Scarva St Banbridge

Adults with learning disabilities (10 students)




Deborah Bonner

Glenwood Unit Poleglass

Amanda Caldwell

Struell Lodge Downpatrick

Judith Cleland

Adult supported living N’ards

James Draper

Skyways Project Ormeau Road

Clare Joyce

Ards TRC (day centre)

Hannah Laird

Balloo TRC Bangor

Christopher Millar

Edgcombe Day Centre

Shauna Murphy

Supported living project Bangor

Claire Murray

Mountview Downpatrick

Lynsey Wilson

Supported living project Lisburn

Family and child care (8 students)




Ann Boyle

Shankill Centre

Sarah Brown

Flaxfield CH Lisburn

Lois Curran

Bryson House Dunmurry

Simon Darby

Bryson House Bedford St

Nicola Doran

Gateway Team Banbridge

Joanne Elder

Naomi Project Women’s Aid

Christina Graffin

Carnmoney Road FCC team

Catherine Hennighan

Child care team Larne

Family and child care (9 students)




Debbie Henry

Antrim Family Intervention Team

Lisa Kearney

Women’s Aid Derry

Carina Ledwith

Lynsey House residential unit

Elaine McLaughlin

Bryson House family support Bedford St

Dawn McCallion

Family Placement Team Ballymena

Sarah Morrow

Fortwilliam CH

Louise Pettigrew

Warren Centre Lisburn

Lee Wilson

Residential Unit Portrush

Tim Wilson

Family support project N’ards

Mental health (10students)




Susan Beggs

Ormeau Centre Verner St

Katrina Copeland

Hostel 12 Larne

Amanda Ferris


Bryan Leonard

Addiction Treatment Unit Omagh

Heather Long

Addiction Team N’ards

Gemma Mallon

Ballymacross Hostel Lisburn

Lucy Molloy

Crisis Team Holywood Arches

Judith McCloy

Supported housing project Bangor

Kirsty Quigg

Derriaghy day centre

Anna Tohill

Supported living project Antrim

Appendix Two

On-line Discussion Forum Weekly Tasks




Week One (12.01.09-16.01.09)

Introduce yourself

Describe your placement (programme of care, where, what types of service user)

What are your initial observations regarding the working environment (physical environment and formal/informal working practices)?


Week Two (19.01.09-23.01.09)

Find out what type of assessment frameworks are used within your workplace. List and describe them


Week Three (26.01.09-30.01.09)

Choose an assessment framework

Find out about any research, policy and guidance regarding its use and describe


Week Four (02.02.09-06.02.09)

Look again at the selected assessment framework. Answer the following:

What are the benefits and limitations of the framework?

What can be done to improve it?


Week Five 09.02.09-13.02.09)

From your discussions with team members what social issues frequently emerge from people’s social histories in your particular placement (this could include poverty, abuse, substance dependency, sectarianism for example). List the social issues and identify any policies, legislation and research which inform practice in these areas.


N.B Thursday 12th Feb is a recall day. You will have a 3 hour tutorial (10-1pm) followed by a one hour lecture (2-3pm)

Week Six (16.02.09-20.02.09)

In conjunction with your tutor identify a case which you might use as your case study. Having sought the consent of the service user draw out: the main themes that emerge from their social history; the assessment framework you are using; the skills required in applying that assessment framework; the benefits and limitations encountered; the possible outcomes of that assessment process.


Week Seven (23.02.09-27.02.09)

In light of the issues that come to your attention through the assessment answer the following:

Which method of intervention might you consider?

Which issue(s) are you attempting to address?

Why have you chosen those issues and that method to address them?

What might a successful intervention look like? (list you goals, aims)

These issues should form the basis to your presentation to be delivered at the mid way tripartite


Week Eight (02.03.09-06.03.09)

Write up your presentation for your midway tripartite based on the work you have completed for this module so far.


Weeks Nine and Ten


Think about the processes relating to your chosen method of intervention and answer the following:

What knowledge, skills and values are you relying on?

What is helping/hindering the process?

What are the benefits/limitations to the method of intervention you have selected?


Weeks Eleven and Twelve (23.03.09-03.04.09)

Begin to think about the outcomes of your method of intervention and answer the following:

Is it working? Yes/No

In what ways is it working/not working?

Why is this so? What might be the contributory factors?

What could be done differently?

How do you measure success?

Is there any research regarding its effectiveness?

What do your colleagues think about the approach you have chosen?

Do your colleagues have favoured methods? If yes/no why?


Week Thirteen onwards (06.04.09 onwards)

Begin to write up your evidence based case study

Use the on-line discussion forum to seek guidance and help in relation to aspects of the case study

Aim to have it completed in first draft before end April 2009

NB 8th April is a recall day. You will have a 3 hour tutorial (10-1pm) followed by a 2 hour lecture (2-4pm)


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