Social Work


SWM 5102-Assessment title: Case Study Analysis
Alignment with learning outcome(s): 2.Explain how risk and protective factors may enhance or impede the development of resilience in childhood, adolescence and adulthood and consider how to apply this knowledge in working with individuals and families;

  1. Critically evaluate the values and assumptions underpinning various theoretical approaches to human development, such as psychodynamic, ecological systems and cognitive behavioural theories;
  2. Synthesise the key evidence in relation to the effectiveness of different theories, frameworks and models applied approaches to direct social work practice;
  3. Analyse critically the elements of social work processes including assessment, engagement, the worker/client relationship and referral for the purpose of improving practice.
  4. Research and apply key principles in working with children and families from diverse and Indigenous cultures.

Details of task: Case Study 2


You know Riley (8 yrs.) as the school social worker at a local primary school. His mother Eileen (38 yrs.) came to see you last week and told you about Riley’s medical condition. She explained that she was training with Riley for a school marathon as a fun bonding activity between them when she noticed that he didn’t seem to be running smoothly. Then Eileen noted that he was sitting closer and closer to the TV at night. Riley also told Eileen that he thought his ipad was not working properly as everything seemed blurry. Several weeks earlier Jack (48 yrs.) his dad had been with him at the playground when Riley fell off some of the equipment he had been climbing for several years with ease. This seemed odd to Jack.

Recently, the family, including Siobhan (6 yrs.) his younger sister who also attends the same primary school, went on a long road trip to visit Eileen’s parents interstate. Riley normally loved this trip and often sang and made jokes to entertain everyone in the car on the way. But on this last trip Riley was vomiting, tired and unsteady on his feet. At first Eileen and Jack thought he might have eaten something that made him sick but on returning from the trip he complained of headaches and did not want to run the marathon he had been training for with a lot of enthusiasm.

Eileen decided to take Riley to the family doctor and he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Eileen was upset about this and felt she should have known something was wrong sooner. Riley had changed a fair bit lately and wasn’t as happy or physically active as he normally had been. Eileen blamed herself for not taking him to the doctor earlier.

Eileen is worried about how Shiobhan is coping and wants to know if she is reacting to Riley’s illness in a normal way. Shiobhan started school this year the same year Riley was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She cut her own hair when Riley’s hair was shaved off for treatment and wore beanies like him. Eileen does not want Shiobhan to get left out and negatively impacted by all the extra attention Riley needs. Eileen states that Jack’s father died of lung cancer when Jack was only 17 years old and that he still has nightmares about it. Jack is finding it difficult going to the hospital with Riley due to his own dislike of the hospital smells that remind him of his father’s pain and struggle.

Eileen would like to ask Jack’s mother (Rosemary 78 yrs,) to come and help out with Shiobhan after school. This is so that Siobhan would not always have to go with Riley to various appointments and treatments.  However, Rosemary recently had a hip replacement and is limited in being able to drive. Eileen and Jack’s place also has many steps and these would trouble Rosemary. Rosemary lives a one-hours drive from Jack and Eileen and it is too difficult to drive with Riley to her place to drop Shiobhan off before going to the hospital.

Eileen states that she is worried that Shiobhan is missing out on making friends as getting together for playdates after school is difficult. Eileen does not know many of the other mums in Shiobhon’s class at the school to ask about play dates for Shiobhon. She feels that her friends are already doing as much as they can, many of them working full time with young families of their own.

Eileen has had to cut back on her working hours dramatically to take Riley to all his appointments, spend time with him in hospital and care for him when home. She seems tired and stressed. Jack feels terrible because he must work to cover the bills but wants to offer more support to Eileen, Riley and Shiobhan. However, his job as a senior salesperson pays much better than Eileen’s yet it has much less flexibility and requires some interstate travel as well.


When you meet Shiobhan she is lively and funny. You play a card game with her and let her tell you stories about the pictures she selects. Shiobhan tells lots of stories about sadness and loss. For instance, a card with a picture of a cat stimulates Shiobhan to tell a story about how sad and lost the cat is, and how the cat has no friends to play with. She says that the cat is alone and missing its brother and sisters to play with. Shiobhan also tells you about the pain in her brother’s head and how it has changed him. He is weak and doesn’t run anymore, or climb up high like he used to do. She says her mum and dad are very busy and she has to be very quiet and be good or her brother might not get better.

You must use the critical ecological system theory (Coady and Lehmann, 2016) to analyse your selected case.

You must also select one mid-level theory for direct practice in your text by Coady and Lehmann (2016) and explain why you have selected this theory to assist you with your work with this client(s).

Provide a clear rationale for how you will work inter-personally with the client(s) drawing on your knowledge of micro skills interviewing with social work clients ( Geldard, Geldard & Yin Foo, 2017).

This Case study analysis must include and discuss:

  • Outline the key theoretical concepts in two theories, one: critical ecological systems theory and the other one mid-level theory you selected from Coady and Lehmann (2016) and discuss why these theories areapplicable to the one case study you have selected (select either Riley OR Asim). (30%)
  • Identify the key issues your client is presenting with.  Indicate what aspects of the case these theories highlight for your attention. Indicate any limitations that are not addressed by these two theories (critical ecological systems theory and your selected mid-level theory) (30%)
  • Include any relevant research as to the effectiveness of the mid-level theory you chose to use in this situation (5%)
  • Discuss how you might address the different outcomes that may be desired by various people/agencies in the case study you have selected. (5%)
  • How do you plan to engage the client to work collaboratively towards specific goals–refer to the micro-skills reading here to offer some examples of how you will seek to engage this client(s), ( Geldard, Geldard & Yin foo, 2017) (20%).
  • Ten percent of the mark for this assignment will be allocated to structure (introduction, discussion and conclusion), clarity of argument, correct referencing (Monash Harvard style), literacy and presentation. Students should refer to the core texts, citing at least six – eight academic references. (10%).
  • Remember:
  • ● Each paragraph should discuss one key point
  • ● Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence containing the main point, and then the rest of the paragraph should elaborate on this idea.
  • ● Order paragraphs in a logical sequence and make links between them
  • Please kindly use headings and subheadings.


















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