Social Work with Children and Families: About Case Studies

About Case Studies

For SOCW 4310, you will be reading and answering questions about a case study. What is a case study? Read on below to find out!

Case study research method

A Case Study is a type of in-depth, qualitative research method that uses one single example (case) to provide information related to social or clinical issues. Case studies are often used in social work education to help students understand  and analyze scenarios they may find themselves in.

Image of Case study research bubble from the Sage Research Methods database's Method Map. Text: Case study research, a term with a variety of meanings and historical resonances but which today usually refers to the intensive study of a small number of cases, or a single case. Click the image to go to this entry in the database.

Pros & Cons

A case study is valuable both as a teaching tool and as a research method. Like any tool or method, case studies best serve certain, specific purposes.

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Practice-Oriented Genre

The “case study” is a term used to describe so many different documents that it almost makes up a “genre set” itself! Only the “reflection” essay takes on more different forms. However, generally speaking, all case studies present and analyze one or more parts of the helping process, as applied to a specific case, an individual or small group of individuals. Some case studies—of the kind often presented in textbooks—present only the very beginning of the helping process, by summing up a client’s situation and presenting issues. Others continue the process a little further, using theories of human behavior to understand how a client’s life works and why it works the way it does . Still others will take further steps, assessing the seriousness of the client’s issues, and proposing, or even completing an intervention. The most expanded version of the case study is the “integrative paper,” which takes the reader all the way through the helping process, from the client situation to intervention and evaluation.

Case studies usually address an audience of other social work practitioners who either have not worked with clients similar to the one that the writer discusses, or who have worked with similar clients, but are trying to find new techniques or strategies to use in dealing with them. These audiences will therefore be familiar with “the basics” of social work terms and practices, but might not be familiar with specific types of theory or intervention. It will therefore not be necessary to discuss “intervention” or “theories” as such, but it might be necessary to explain specialized interventions or theories in enough detail for an unfamiliar social worker to understand how they work. Likewise, these audience members have never met our individual client, so we will always want to a.) give the client a pseudonym (a fictitious name), to preserve confidentiality, and b.) start the document with a section detailing who the client is, and what the primary presenting issues are. We always want to start with information about the client, so that the audience can decide if they want to read the whole paper or not.

Case studies that present only the client’s situation generally do not make an argument, but function more as a brief summary of the client’s situation and presenting issues. After that, however, all sections of the case study will need to argue in favor of the approach being taken. Sections that use theories of human behavior to better understand the client must advance the argument that this theory/concept allows a clearer understanding of this or that client experience . The section should then use the theory’s concepts and logic to illuminate or explain aspects of the client experience. Likewise, a section that recommends a specific intervention (or states that the writer completed the intervention) should argue that this intervention is appropriate for this client’s issues, in this situation . Here, the burden of proof is even higher, since we will be intervening in the client’s life. We will need to establish that our intervention is evidence based .

It is also important to follow a sequence of sections that correspond more or less to the tasks involved in the helping process. We need to use theories of human behavior to understand the client better before we use an intervention to try to change the client’s behavior. As Professor Hollibert Phillips once pointed out, “We need to do anatomy and physiology… before surgery!” Likewise, we need to argue for and explain the intervention itself in detail before we evaluate how well it worked. This is why the most expanded case study, the integrative paper, is structured the way it is, with sections entitled: Client situation, human behavior, policy, engagement, assessment, intervention, evaluation, and conclusion. Note that things like “engagement” and “assessment” sometimes happen more or less simultaneously, but they are presented in this order because “engagement” logically precedes and underpins “assessment.” We have to have a working rapport with a client in order to then assess the seriousness of their situation.

Most case studies will require us to mix our direct experiences with the client and information from scholarly sources such as textbooks, theoretical books, or empirical journal articles. In larger projects, different sections will require different uses of these materials. In an introductory description of the client’s situation, we want to aim for a brief summary, to let the reader know the context and subject of the case, so descriptions of the interviewing process, or tags like “she said” usually are not appropriate—we would want to save these types of description for the engagement or assessment process. Likewise, discussions of human behavior should use foundational theoretical sources primarily, but should also introduce journal articles to help show how a theory would explain a specific case like the one the writer discusses . Finally, when deciding to use a specific intervention, it is particularly important to support that decision by using journal articles to provide evidence that the intervention is appropriate for a client like ours with issues like these .

Hybrid Writing

Because this genre relies upon the writer’s direct professional experiences and on scholarly sources, it will be important to be able to switch easily and appropriately between these. In some parts of the project, it may be appropriate to use “I,” while in other parts, it may not. For instance, it is often necessary to use “I” when explaining what assessment methods we used, whereas using theories to explain how a client’s life works likely will not require the “I” (as we will often not need to refer to ourselves directly here). Also, case studies are usually presumed to be written after the last stage in the helping process that they describe. For any activities that began and ended before this “time of writing,” the past tense is appropriate, but things that remain true, or are ongoing, the present tense is appropriate. So we might need to say:

“Sue” is a 90-year-old woman who resides in an assisted-living facility, and was referred to me after her husband died .

Putting the woman’s gender and residence in the past tense could convey the impression that she is now deceased!

Client Summary/Situation/Issues: These versions of the case study summarize briefly only the client’s basic information.

Client Assessment and Intervention: This version will require us to provide our assessment of the client’s issues, and propose an intervention, in addition to an initial summary of the client’s situation.

Macro Case Study: This version of the assignment will usually focus on a larger group of people, ranging from a family to an entire neighborhood. The difference in focus will mean that we want to choose different types of theory and/or intervention. Note that this label is sometimes also used to describe a community assessment , or community intervention  project.

Integrative Paper: This is the full, complete case study, including the following sections:

Note: Exact requirements may vary from instructor to instructor and from assignment to assignment!

So check the instructions carefully!

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Writing Guide: Student Edition

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Real Case Studies in Social Work Education

The central elements of the Real Cases Project curriculum integration effort are three case studies, drawn from the ChildStat Initiative—an innovative, agency-wide case review process of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. As documented in Brenda McGowan’s introduction to the case studies and their development, we went through a rigorous selection process to insure that the cases would be diverse, engaging, and useful in meeting the objectives of the Real Cases Project . The overview of the case studies, by Tatyana Gimein, (Co-Chair of the Project before her retirement from ACS), highlights key elements of each case study, and the profound challenges facing the families, staff and communities involved.

The decision to use real case studies in a curriculum integration effort was adopted after an extensive assessment phase. In 2004, the Planning Committee initially began the case selection process, focusing on cases drawn from the ACS Accountability Review Process. An expert panel convened by the Committee narrowed the selection to one case. After recruitment and preliminary work by faculty on individual teaching guides, this case became unavailable. The ChildStat approach was then proposed and access to cases was granted, resulting in the selection of the three cases in this document. Faculty authors adopted these three cases as framing elements in their teaching guides. The three case studies collectively raise critical issues in public child welfare practice today, show a diverse range of practices, family issues, and populations, as well as showcase the ChildStat Initiative.

The Real Cases Project is part of the social work tradition of case study education. During our profession’s history, social work educators have used case studies in the classroom to teach particular course content (Richmond, 1897; Towle, 1954), drawing vignettes from students’ work in the field (Reynolds, 1965; Wolfer & Gray, 2007), published case studies and cases from their own practice (Cohen, 1995). The case study approach appears to be experiencing resurgence, as indicated by the number of published books of cases and suggestions for their use in the classroom (Fauri, Wernet & Netting, 2007; Haulotte & Kretzschmar, 2001; Hull & Mokuau, 1994; LeCroy, 1999; Rivas & Hull, 2000; Stromm-Gottfried, 1998; Wolfer & Scales, 2006). Even with its widespread use, the efficacy of the case study approach for learning specific content or integrating multiple content areas has not been extensively tested and remains a fruitful area for inquiry.

Case studies are especially useful for training professionals in disciplines as social work, where critical thinking and problem solving skills are necessities (Ross & Wright, 2001). Case studies are often utilized in professional social work education in order to provide students with a real life example on which to practice their skills of critical analysis and assessment. In addition to practicing a particular skill set, case studies also allow faculty to assist students in their application of theory into practice. In addition, when used properly, case studies can provide students an opportunity to accept responsibility for their own learning (Armisted, 1984).

This Project contributes to the growing literature on using child welfare case studies in social work education (Brown, 2002; Johnson & Grant, 2005). We advance this effort, especially considering that the cases are drawn from a public child welfare agency and are accompanied by teaching guides that demonstrate how the cases can be used successfully in different courses across the curriculum. The Real Cases Project does not suggest that the cases supplant the content of a particular course. Rather, the cases can be used to illuminate and expand course content. While students may become familiar with the cases in more than one class, the teaching guides will insure that the use of the cases is not redundant, and is appropriate to each course in the curriculum. Thus, both the individual courses and the understanding of child welfare as a part of social work are enriched.

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What Is a Case Study?

An in-depth study of one person, group, or event

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

what is a case study in social work

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

what is a case study in social work

Verywell / Colleen Tighe

Benefits and Limitations

Types of case studies, how to write a case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .  

A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

On the negative side, a case study:

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.

There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.

Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.

Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.

Where to Find Data

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

A Word From Verywell

Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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what is a case study in social work

Social Work Resource Guide

Top social work journals.

what is a case study in social work

Databases are available to search on your topic.  Each one indexes unique journals and either provides a summary (abstract) or full text of the article.  If full text is not available, look for the FIND IT button or link to direct you where the full text is available.

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Social Work Practice with Carers

what is a case study in social work

Case Study 2: Josef

Download the whole case study as a PDF file

Download the whole case study as a PDF file

Josef is 16 and lives with his mother, Dorota, who was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder seven years ago. Josef was born in England. His parents are Polish and his father sees him infrequently.

This case study looks at the impact of caring for someone with a mental health problem and of being a young carer , in particular the impact on education and future employment .

When you have looked at the materials for the case study and considered these topics, you can use the critical reflection tool and the action planning tool to consider your own practice.

Support plan

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Transcript (.pdf, 48KB)

Name : Josef Mazur

Gender : Male

Ethnicity : White European

Download resource as a PDF file

Download resource as a PDF file

First language : English/ Polish

Religion : Roman Catholic

Josef lives in a small town with his mother Dorota who is 39. Dorota was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder seven years ago after she was admitted to hospital. She is currently unable to work. Josef’s father, Stefan, lives in the same town and he sees him every few weeks. Josef was born in England. His parents are Polish and he speaks Polish at home.

Josef is doing a foundation art course at college. Dorota is quite isolated because she often finds it difficult to leave the house. Dorota takes medication and had regular visits from the Community Psychiatric Nurse when she was diagnosed and support from the Community Mental Health team to sort out her finances. Josef does the shopping and collects prescriptions. He also helps with letters and forms because Dorota doesn’t understand all the English. Dorota gets worried when Josef is out. When Dorota is feeling depressed, Josef stays at home with her. When Dorota is heading for a high, she tries to take Josef to do ‘exciting stuff’ as she calls it. She also spends a lot of money and is very restless.

Josef worries about his mother’s moods. He is worried about her not being happy and concerned at the money she spends when she is in a high mood state. Josef struggles to manage his day around his mother’s demands and to sleep when she is high. Josef has not told anyone about the support he gives to his mother. He is embarrassed by some of the things she does and is teased by his friends, and he does not think of himself as a carer. Josef has recently had trouble keeping up with course work and attendance. He has been invited to a meeting with his tutor to formally review attendance and is worried he will get kicked out. Josef has some friends but he doesn’t have anyone he can confide in. His father doesn’t speak to his mother.

Josef sees some information on line about having a parent with a mental health problem. He sends a contact form to ask for information. Someone rings him and he agrees to come into the young carers’ team and talk to the social worker. You have completed the assessment form with Josef in his words and then done a support plan with him.

Back to Summary

Josef Mazur

What others like and admire about me

Good at football

Finished Arkham Asylum on expert level

What is important to me

Mum being well and happy

Seeing my dad

Being an artist

Seeing my friends

How best to support me

Tell me how to help mum better

Don’t talk down to me

Talk to me 1 to 1

Let me know who to contact if I am worried about something

Work out how I can have some time on my own so I can do my college work and see my friends

Don’t tell mum and my friends

Date chronology completed : 7 March 2016

Date chronology shared with person: 7 March 2016

what is a case study in social work

Young Carers Assessment

Do you look after or care for someone at home?

The questions in this paper are designed to help you think about your caring role and what support you might need to make your life a little easier or help you make time for more fun stuff.

Please feel free to make notes, draw pictures or use the form however is best for you.

What will happen to this booklet?

This is your booklet and it is your way to tell an adult who you trust about your caring at home. This will help you and the adult find ways to make your life and your caring role easier.

The adult who works with you on your booklet might be able to help you with everything you need. If they can’t, they might know other people who can.

Our Agreement

Signed: ___________________________________

Young person:

Signed: ____________________________________

Name :             Josef Mazur Address :       1 Green Avenue, Churchville, ZZ1 Z11 Telephone:        012345 123456 Email:            [email protected] Gender :         Male Date of birth :        11.11.1999        Age: 16 School :            Green College, Churchville Ethnicity :        White European First language :        English/ Polish Religion :         Baptised Roman Catholic GP :            Dr Amp, Hill Surgery

The best way to get in touch with me is:

Do you need any support with communication?

*Josef is bilingual – English and Polish. He speaks English at school and with his friends, and Polish at home. Josef was happy to have this assessment in English, however, another time he may want to have a Polish interpreter. It will be important to ensure that Josef is able to use the words he feels best express himself.

About the person/ people I care for

I look after my mum who has bipolar disorder. Mum doesn’t work and doesn’t really leave the house unless she is heading for a high. When Mum is sad she just stays at home. When she is getting hyper then she wants to do exciting stuff and she spends lots of money and she doesn’t sleep.

Do you wish you knew more about their illness?

Do you live with the person you care for?

What I do as a carer It depends on if my mum has a bad day or not. When she is depressed she likes me to stay home with her and when she is getting hyper then she wants me to go out with her. If she has new meds then I like to be around. Mum doesn’t understand English very well (she is from Poland) so I do all the letters. I help out at home and help her with getting her medication.

Tell us what an average week is like for you, what kind of things do you usually do?

Monday to Friday

Get up, get breakfast, make sure mum has her pills, tell her to get up and remind her if she’s got something to do.

If mum hasn’t been to bed then encourage her to sleep a bit and set an alarm

College – keep phone on in case mum needs to call – she usually does to ask me to get something or check when I’m coming home

Go home – go to shops on the way

Remind mum about tablets, make tea and pudding for both of us as well as cleaning the house and fitting tea in-between, ironing, hoovering, hanging out and bringing in washing

Do college work when mum goes to bed if not too tired

More chores

Do proper shop

Get prescription

See my friends, do college work

Sunday – do paper round

Physical things I do….

(for example cooking, cleaning, medication, shopping, dressing, lifting, carrying, caring in the night, making doctors appointments, bathing, paying bills, caring for brothers & sisters)

I do all the housework and shopping and cooking and get medication

Things I find difficult

Emotional support I provide…. (please tell us about the things you do to support the person you care for with their feelings; this might include, reassuring them, stopping them from getting angry, looking after them if they have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, keeping an eye on them, helping them to relax)

If mum is stressed I stay with her

If mum is depressed I have to keep things calm and try to lighten the mood

She likes me to be around

When mum is heading for a high wants to go to theme parks or book holidays and we can’t afford it

I worry that mum might end up in hospital again

Mum gets cross if I go out

Other support

Please tell us about any other support the person you care for already has in place like a doctor or nurse, or other family or friends.

The GP sees mum sometimes. She has a nurse who she can call if things get bad.

Mum’s medication comes from Morrison’s pharmacy.

Dad lives nearby but he doesn’t talk to mum.

Mum doesn’t really have any friends.

Do you ever have to stop the person you care for from trying to harm themselves or others?

Some things I need help with

Sorting out bills and having more time for myself

I would like mum to have more support and to have some friends and things to do

On a normal week, what are the best bits? What do you enjoy the most? (eg, seeing friends, playing sports, your favourite lessons at school)

Seeing friends

When mum is up and smiling

Playing football

On a normal week, what are the worst bits? What do you enjoy the least? (eg cleaning up, particular lessons at school, things you find boring or upsetting)

Nagging mum to get up

Reading letters

Missing class

Mum shouting

Friends laugh because I have to go home but they don’t have to do anything

What things do you like to do in your spare time?

Do you feel you have enough time to spend with your friends or family doing things you enjoy, most weeks?

Do you have enough time for yourself to do the things you enjoy, most weeks?  (for example, spending time with friends, hobbies, sports)

Are there things that you would like to do, but can’t because of your role as a carer?

Can you say what some of these things are?

See friends after college

Go out at the weekend

Time to myself at home

It can feel a bit lonely

I’d like my mum to be like a normal mum

School/ College Do you think being your caring role makes school/college more difficult for you in any way?

If you ticked YES, please tell us what things are made difficult and what things might help you.

Things I find difficult at school/ college

Sometimes I get stressed about college and end up doing college work really late at night – I get a bit angry when I’m stressed

I don’t get all my college work done and I miss days

I am tired a lot of the time

Things I need help with…

I am really worried they will kick me out because I am behind and I miss class. I have to meet my tutor about it.

Do your teachers know about your caring role?

Are you happy for your teachers and other staff at school/college to know about your caring role?

Do you think that being a carer will make it more difficult for you to find or keep a job?

Why do you think being a carer is/ will make finding a job more difficult?

I haven’t thought about it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish my course and do art and then I won’t be able to be an artist.

Who will look after mum?

What would make it easier for you to find a job after school/college?

Finishing my course

Mum being ok

How I feel about life…

Do you feel confident both in school and outside of school?

Somewhere in the middle

In your life in general, how happy do you feel?

Quite unhappy

In your life in general, how safe do you feel?

How healthy do you feel at the moment?

Quite healthy

Being heard

Do you think people listen to what you are saying and how you are feeling?

If you said no, can you tell us who you feel isn’t listening or understanding you sometimes   (eg, you parents, your teachers, your friends, professionals)

I haven’t told anyone

I can’t talk to mum

My friends laugh at me because I don’t go out

Do you think you are included in important decisions about you and your life? (eg, where you live, where you go to school etc)

Do you think that you’re free to make your own choices about what you do and who you spend your time with?

Not often enough

Is there anybody who knows about the caring you’re doing at the moment?

If so, who?

I told dad but he can’t do anything

Would you like someone to talk to?

Supporting me Some things that would make my life easier, help me with my caring or make me feel better

I don’t know

Fix mum’s brain

People to help me if I’m worried and they can do something about it

Not getting kicked out of college

Free time – time on my own to calm down and do work or have time to myself

Time to go out with my friends

Get some friends for mum

I don’t want my mum to get into trouble

Who can I turn to for advice or support?

I would like to be able to talk to someone without mum or friends knowing

Would you like a break from your caring role?

How easy is it to see a Doctor if you need to?

To be used by social care assessors to consider and record measures which can be taken to assist the carer with their caring role to reduce the significant impact of any needs. This should include networks of support, community services and the persons own strengths. To be eligible the carer must have significant difficulty achieving 1 or more outcomes without support; it is the assessors’ professional judgement that unless this need is met there will be a significant impact on the carer’s wellbeing. Social care funding will only be made available to meet eligible outcomes that cannot be met in any other way, i.e. social care funding is only available to meet unmet eligible needs.

Date assessment completed :            7 March 2016

Social care assessor conclusion

Josef provides daily support to his mum, Dorota, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder seven years ago. Josef helps Dorota with managing correspondence, medication and all household tasks including shopping. When Dorota has a low mood, Josef provides support and encouragement to get up. When Dorota has a high mood, Josef helps to calm her and prevent her spending lots of money. Josef reports that Dorota has some input from community health services but there is no other support. Josef’s dad is not involved though Josef sees him sometimes, and there are no friends who can support Dorota.

Josef is a great support to his mum and is a loving son. He wants to make sure his mum is ok. However, caring for his mum is impacting: on Josef’s health because he is tired and stressed; on his emotional wellbeing as he can get angry and anxious; on his relationship with his mother and his friends; and on his education. Josef is at risk of leaving college. Josef wants to be able to support his mum better. He also needs time for himself, to develop and to relax, and to plan his future.

Eligibility decision :                Eligible for support

What’s happening next :            Create support plan

Completed by Name : Role : Organisation :

Name: Josef Mazur

Address 1 Green Avenue, Churchville, ZZ1 Z11

Telephone 012345 123456

Email [email protected]

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 11.11.1999 Age: 16

School Green College, Churchville

Ethnicity White European

First language English/ Polish

Religion Baptised Roman Catholic

GP Dr Amp, Hill Surgery

My relationship to this person son

Name Dorota Mazur

Gender Female

Date of birth 12.6.79 Age 36

First language Polish

Religion Roman Catholic

Support plan completed by


Date of support plan: 7 March 2016

This plan will be reviewed on: 7 September 2016

Signing this form

Please ensure you read the statement below in bold, then sign and date the form.

I understand that completing this form will lead to a computer record being made which will be treated confidentially. The council will hold this information for the purpose of providing information, advice and support to meet my needs. To be able to do this the information may be shared with relevant NHS Agencies and providers of carers’ services. This will also help reduce the number of times I am asked for the same information.

If I have given details about someone else, I will make sure that they know about this.

I understand that the information I provide on this form will only be shared as allowed by the Data Protection Act.

Josef has given consent to share this support plan with the CPN but does not want it to be shared with his mum.

Mental health

The social work role with carers in adult mental health services has been described as: intervening and showing professional leadership and skill in situations characterised by high levels of social, family and interpersonal complexity, risk and ambiguity (Allen 2014). Social work with carers of people with mental health needs, is dependent on good practice with the Mental Capacity Act where practitioner knowledge and understanding has been found to be variable (Iliffe et al 2015).

Mental capacity, confidentiality and consent

Social work with carers of people with mental health needs, is dependent on good practice with the Mental Capacity Act where practitioner knowledge and understanding has been found to be variable (Iliffe et al 2015). Research highlights important issues about involvement, consent and confidentiality in working with carers (RiPfA 2016, SCIE 2015, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland 2013).

Young carers

A young carer is defined as a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person. The concept of care includes practical or emotional support. It is the case that this definition excludes children providing care as part of contracted work or as voluntary work. However, the local authority can ignore this and carry out a young carer’s need assessment if they think it would be appropriate. Young carers, young adult carers and their families now have stronger rights to be identified, offered information, receive an assessment and be supported using a whole-family approach (Carers Trust 2015).

Young carers of parents with mental health problems

The Care Act places a duty on local authorities to assess young carers before they turn 18, so that they have the information they need to plan for their future. This is referred to as a transition assessment. Guidance, advocating a whole family approach, is available to social workers (LGA 2015, SCIE 2015, ADASS/ADCS 2011).

Tool 5: Family model for assessment

Young carers and education/ employment

Transition moments are highlighted in the research across the life course (Blythe 2010, Grant et al 2010). Complex transitions required smooth transfers, adequate support and dedicated professionals (Petch 2010). Understanding transition theory remains essential in social work practice (Crawford and Walker 2010). Partnership building expertise used by practitioners was seen as particular pertinent to transition for a young carer (Heyman 2013).

Image: The Triangle of Care (cover)

Download The Triangle of Care as a PDF file

The Triangle of Care Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England

The Triangle of Care is a therapeutic alliance between service user, staff member and carer that promotes safety, supports recovery and sustains wellbeing…

Capacity Tool

Download the Capacity Tool as a PDF file

Capacity Tool Good decision-making Practitioners’ Handbook

The Capacity tool on page 71 has been developed to take into account the lessons from research and the case CC v KK. In particular:

The tool allows you to follow steps to ensure you support people as far as possible to make their own decisions and that you record what you have done.

Know your rights - Young Carers in Focus

Download Know your rights as a PDF file

Tool 3: Know Your Rights Young Carers in Focus

This pack aims to make you aware of your rights – your human rights, your legal rights, and your rights to access things like benefits, support and advice.

Need to know where to find things out in a hurry? Our pack has lots of links to useful and interesting resources that can help you – and help raise awareness  about young carers’ issues!

Know Your Rights has been produced by Young Carers in Focus (YCiF), and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Tool 4: Vision and principles for adults’ and children’s services to work together to support young carers

Download the tool   as a PDF file

You can use this tool to consider how well adults’ and children’s services work together, and how to improve this.

Tool4: vision and principles

Click on the diagram to open full size in a new window

This is based on ADASS and ADCS (2015) No wrong doors : working together to support young carers and their families

Download the tool as a PDF file

You can use this tool to help you consider the whole family in an assessment or review.

What are the risk, stressors and vulnerability factors?

How is the child/ young person’s wellbeing affected?

How is the adult’s wellbeing affected?

Family Assessement Model

What are the protective factors and available resources?

This tool is based on SCIE (2009) Think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare

Download the tool as a PDF file

Tool 6: Engaging young carers

Young carers have told us these ten things are important. So we will do them.

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The Purpose Of The Case Study Social Work Essay

Reference this

In undertaking this task students must:

Other guidelines for the case study

The On-Line Discussion Forum


· 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, the recall days, 12thfebruary 2009, 10am-1pm specialist tutor groups.

2pm-3pm Lecture by K Winter

8th april 2009.

2pm-4pm Lecture by K Winter

Module review.

Reading Materials

Appendix one, specialist tutor group allocation, older people and physical health and disability (13students), adults with learning disabilities (10 students), tutor to be decided, family and child care (8 students), family and child care (9 students), mental health (10students), appendix two, on-line discussion forum weekly tasks, cite this work.

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

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