Project #65250 - social work theory and methods





Lucy is a single parent of two children, Jack (6) and Amy (4). Lucy was born in Thailand, and came to Australia to join her Australian born husband Paul, who she met through a marriage service that introduces Australian men to Thai women. 

Paul and Lucy separated not long after Amy was born. Their relationship was characterised by regular heated arguments, and Lucy reports that Paul has been quite verbally abusive and threatening towards her, although there has not been any physical violence. Paul grew up in an abusive home situation himself, and still has regular contact with his parents who are both quite critical and directive in relation to Paul (often telling him how he should parent his children, or how he should relate to Lucy). Paul also has a mild intellectual impairment. 

Lucy also has contact with Paul’s parents as they sometimes assist with childcare and transport.  She reports that Paul’s mother can be quite pushy and unpleasant towards her. Lucy has indicated that she does not feel comfortable around Paul’s parents as they seem angry that Lucy and Paul are not still living together. Lucy feels that they blame her for not making the marriage work. 

Paul and Lucy’s youngest child, Amy, has uncontrolled seizures thought to be related to an early brain injury sustained when she fell from play equipment as a toddler. Amy is four years old and developmentally delayed. Most of Amy’s seizures only last a minute or less, but occasionally she will have a much longer seizure, and she requires immediate medication and sometimes urgent hospitalisation in order to minimise the neurological damage from these longer seizures. Lucy must be constantly vigilant with Amy, as failure to notice that she is having a seizure can have significant consequences in terms of her development. A very long, severe seizure could also result in Amy dying if the seizure is not identified and treated quickly. 

Paul lives locally and has regular contact with his children. However because of his problems with anger, and some poor decisions he has made in the past regarding the children’s safety, Lucy feels that it is not safe for Paul to care for them overnight unsupervised – particularly because of Amy’s condition. To date Paul has been happy with this arrangement, and he will take the children for outings after school or on weekends, but Jack and Amy return each night to stay with their mother. Lucy sees herself as ultimately the only one who can care for Amy for any extended period of time. 

Lucy relies on Centrelink payments and some unreliable maintenance payments from Paul for her income. She rents privately, and most of her income is taken up with rent and other daily living costs.  She does not drive, and she wonders if she could afford to buy and run a car even if she did know how to drive. 

Lucy is quite socially isolated.  Her main relationships in Australia are with Paul and his family, and these relationships are a source of significant stress as well as some support.  Lucy has family in Thailand, and she maintains contact with them by phone, however this is expensive. 

Over the past two years Lucy has started to become anxious about going outside.  She feels that this anxiety is getting worse, and she now finds it difficult to go to the shops each week to do grocery shopping. She drops her eldest child Jack at school but leaves quickly, as she is worried that she will meet other parents and that they will want to talk to her. 

Lucy has also told you that she is starting to lose her temper with her children, and she recently confided in you that “…she really lost it with Jack a few days ago.”  When you asked her to explain what she meant she indicated that she had pushed and grabbed Jack quite roughly, and that at the time she felt like she was out of control. 

Lucy has a good relationship with her GP, and her doctor has recently prescribed anti-depressants for her. However she has not started to take them as she is worried that they will “…make her into a zombie, and she won’t be able to manage the kids like that.”


Task Description:

Social workers use theory to direct their practice. It gives them insight into what to do, when to do it, how to do it, why do it, who with, and to what end.  Consequently, social workers need to have a thorough grasp of a range of theories which might inform their practice. According to Payne “ ...we need to have ideas to direct, manage and inform what we do. These ideas are the social work practice theories ...” (Payne, 2014, p. 28).

Given the importance of theory in social work practice, Students are required to write a total 3000 words of assignment splited into two separate part : part A and part B of 1500 words each. This assessment requires you to apply one social work theory or practice method in each of the parts (two in total) to the same case study that is provided above. Students must apply a different theory (or practice method) for each of the two parts of this assignments.

In preparing this paper, you should ensure you respond to the following requirements in each of the Part A and Part B:

  • A concise description and conceptual discussion of your chosen social work practice theory or method;
  • An analysis of the case study through the lens of the chosen theory or practice method.  You should answer questions such as: How is the problem defined?  What aspects of the case study are more (and less) important when viewed through the lens of this theory or practice method? What is the role of the worker, and what is the nature of the relationship between the worker and client?  How is change understood to happen? What sorts of interventions would the worker use (illustrate with some examples)?
  • Discuss any ethical, ideological, political or value assumptions inherent within the practice theory or method, and highlight the implications of these in working with the client/s in the case study; and
  • Critique the practice theory or method, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses, and reflect on your personal position about the theory (i.e. your view of its usefulness in terms of your practice behaviour or aspirations)
  • (APA 6 styles) is required. It should be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt with at least 1.5 line spacing and students are to use Modern social work theory(Malcome Payne) 4th edition and also required to use at least 10 peer reviewed references in each of the parts.






Criteria & Marking:

Length: 1500 words each in each part and a total of 3000words for the two parts

Total Marks: 40 marks for the two parts

Your paper will be assessed against the following 4 criteria:

  1. In-depth knowledge of a social work practice theory or method (10 marks)
  2. Accurate and indepth application of a social work practice theory or method to case study (15 marks)
  3. Identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the practice theory or method as well as personal positioning on the practice theory or method (7 marks)
  4. Scholarship (3 marks).
  5. Ability to present a well-structured, grammatically accurate, appropriately referenced piece of academic work (5 marks)






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Due By (Pacific Time) 04/11/2015 12:00 am
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