Case Study about Laura, Joe and Luke

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Case Study

Laura, Joe and Luke

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Laura (aged 5), Joe (aged 3) and Luke (18 months) were referred to children and
families social work (a secondary intervention program) by addiction services
who were working with their mother Alison and her partner Derek (father to
Luke). Alison’s addiction workers raised concerns about her increasing use of
illicit diazepam, although it was noted that she been stable on methadone
prescription since she became pregnant with Luke. Alison was engaging
positively with her addiction worker and reliably attended all appointments. She
often bought Joe with her to her appointments and her worker noted a recent
decline in his physical presentation.
Information from Derek’s addiction worker suggested a similar pattern of
substance misuse. His worker advised that Derek had a history of violence and
aggressive behaviour towards professionals and was particularly resistant to
social work support with regard to the children.
A social work records check revealed that support had been provided for just
over a year following Joe’s premature birth. Concerns at the time surrounded
Alison’s drug misuse and Joe’s father’s violent behaviour. From birth, Joe had
had a number of health and development concerns, including needed to be tube
fed. Joe had been diagnosed with global development delay, a visual impairment
and mobility difficulties. Social work records indicated that Alison’s relationship
with Joe’s father had ended shortly after his birth and she subsequently made
significant positive progress in terms of minimizing her drug use. She also
demonstrated her ability to meet Joe’s complex needs, along with caring for
Laura. Alison engaged positively with all relevant professionals and the

children’s case was closed to social work when Joe was one year. He continued
to receive a high level of support from a team of health professionals.
At the point of re-referral, Joe’s GP reported an increase in missed health
appointments and said that concern had been expressed about Derek’s
presentation and behaviour at a recent hospital appointment. Hospital staff
reported that he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and,
when challenged, became verbally aggressive and was asked to leave.
Initial inquiries revealed that Laura was attending the local primary school and
making slow but steady progress. School staff reported that her attendance was
acceptable, with occasional absences and late arrivals. Her physical presentation
was described as poor and she had been noted to arrive without a coat on cold
winter mornings.
Joe was attending the nursery(early learning centre) attached to the school and
the staff were extremely pleased with his progress. Much of the intervention from
health professionals was taking place in the nursery. Luke’s name was on the
waiting list for the nursery. Staff reported that Alison had been attending all
relevant meetings but noted that Derek was generally uncommunicative when
collecting the children.
It took some time to develop a trusting relationship with Alison and Derek but
once this occurred further information was added to the ongoing assessment.
Derek articulated that their difficulties stemmed from inadequate housing, which
required Laura and Joe to share a room. Part of Joe’s disability meant that he
rarely slept for more that two hours at a time and was consequently disruptive to
Laura, as well as Alison and Derek. It emerged that their illicit use of diazapam
was to the help them cope with sleep deprivation. The routine was that one
parent slept and the other cared for the children.
The family had a limited income. Neither parent worked because of their child
care commitments and because of Derek’s own health issues, which appeared to

stem from chronic substance abuse. Limited income and chronic health issues
prevented Alison and Derek attending their health appointments.
In discussions, Laura appeared as having low self esteem and and to ‘get lost’ in
the family dynamic. There was also some concern that Luke was delayed in
meeting some developmental milestones including walking and talking. The
delay appeared to result from a lack of stimulation in the home, as Alison and
Derek’s focus was frequently on meeting Joe’s needs.
Derek and Alison continued to test positively for diazapam at their weekly
addiction appointments. However their parenting of the children continued to

Learning Outcomes to be assessed:

1. Critically analyse a range of issues and interventions focusing on children and
young people but also relating to birth families, carers and others in interprofessional settings
2. Apply current research, theories and practice frameworks to interventions with
children and their families
The foundation of ethical social work practice is the ability to apply knowledge
and theories to practice.
The aim of this assessment is an opportunity to develop your skill in the
application of knowledge and/or theories to practice. You will also provide
evidence that you can conduct assessments informed by social work knowledge.
Through the examination of a single case study you are expected to demonstrate
an understanding of the theories and knowledge that informs “Child Centred
Perspective” and apply some of the key concepts in the assessment of the case
study of Laura, Joe and Luke. 

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Task overview:

1. Read the Case Study about Laura, Joe and Luke
2. Review the relevant literature in relation to Child Centred Perspective
3. Demonstrate your ability to link theory and practice by discussing child
centred perspective and applying key concepts in the analysis of the case
study information.
4. Your analysis should include:
1. An overview of the relevant literature and core concepts in relation to
Child Centred Perspective including some of the challenges
2. Use the core concepts in the analysis of the case study of Laura,
Joe and Luke.
3. Integrate theory with practice
5. In your final paragraph, write some concluding comments about you learnt
most about applying theory to practice. How does this process help you as
a social worker?
6. Include a reference list
7. Revise your draft
8. Submit your paper via the module in the “Topic General”
The focus of this paper is linking theory and knowledge to practice. It is an
academic piece of work ad therefore it is important to access and use social work
literature that has been presented in this topic and beyond. Your work must be
referenced as this changes your assignment from your personal opinion to a
discussion that is professional and supported by evidence. The transition from a
personal opinion to professional opinion occurs through the use of referencing.
As a guide you should use one reference to 100-150 words that you write. With
this in mind a 2500 work piece should be supported by about 16 references. This

is only a guide and this means that you can use more references if you choose
depending on the complexity of your piece. The amount of evidence that you
use to support your analysis is a part of your developing professional judgement
and will be assessed by the markers. (Adapted from Topic Guide “Social Work
Theories” (2017) 

Grades for assessment

HD 100-85 Excellent critical &
conceptual analysis;
subject matter
comprehensively and
accurately presented;
excellent arguments,
relevant and extensive
reading incorporated
organisation and
presentation of
ideas; argument
concisely and
developed; very
well thought out
introduction and
nt use of
Extremely high
standards of
spelling, grammar
priate choice of
vocabulary;use of
language entirely
appropriate to
context, function
and intention;
referencing style
D 75-84 Very good critical &
conceptual analysis;
subject matter effectively
covered & accurately
presented; well-argued;
relevant and extensive
reading incorporated
Well organised &
concisely &
developed with an
introduction &
conclusion and
use of
Very good
standards of
spelling, grammar
& punctuation;few
errors; use of
appropriate to
context, function &
intention; accurate
referencing style
Rather more descriptive
than critical &
conceptual; fair
understanding of subject
matter, although the
analysis may lack clarity
in parts; evidence of
relevant reading, but not
always effectively used
Fairly well
organised &
presented; writing
is coherent &
ideas are
developed, but not
always concisely
or systematically;
introduction &
conclusion are
present but may
be well integrated
into body of essay
Standards of
punctuation &
grammar are
reasonably good;
errors occur but
they do not
interfere with
clarity of
some difficulty
with choice of
referencing style
Superficial; largely
understanding of subject
matter incomplete; little
evidence of reading;
attempts have been
made to develop an
argument, but it is
unsystematic and
contains redundant or
irrelevant material;
Organisation &
introduction &
conclusion may
have been
attempted, but
they bear little
relation to the
body of the essay;
Essay is
intelligible but
contains a fair
number of errors
in spelling,
grammar &
difficulties with use
of vocabulary;
style may not be
inconsistent or
wrong referencing
Superficial; entirely
descriptive & narrow in
conception; little
evidence of
understanding or of
reading; contains
inaccuracy; may have
misinterpreted the
Organisation &
presentation poor;
little attempt to
develop an
argument; there is
redundant or
irrelevant material;
introduction &
conclusion are
weak if they exist
at all;
Writing is not
always intelligible;
frequent errors of
spelling &
stylistically poor &
inconsistent or
wrong referencing

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Last Updated on April 25, 2020 by