HCS305 Health Care Professional Development
Tom lived with his father, David. He was 16 years old and had during the past 12 months appeared in court on several occasions for multiple car thefts and property offences. Immediately prior to being referred for family counselling Tom had appeared in court following a number of further thefts of motor vehicles. The court requested a pre-sentence report from the local Juvenile Justice Centre. The juvenile justice worker who was preparing the pre-sentence report then referred the family for family counselling. She believed that there were problems within the family relationships which might have led to Tom's offending. She felt that Tom might be harbouring anger towards his mother. She also suggested that a pattern had emerged within the family whereby Tom would offend and then receive a lot of negative attention from his father.
The offending would then cease, tension between them would again build, and eventually Tom would re-offend. David would then again concentrate his efforts upon his son. Tom's mother left the family home about a year before and now lived within walking distance of the home. The mother was not involved in the counselling and the juvenile justice worker who referred the family suggested that the mother was an alcoholic. Tom's younger sister, Penny, lived with her mother although she often returned to the father's house when her mother's drinking became excessive. Tom’s offending began soon after his mother left home. The juvenile justice worker felt that the offending might be related to this or to Tom's use of drugs. However, the drug issue was never clarified and did not arise as a problem during the counselling sessions. David said that he was very keen to help Tom, but he felt he had tried everything and had reached the point of exasperation.
He was considering asking Tom to leave home. Imagine you are the Juvenile Justice Worker.
• What are the main issues in this case?
• What is the goal of your intervention in Tom’s life?
• What are the main risk factors for Tom and how would you go about reducing those risks?
• What further information might be needed in relation to this case?
• What services might be referred to/liaised with?
• What professional micro-skills and knowledge will be drawn from?
• How will a decision be made about the best way forward?
In this case study you will be writing about Tom and his family. The purpose of a case study is to apply the concepts and theories you have learnt about in class to the particular case.
1. Make sure you read through the case study a few times so that you know ‘who is who’ ie: a. You are the worker b. Tom is your client c. David is the father i. Are there any other characters in this case study? ii. Make sure you note them all and refer to their correct name in your assessment
2. Writing a case study is similar to writing an essay, with an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. a. However, a case study can have headings based on information provided in the assessment description ie What are the main issues in this case?
3. Getting started with your writing:
4. First write a summary of the case study in your own words. This means you will provide an outline of what is happening in this scenario: what are the issues and ‘who is who’. Writing a summary of the case study, helps to provide context for your analysis and will help the reader to understand what is happening and why.
5. The main part of this assessment will involve you applying some of the concepts, theories and ideas that you have learnt about, particularly during discussions relating to this case study in class. a. What is happening with Tom? Is his behavioral development consistent with his age group?
6. Case studies are usually written in the third person (he/they/she, the counsellor etc). However, in this assessment, as you will be the juvenile justice worker, you can write it using first person (I, my etc) if you wish. This means you would be writing from your own perspective ie “I sat with Tom and chatted generally about what was happening in his life, in order to build rapport with him”. (add reference relating to building rapport with clients).
7. Make sure you have a good balance between describing your case study and analyzing it. (Don’t spend too much time describing it as you have lots of dot points to cover in the main body) 8. List each of the dot points to make sure you don’t miss anything. Remember, you can use these as headings in your assessment: a. Write a brief summary of the case study i. As described above b. What are the main issues in this case? i. Tom’s criminal history, relationship with his dad, use of drugs, anything else happening for him? c. What is the goal of your intervention in Tom’s life?
i. Discuss your role in this scenario. What have you been asked to do? d. What are the main risk factors for Tom and how would you go about reducing those risks? i. If something isn’t done to help break Tom’s criminal behaviour, what might happen to him? There is more at risk for Tom than just going to a juvenile detention centre. e. What further information might be needed in relation to this case? i. What else might be happening for Tom that isn’t in the case study ie is he at school? f. What services might be referred to/liaised with? i. Think about services for Tom and his family eg YSAS g. What professional micro-skills and knowledge will be drawn from?