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Comprehensive Biopsychosocial/Case Study

Integrative Case Study: Write a case study based on an actual case from your generalist field practicum.

The case study must reflect your ability to apply knowledge and skills from all major content areas in the MSW curriculum including Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy, Practice,  and Research. 

Organize the case study using the subheadings below. Include the bulleted information under each section below in a written narrative (i.e., essay in paragraph format).

Use American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition format, including references when citing theorists and other sources. 

D. Overview of the Case

D1.  Describe the client system, including its composition (i.e., the client may be an individual, group, community, or organization). 

D2.  Give a succinct but comprehensive statement of the client system(s) presenting problem. This statement should be enough to establish a thorough understanding of the significant factors that are influencing the identified client (i.e., the client may be an individual, group, community, or organization).

E. Application of Social Welfare Policy to the Case

E1. Delineate a (Macro) Policy that could (has) or currently transforms the client/
organizational system (1 paragraph)

        1) What is the policy to be analyzed?

        2) What is the nature of the problem targeted by the policy?
            a. How is the problem defined?
            b. Origin of the problem, challenge, or opportunity and for whom is it a problem?

  E2. Historical Analysis (2 paragraphs)

        3) What policies and programs were developed in the past to deal with the problem?

        4) How did these policies specifically impact African American (Individuals, Families,
            Communities, or Organizations) 

        5) Problem, Challenge, or Opportunity and Solutions
            a. Identify the client/ organizational problem, challenge or opportunity
            b. What people, or groups of people, initiated and/or promoted the policy
            c. What people, or groups of people, opposed the policy (ideologies)?

        6) Describe key elements of proposed change (theoretical/model basis of the
              proposed change based on literature review)

F. Theoretical Framework and Context for Analyzing Client Systems Situation

  F1. Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Case

Using Crosss Theory of Racial Identification, Select an additional human behavior theory that can be integrated and applied to understanding the clients situation and presenting problem (e.g. social learning theory, attachment theory, etc.) and discuss its practical application to this case. Students should ensure that the application of the identified theories demonstrate their ability to integrate both frameworks AND a thorough understanding of the application (individual, family, communities, organizations) within the case. 

  F2. Impact of the Urban Environment on the Case

Discuss how the dynamics of the urban environment impact the client system, including cultural, social justice and economic factors affecting the presenting problem of the client system (e.g., racial/cultural, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, gender, class, etc.). 

  F3. Ethical Considerations for the Case Identify ethical principles from the NASW Code of Ethics that are relevant to the case. Identify any ethical dilemmas in this case and describe the steps you took to resolve them.

  F3.1. Professional Boundaries
Students will identify and discuss professional boundaries that should be maintained as students progress throughout the case.  These should include but not limited to topics such as timeliness, professional appearance, dual relationships, use of personal electronic devices, professional documentation, etc. 

  F4. Diversity Considerations for the Case 
Identify and discuss the specific aspects of diversity that impact the social work process with the client system selected for this case.  This should include diversity outside of race and could include but not limited to gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, culture, and any other areas of diversity or otherisms that have been identified. 

  F5. Human Rights and Social Justice Considerations for the Case 
Identify and discuss the specific human rights or social justice considerations that impact the social work process with the client system and other marginalized groups selected for this case. Students should think broadly on how these issues could or have previously or continue to impact African American individuals, families, groups and organizations.

G. Engagement, Assessment, Intervention, Termination 

Using evidence based practice specific to your social work area of concentration as your guide, identify a practice framework and explain the processes of engaging, assessing and intervening with the client system identified for this case. Make certain that you address any ethical and/or cultural considerations that might impact service delivery.  Organize your response using the outline provided below.

  G1. Engagement of client.
Using evidence based practice specific to your concentration and this population, describe the process and specific social work skills and/or techniques that are utilized to engage the client/system.

  G2. Assessment of client. 
Complete a Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Assessment of Client System using the template outlined below. 

Follow this template exactly:


      a) Client/Family Identifying Information

      b) Reason(s) for services

      c)  Household Members (to include relationships with one on another, and their 
              patterns of functioning)

      d)  Household Living Conditions

      e)  Financial History (to include all insurance information, excessive debt, etc.) 


Family History: In this section, you will present data on family members (be sure to designate the members living in the household).  Names, gender, birth dates (or ages), relationships, marriage dates, education, occupations, deaths (causes), chronic conditions (e.g. alcoholism, mental retardation), significant trauma (e.g. fire, rape, incarceration), anything significant to describing individual. Other data that may be significant: adoptions, miscarriages, pregnancies, separations, current locations, etc.

    b)  Community System:  Describe relationships between client/family members and the
          various systems they are affiliated with or connected to. Describe community context
          and include a description of neighborhood resources.

    c)  Assets and Resources: Information about the clients informal sources of support. Information about the client primary and secondary sources of support. The type (what need does the source meet) and frequency (how often) of support from whom (e.g., friends, extended family members, church, etc.) provides support? Assess if the support provided is reliable.


    a)  Physical Health (past and present, make certain to include any medication schedules, family history of medical conditions b)  Mental Health: This section will include a brief history of family psychiatric problems. Report whether client has a history of psychiatric disorders; admission into mental health clinic (inpatient or outpatient), dates receiving services, the outcome of services, medication, treating therapist (past or present); family history or mental disorders. History of homicidal and suicidal ideation;

    b)  Alcohol and Drug Use: Summarize if client used any substance in lifetime (e.g. cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, etc.). Periods of sobriety and treatment (when, where and with whom); describe the outcome of treatment. 
    c)  Sexual History: Describe sexual activity, sexual orientation, physical, sexual abuse (victim/offender). Explore if relevant to the problem situation. It is appropriate to assess if client practices safe sex and receives regular physical check-ups. If client reports being diagnosed with sexual disease, it is appropriate to explore, medication received, primary physician, etc.

    d)  Educational: Describe clients educational background, the highest level of degree attained. Difficulties in school (why, where, when); special education needs; suspensions. Include any informal educational skills. If client did not graduate from high school or received a GED, explore what barriers were present.

    e)  Employment? Work History: Summarize clients type of work; attitudes toward work, reasons for leaving or being fired from previous jobs. Also, include any voluntary work (e.g. community, church, etc.). Make sure to include any military experience and informal employment.

    f) Recreational: Describe their activities or interest they enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, or leisure pursuits, special talents or skills. Are they involved in any church related activities (e.g. bible school, bible camp)?

    g) Cultural Family Norms: Describe cultural beliefs; rituals, patterns. Do they have family reunions or times when they come together (outside of marriages and funerals?

    h)  Religious/Spiritual: Describe if client identifies with a particular religion or faith. Describe how client expresses spirituality. Describe clients current and past religious and spiritual practices. Describe if client is associated with a place of worship. Describe if their religion or spirituality is helpful to them.

      i)  Strengths and Competencies:  Describe client/family strengths, capacities, abilities, competencies and resources that may help to address and resolve the issues of concern.

PRESENTING PROBLEM: Provide a concise clinical assessment of the presenting problem(s).  Student will complete a case formulation with preliminary diagnosis with justification as to why you selected these diagnoses.  Justification for the identified diagnoses should be included and identified within the case summary. 

G3. Intervention Plan for Client System

Create a treatment plan to include goals and tasks to be completed. (Make certain that you include who will do what and when.) 

Students should include 3 Long-term Goals with 2 Short term goals for each.  Students should use the S.M.A.R.T Goals approach with developing the treatment plan. 

G4. Termination of Intervention with Client System

Describe the process and plan of a successful termination with the client system based on the EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE model utilized, ( i.e. follow-up sessions, rituals, etc.,) Be specific and make certain that you include feelings and reactions that the client might experience and explain how you would address the feelings based on the practice model implemented.

H. Plan for Evaluating Effectiveness of Practice with Client System. 

Outline a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of your intervention including the following:
1) desired outcome(s) of intervention;
2) Measurement of outcomes;
3) Research approach used and rationale (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method);
3) Research design used and rationale (single system, quasi experimental, etc.);
4) Process for collecting data on outcome measures;
5) Plan for analyzing data; and 
6) How you will use the findings to improve your practice with this or similar clients in the future.

APPENDIX – References Include a reference page in APA 6th edition format citing all sources used (e.g., theorists, authors).

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