How to Analyse a case study Academic Essay

Essay / Case Study analysis

There are (3) case studies available. Choose (1) case study to base your essay/case study analysis on.


SWK313 Case Study One:

You are a social worker in a program with in a non-government agency that supports people recovering from addiction. Steve, a 23 year old man presents at your service as he has been has a upcoming Court date for some drug related offences and his lawyer  told him if he attends a course it will prevent him from going to prison.

Steve has a long history of alcohol and marijuana addiction as well as several prior convictions for theft and burglary. Steve has no family support and left home and school when he was 14 after being abused by his alcoholic step father. He is currently living in transitional housing with friends who are also drug users.  Steve has never been able to hold down a job, but picks up occasional work.

Steve agreed to one of one counselling however, during sessions he would often make rude remarks he was angry and bored and would often walk out of sessions.


SWK313 Case Study Two

You are a social worker in a government child protective service and you receive the following report and are allocated to work with the family:

Subject Children:  Stephen (aged 8

Mary (aged 4


Parents                  Jeanie ( aged 28)

Tom ( b.fa aged (32)


Address:                 Remote community (during Wet season)

Outstation (during Dry season)


Case Manager:            Tess


Current situation:


A notification was received from a remote community health centre notifying that Stephen and Mary will be air lifted to Hospital due to weight loss (each averaging 200 grams per week). B/mo of the children Jeanie is pregnant and is also considered to be severely malnourished so will also be flying in with the children for treatment.  Family will be accompanied by another female family member who notifier describes as ‘responsible’.   Notifier advised that they had applied the World Health Organisation classification for malnourishment to both children and it meets the ‘severe’ category.  Notifier also notes that it is unusual to need to admit a child of eight (8) years of age to hospital for malnourishment.


Notifier stated they have continued to experience difficulties in following-up health issues for the children because family spends large amounts of time at their Outstation and there is no service outreach to this location.  Previous involvement with the family has resulted in two (2) hospitalisations for Stephen and Mary for failure to thrive and each time their weight had increased on their return to community however contact is lost when family moves to the outstation. Notifier added that b/mo Jeanie has disclosed that there is often little to no food available at the Outstation as it runs out quickly.  Jeanie presents as disempowered when discussing family issues with the health centre and her own serious malnourished state supports the view that her nutritional needs take low priority in the family hierarchy.  The health centre has had no direct involvement with the birth father as he never accompanies Jeanie or the children to their service. When the Centre has used a local interpreter to discuss family issues, Jeanie is even less forthcoming with details of her family life. A staff member at the health centre has told notifier that she saw the father driving around the community recently in a new 4-wheel drive.


SWK313 Case Study 3


Betty (26) is an Aboriginal woman who lives in suburban Darwin with her Partner (Rick) He is an Anglo Australian casual labourer. They have been together for 2 years and Betty is 6 months pregnant with her first child.  She has visited the hospital for a health check up and the nurse made a referral to the social worker to have a ‘chat’ as she said she had been feeling down and was not very happy about the baby coming. Betty did not identify any other family she was close to other than her partner Rick. Betty works at Windscreens Obrien on accounts, as she has her certificates and likes to work.  She hides some of her money as Rick is in control of the finance’s and she likes to sneak out every now and then and buy something of her choosing. She is worried about the baby coming and not having access to money.











Information about essay

In your essay you will consider the practitioner  in working with the case study and support your ideas and approaches to practice you have learning in this course. You can chose one or more of the theoretical models learned throughout this course to prepare your essay. For example: Strengths Based Approaches, Attachment Theory, Systems ecological approach and anti- oppressive practice. Your essay can include consideration of:


•            The social work/practitioner role and the likely organisation context of the service response to the case study.

•           The client and their significant others (extended family).

•           What are your initial thoughts about the case study and what you would take into consideration preparing to work with the people in the case study?

•           How does your understanding of theory and models of practice help you to understand the situation.

•           How your understanding of theory and models of practice influence the approach you might take with the case study and outline this how you would work with this scenario.

•           Consider what evidence can you find in the literature to help you critically evaluate your chosen approach to working with the client.



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