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Decision Cases for Advanced Social Work Practice

Decision Cases for Advanced Social Work Practice: Confronting Complexity

Terry A. Wolfer
Lori D. Franklin
Karen A. Gray
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Decision Cases for Advanced Social Work Practice
    Book Description:

    These fifteen cases take place in child welfare, mental health, hospital, hospice, domestic violence, refugee resettlement, veterans' administration, and school settings and reflect individual, family, group, and supervised social work practice. They confront common ethical and treatment issues and raise issues regarding practice interventions, programs, policies, and laws. Cases represent open-ended situations, encouraging students to apply knowledge from across the social work curriculum to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. An instructor's manual is available on the press's website.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53648-6
    Subjects: Sociology, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-X)
    (pp. XI-XIV)
    (pp. XV-XVI)
    Terry A. Wolfer
    (pp. XVII-XVIII)
    Terry A. Wolfer, Lori D. Franklin and Karen A. Gray
    (pp. XIX-XXXVIII)
    Terry A. Wolfer and Vicki M. Runnion

    For more than one hundred years, social work instructors have used cases in the classroom to educate students (Fisher 1978; Reitmeier 2002; e.g., Reynolds 1942 and Towle 1954). Over time, these cases have taken many forms, ranging from brief vignettes only a few sentences or paragraphs long to complex book-length accounts.

    Katherine Merseth (1996) identifies three basic educational purposes for using cases: as examples or exemplars to illustrate practice, as foci for reflecting on practice, and as opportunities to practice collaborative decision making. For the first purpose, cases provide concrete and specific examples of how professional theories or interventions apply...

    (pp. 1-14)
    Lori D. Franklin

    Medical social worker Sandy Deloach located Lucy Haskins in the TV room and sat down across from her. Lucy was a sixty-three-year-old patient on the Geriatric Psychiatric Services Unit at Durant Regional Health Services.

    “Lucy, great news,” Sandy began. “We’re going to discharge you soon. Have you given any more thought to where you would like to go?”

    “To my daughter’s.” Lucy’s tone was flat, and her voice quiet.

    “Lucy,” Sandy said calmly, “remember, we told you we spoke with her and she said no. You can’t go back there.” “She says stuff like that, but she’ll let me. Just...

  8. 2 GAY-FOR-PAY
    (pp. 15-29)
    Lori D. Franklin

    The Proud Youth teen group was scheduled to meet in a few minutes in a discreet group room at the far end of the second floor of the building. Max, Marcus, Stacy, Nikki, and Dalton were gathered in the lobby of Wichita Center for Families, waiting to be led back. But their group leader, MSW student Alicia Hall, was still in her office, waiting until the last minute.

    As she looked back through her group notes from the previous week, Alicia thought,The kids deserve a response from me, but I still don’t know what to do about what they’re...

    (pp. 30-44)
    Karen A. Gray and Anna Woodham

    Because social worker Lilya Robles feared lives were in danger, she had not hesitated to make a late-night call to her supervisor, Frances Malone. Although Frances was often blunt and sometimes insensitive, her response to Lilya’s request for direction still stung. “Lilya,” Frances said, “for almost a year now we’ve talked about how you wear your heart on your sleeve and how you get too involved. You do not need to get involved in this. You need to mind your own business. You’re out of your league. Just leave it alone. You’re overreacting. Now, good night.”

    Lilya hung up, no...

    (pp. 45-57)
    Gecole Harley and Terry A. Wolfer

    In 2006, Lindsey Rickard, assistant director of the Victim Advocate Program for Florida State University, was sitting in a dorm room on Sunday afternoon. She was comforting Rachel Conway, a sexual assault survivor, as Jan Taylor, a university police investigator, took Rachel’s statement. Rachel sat nearly motionless on her bed as she told Jan that she reported the attack to university police immediately.

    “But the officer just came and laughed. He just laughed,” Rachel said with a haunted look in her eyes.

    What! Lindsey thought. We have worked so hard to educate officers about client treatment. They’re always so great....

    (pp. 58-71)
    Gecole Harley and Terry A. Wolfer

    “Are we still going to let him stay even after he did all that to Rene?” Supervisor Lamina Koroma was standing in Jennifer Meadow’s doorway.

    Jennifer knew immediately that she was referring to Scott Campbell, a student intern in their refugee resettlement program. She tried to sound firm, although the pitch of her voice was a little higher than normal. “I have a heart to really see Scott through this. We have only a couple of weeks to go. I would hate to see him drop out of the social work program because of this.” Lamina looked as if she...

    (pp. 72-85)
    Lori D. Franklin

    Pam Blakely, MSW, listened quietly as her colleagues discussed the Duncan family’s home study.

    “I think we should approve the home study,” Christina Winters said. “This kid won’t get other chances.”

    “But when will this stop?” Priya Kahn asked. “I mean, how many children will they want? Will we be discussing this again next year? Then again in 2012? I don’t doubt their intentions, but we have to consider that this family might not realize their own capacity to care for children. I know it’s an ugly term, and I hate to say it, but this family is starting to...

    (pp. 86-97)
    Karen A. Gray and Julie Sprinkle

    In 2000, when new MSW graduate Kiona Baker accepted a social work position with the Florence County (South Carolina) school system to work in the Supporting Good Behavior Program, she thought that she would finally be able to do what she loved: help children discover their talents and achieve their goals. But over the next four months, her excitement became a distant memory. With limited access to resources and little support by her colleagues, her main feeling was frustration. By December, she concluded that her classroom was simply a dumping ground. Something inside her finally snapped when the principal sent...

    (pp. 98-107)
    Noël Busch-Armendariz, Dawnovise N. Fowler and Terry A. Wolfer

    Social worker Jean Gibson, a site coordinator at the Center for Children and Families, received a positive and glowing performance evaluation. Program managers Lisa Hughes and Kelly Parker exclaimed, in both oral and written reports, that she was doing an “awesome job.”

    Arriving at the office one week later, Jean received a voicemail from Lisa: “Call me right away when you get in.” But aware of how much she had to get done that morning, Jean decided,I’ll catch up with her at our regular one o’ clock meeting this afternoon.

    At 11:30 AM, Lisa called Jean again. This time...

    (pp. 108-122)
    Michelle Hovis and Lori D. Franklin

    Social worker Patty Cohen listened carefully as Maria Benavides, the discharge planner, described the plan for veteran Sharease Jackson. Sharease had been hospitalized numerous times since she first came to the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in 2009, but this time seemed different.

    “I just spoke to her about discharge plans,” Maria stated, “and, you know, she usually just says she’ll be fine, and she’s either evasive or hostile about services or engaging in treatment. But this time I mentioned the Mental Health Intensive Case Management Team, which I have mentioned before, but she seemed interested.” “Really?” Patty asked. Patty had...

  16. 10 WANDERING
    (pp. 123-131)
    Lori D. Franklin and Danielle R. Snyder

    “You know,” case manager Cheyenne Rowtag began, “this started out as a very simple case. Dionna just needed to take these simple safety precautions. But she’s not doing it. She’s been on my caseload since November of 2007! We’re over a year down the road now, and she can’t seem to get her living situation stable. How long are we going to keep these kids in custody?”

    Supervisor Richard Maxwell, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), looked down at his desk, thinking carefully about what Cheyenne had just said. As her direct supervisor, he knew he had to help her...

    (pp. 132-140)
    Susy Villegas, Karen A. Gray and Mónica M. Alzate

    Three weeks after Kelly Brown’s promotion to unit supervisor at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, she and Melissa Manning, a child welfare worker, were sitting in Kelly’s office staffing a case when Martha Roberts, a child welfare program consultant for the department, unexpectedly knocked loudly and interrupted them.

    “I need to talk to you guys,” Martha said gruffly, standing with her arms crossed. “What are you going to do with Donna Carlsband’s baby?”

    “We just finished a home visit, and we’re going to set up services,” Kelly responded, surprised and perplexed by Martha’s sudden appearance and demeanor....

  18. 12 EXPOSED
    (pp. 141-152)
    David Pooler and Terry A. Wolfer

    The day had been very stressful. It was nearly time to go home, but psychiatric social worker Steve Giodorno still had to do something that had been on his mind all day.

    He needed to talk with the parents of his patient, seventeen-year-old Alex Landham, about what they wanted for their son. Dreading the phone call, he stepped outside the hospital and felt the hot August sun shining on his face. Hands in his pockets, he mentally rehearsed what he needed to talk about with them. He took a deep breath, ran his fingers through his hair, and slowly walked...

    (pp. 153-165)
    Laura B. Poindexter and Terry A. Wolfer

    “I need to go talk to the family now,” social worker Kevin Cooke insisted, “but I’ll call you back, Kathryn.” Walking back to the living room, Kevin took a deep breath and thought to himself,Okay, here it goes. . .

    When Kevin returned to the living room after talking with the family’s Department of Social Service (DSS) caseworker for about five minutes, he found that fifteen-year-old Mitch and his mother had grown quiet. Anne was crying softly, and Mitch simply looked frightened.They must be worried about what I’ll do after talking with Kathryn, Kevin thought. As Kevin...

    (pp. 166-171)
    Terry A. Wolfer

    As a social worker at Jackson County Hospital (Missouri), Lisa Silver had grown accustomed to a certain amount of commotion at work. But this was annoying. Lisa thought she recognized the voice of Carol Davis, a social worker from Jackson County Division of Family Services (DFS), in the registration area. For some reason, she had been talking and laughing, loud enough to be heard above the usual din for at least ten minutes.

    As a service to busy DFS workers and police officers, Lisa allowed them to bypass registration and come directly to her office for assistance with abused and...

  21. 15 “DON’T TELL HER”
    (pp. 172-184)
    Sean Siberio and Terry A. Wolfer

    Hospice social worker Robin Jean Williams headed to the UniHealth Ventilator Unit on Friday around 11:00 AM. She felt drained at the end of the long week of classes, work, and internship, and she was not looking forward to today. Earlier in the week Robin had been assigned Mrs. Haye, a terminally ill amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient whose husband, Bernie, her health care power of attorney, had decided that she should be taken off the ventilator. Bernie, however, did not want his wife to be informed of his decision, an issue that had created a divisive debate among the...