Critical reflection on the life span
Criteria for Marking:
By 30 March 2015 you are required to submit a 1000 word critical response to the following case study 1 of Lena and her family (see the unit guide). The aim of this
assignment is for you to draw on your learning from this early part of the unit to demonstrate an awareness of your own values, ethics and prejudices, and the basis
and implications of these, as well as your critical reflection on the life- span or life course or human development approach as it applies to this case.
This paper must include and discuss:
• Your views on what the key issues and challenges are in this case study 1 of Lena and her family situation and how these relate to social work practice with
individuals and families using the life span approach ( see your text by Louise Harms 2010 Understanding human development: A multidimensional approach (2nd ed.) South
Melbourne, Vic., Oxford University Press) (25%)
• Your personal response to the case, and what you perceive to be the basis of these reactions (referring to learning from activities completed in Topic 1 about your
own life trajectory and factors affecting this) (25%)
• How does this situation challenge your values, morals, philosophy or personal ethics and how do these relate to the Australian Association of Social Workers’ code of
• With whom you feel you would have most empathy and with whom you feel you may have difficulty empathizing; how might you address this in direct practice? (20%)
Ten percent of the mark for this assignment will be allocated to presentation, clarity of argument and literacy. At least four academic references are required to be
cited for this assignment.
Case Study 1
You are a social worker employed at a high school to deal with student welfare issues. You receive a phone call from a very distressed Mother (Lena 42 years) who is
concerned about her youngest daughter (Stella 12 years). She tells you that her daughter is spending too much time on her computer and becomes aggressive whenever she
is called away to come to a meal or to do a chore. Stella has stopped coming along to family outings. The family is Australian/Greek and value regular contact with
grandparents and extended family. She overheard Stella tell her older sister (Alexandra 16 years) that she has 400 friends on facebook. Stella’s grades at school have
dropped since her father decided to buy her a laptop to help with her school work.
Lena was also concerned that Stella has stopped going out to play with friends after school. She has noticed a change in her sleeping patterns and has asked her to
turn off her computer to go to sleep several times very late at night. Mikkos (48 years) Stella’s father has moved out of the family home after several years of being
aggressive towards Lena. After several months of living back with his parents he has moved in with a woman he has been seeing for some time (Bree-anna 38 years). Lena
is finding it hard to exert authority with Stella who ignores her more and more. Stella spends most of her time in her bedroom and on the computer and appears to be
not doing any school work. She complains a lot about being tired and not feeling well and has recently not attended school because of nausea and dizziness. Lena would
like you to meet with her daughter to reengage her with school work.
Lena sounded very agitated when she was outlining Stella’s change in behaviour, but also seemed unable or unwilling to take action to regulate her time on the
You recall that you have had a few conversations with Alexandra, her sister, after she had a panic attack after running up the stairs returning to class after one hot
lunch time a few weeks after her father Mikkos moved out of home.
You vaguely remember that there were some issues with bullying in the Stella’s year level (year 7) at the school and wonder if she was in some way impacted by that
SWK3400 Assignment 1 – Feedback sheet
Critical awareness of values and ethics
Key issues and challenges
Clear description of the core issues in the case study (at individual, family, group or systemic levels) – showing some analysis of why these are of importance;
discussion of the major challenges this case presents to social work (ethically, direct practice, policy etc.): 25%
Unambiguous statement of the student’s personal reaction to this case; reflective analysis of the basis of the position taken (students should refer to learning from
activities completed in Topic 1 about their own life trajectory and factors affecting this); these should both indicate a high level of self awareness: 25%
Statement of any challenges posed by this case to the student’s own values, morals, philosophy or personal ethics: 20%
Reflecting on practice skills
Reflection on with who students think they would have most empathy and with whom they feel they may have difficulty empathising; a description of how they would
address this in direct practice: 20%
Is the paper structured in a clear and logical manner; is it well argued; does the paper have an appropriate standard of presentation and show a high level of literacy
(free of spelling and grammar errors); does the paper draw on at least four cited academic references? 10%
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