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Steps in the systematic approach

Write about the Case Analysis Essay for Partnership in Social work.

The youth support organizations focuses upon provision of some support services especially for the young people, for improving their social living status. In this context, the social workers need to have several important skills and competencies to identify their issues and handle each case of youth service from a unique dimension, prioritizing their needs. The practice skills of a social worker help to include a practice framework, considering related theory, skills and context (Gray, 2011). The practitioner should be able to explore each case study through prioritizing the key issues embedded in this. In this context, the social worker should acquire the skills and awareness regarding the theoretical frameworks and strategies and how these frameworks can be implemented in resolving each client’s issues, in individual or community settings. Being a social worker, here the case study 1, i.e. case study of 16 years old boy Max has been selected. As Max is continuously becoming demotivated and diverted from the social activities, a strength based approach can be undertaken for improving his social status. Therefore, this essay will concentrate on analyzing Max’s case thoroughly; identifying key issues faced by him and demonstrates appropriate theoretical consideration, based on which appropriate intervention for Max will be implemented.

In the current context, the social practitioner plays a significant role in the case study based analysis. It has already been mentioned that the social worker needs to understand the case thoroughly to identify the key issues faced by the client. To proceed with the case, the social practitioner needs to follow some steps in a systematic approach, i.e. engagement of the client, assessment of the client, identifying the key issues faced by the client, planning intervention for the client based on the identified issues and evaluation of the process. In this context, the first step is engagement with the client (Payne, 2014). Initially, the practitioner needs to support the client and build a positive rapport with the client. It helps the client t develop trust for the practitioner as well as the interventions, thereby motivating the client to achieve the goal. After establishment of a positive and trustworthy relationship with the client, a thorough and holistic nature of assessment would be done for the client, which includes the role of the practitioner in identifying all the contributing factors in the client’s current situation, including social, medical and family history of the client. After identifying the client’s current needs, the support worker needs to identify the appropriate theoretical framework and implement the suitable intervention for client’s recovery and revert back to the normal life. Upon implementing the interventions and engaging the client in the support framework, evaluation of the process needs to be done by the professional to identify any shortcomings in the process, which can be rectify in the further process to ensure expected outcomes for the client (Trevithick, 2012). In the current case study of Max, the strength based approach would be implemented and the evaluation would focus upon the ability of the social worker to promote client’s involvement in the theoretical framework and ensuring the improvement of process of client’s life.

Max's case analysis and key issues

 In the current case study, the primary client is Max, who is a 16 years old boy. Max has left his home 8 months ago. Since leaving his home, Max has significantly suffered for survival, as he had no permanent residency. He started to live with his friends and tried to live with his grandmother. Even, he has spent nights on the streets, stopped attending school. He attended that the youth support service after hearing from one of his friend that he would gain food and would be able to charge his mobile at this centre. However, he did not have an accommodation and was not attending to school at that time (Maidment & Egan, 2016). Thus, it has been revealed that Max is not concern about his housing or schooling; rather he is concerned about charging his mobile and has food, so that he could survive anyway. However, the issue is that Max is unable to recognize the need for attending school and building his career to improve his living standard. Reviewing his case, it has been revealed that Max’s mother and stepfather lives in a town close to the support service centre, whereas his biological father has no contact with him and his family since he was a baby. Max’s sister Verity has been seen to have a normal lifestyle, attending university interstate.


Max also revealed that one of the key reasons for leaving his home is to stay away from his stepfather; therefore, it is clear that Max does not like his stepfather to stay with them. On the other hand, Max has the habit of marijuana use, which is being hindered by his mother at home; this is another reason for leaving his home. Now the key concern of Max is that his mother Justine has asked him to see her and sort the issues out. Max is confused about what he needs to do; it is because, in one hand, if he returns back to home, he would need to stay with his stepfather, in other hand, if he does not return to home, his survival is at crisis. Therefore, the youth support and case management team have to provide him right solution for the current issues, faced by Max, while considering the maximum benefit of Max from the support service related solutions regarding his lifestyle improvement (Howe, 2009).

After analyzing Max’s case, it has been revealed that several issues are contributing the negative life events faced by Max. Now Max needs to decide whether he should g back to his home and live in an environment, which does not like, or he should not return to home and struggle for survival. In Max’s case, other secondary clients are Max’s mother, Justine, his stepfather, Michael as well as grandmother, Thelma. It is because; he needs the support from his family member to improve his situation. In this context, it has been revealed that what is the cause of his disliking towards his step father. He has also dropped his school, which needs to be considered with high priority (Pattoni, 2012). Moreover, he has been argued with his mother regarding the use of Marijuana.

Strength based approach for Max


As Max is a teenager, with several different crises in his life, it is more important to support him positively, showing his strengths, which can be helpful for him to resolve these issues, instead of pointing out his shortcomings and negative behaviors. Because, this process may demotivate him further as well as may make the issue more critical, which difficult for Max to overcome. In this context, strength based practice is suitable to be used. This social theoretical practice emphasizes on the strengths and self-determination of the client to achieve the goal. According to this theoretical framework, the client is seen as resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity (Goldberg, Muir & Kerr, 2013). This approach is suitable for being implemented in those cases, where the individual outcomes like quality of life, employment and health need to be improved. In societal level, the strength based approach influences client’s positive views and focuses away from blame or judgment. Therefore, this approach would help Max not to be judgmental towards his step father and Max’s mother to blame Max, instead would prioritize their strengths to resolve Max’s issue. This approach promotes the social support worker to consider the assets of clients to maintain and meet their social wellbeing, deal with social issues, family issues as well as health issues.

A theory that is suitable to be implemented in Max’s case is attachment theory. Attachment theory demonstrates dynamics of short and long term interpersonal relationships between individuals, i.e. how individual respond in a relationship, when hurt, threatened, isolated or other negative consequences. In this context, Max’s relationship with family background, parenting style, experiences of separation and loss and quality of attachment relationship can help the social worker to identify the key issues regarding Max’s current issue and the way to mitigate those. Several studies have shown that lack of parental responsiveness and inappropriate parental style and emotional support are contributing significantly in the homelessness of young teenagers. According to the attachment theory, Max has revealed an avoidance attachment from his biological father, as he left him and mother when Max was 3 years old; on the other hand, Max’s stepfather may also similarly have avoidance attachment, although it is not clear from the case study and should be investigated through the intervention plan (Howe, 2012). Thus, Max is unable or unwilling to share his feelings and thoughts with others and feel insecure, rejected and self critical. Thus, instead of highlighting his negative attitude, strength based approach should be implemented to understand the root of negative attachment, while supporting him to build capacity to improve his self esteem and security. Through proper counseling and thorough communication with both of his parents may enhance his security level and attachment pattern, thereby improving his negative behavioral consequences. Overall, his self esteem would be strength and Max would be able to prioritize his current needs, i.e. need for return back to home and focus on his studies (Erdman & Caffery, 2013).

Attachment theory for Max

Analyzing the case from the strength based theoretical framework, it has been revealed that the social workers need to influence Max to focus on his strengths and self-determination to deal with his current situation. For instance, the social support worker needs to motivate Max regarding his positive relationship with his mother and other family members, which is important for him to carry on his studies and shape his career, which would lead to his bright future. Therefore, the social support worker should affirm Max’s resilience and enabling capabilities. Max is suffering from reduced self-esteem and the key focus of the support intervention is to increase his self resilience. Involving his family members would help Max to realize the strength of his family and his need for their support. According to this approach, counseling sessions for Max would be developed. These counseling sessions would be focused on enhancing his self-esteem and improving his life standards. In this context, Heard, McCluskey and Lake (2012) argued that positive change in the situation occurs in the context of authentic relationship. Client needs to know that someone is there for him and would be there unconditionally. Therefore, Max need to build trust towards the interventions for believing this fact. On the other hand, Max’s mother’s need should also be analyzed, as she does not like Max to use marijuana. Therefore, Max’s supportive plan needs to involve a health promotional plan for both Max and his mother, where both of them would gain a mutual understanding regarding the pros and cons of marijuana use (Ginsburg et al., 2017). Motivating Max to gradually decrease his marijuana abuse would also promote his positive thinking and strengthen the relationship with his mother. Based on Max’s physical, emotional and psychological condition, he can be referred to a rehabilitation centre.

The next problem is living with his step father. Here also, Max’s strength of communication would be motivated to attend a counseling session with his step father. In the session, both of them would be able to talk directly with each other. The counselor would help them to explore each of their problems with other. Max never wanted to stay with his step father, irrespective of understanding or attempting to mitigate the issue with his stepfather. Max’s step father’s issues related to Max would also be analyzed for identifying whether he is willing to mitigate the issue with Max or not. Communication is the key way to improve interpersonal understanding, improve trust and mitigate issues. Thus, this tool would be used in case of Max to mitigate his issues with his step father. Through the counseling session, Max would undergo capacity building process to achieve his life goals (Chapin, 2014).


The third issue identified in Max’s case is that he is not attending school, since he left home, which is ceasing his career growth. Therefore, the strength based approach would promote the social support workers to carry on the holistic assessment of Max for identifying the key factors contributing to his school drop. In this context, it has been found that Max is more concerned about the basic needs for his survival, i.e. food and shelter; however, as he is facing crisis to gain these basic needs, he is unable to think about the negative consequences of his school dropout. Through counseling and involvement of his family member, the issue of leaving his home can be resolved, which would help Max to think positively regarding returning to his school again. Continuous support and motivation would be needed to make him understand the need for his education for building his career growth (Edidin et al., 2012). However, Max may experience several issues, while returning to his school, like bullying, isolation and other types of violence, for which he needs capacity building counseling, which would help him to identify and strengthen his self esteem and determination. Support from his family is crucial for the overall well being of Max and continue with his studies.

Hyman, Aubry and Klodawsky (2011) claimed that in social support workers, especially in case of people with behavioral issues and working with youth case management, strength based approach is suitable to be used, as it motivates the individual to identify their key issues and right way to proceed while dealing with the issues. Whereas other approaches include highlighting negative behavior of the individual for the sake of modifying those behavior in the social care context; but these approaches may be harmful or lead to negative consequences of the individually, especially for the teenagers like Max, as he has experienced inappropriate parenting style since the separation of his biological parents. Thus, the support workers should handle the case of Max through sensitively, instead of highlighting the negative traits and highlighting the areas of his strength, where he can build on to improve his living standard and ensure a bright future. Therefore, the intervention approaches and theoretical framework undertaken for Max is suitable.

In conclusion, it can be said that Max is undergoing a critical situation, which has promoted his homelessness, unsocial behavior and reduced health outcomes. The youth support service has significantly identified his current needs and the root causes of his issues, which are the poor attachment with his family, inappropriate parenting style and lack of positive support. Through the attachment theory and strength based approach, Max’s case have been identified, the strength based approach helped in implementing appropriate intervention for Max’s improvement. One key recommendation for Max’s family is that Max should gain in-depth emotional and physical support from his family, for his overall well being. In this context, positive support, relationship building and communication has been focused to be the key ways of his improvement. Finally, the evaluation of these approaches has also been done. 

Reference List

Chapin, R. (2014). Social policy for effective practice: A strengths approach. Routledge.

Edidin, J. P., Ganim, Z., Hunter, S. J., & Karnik, N. S. (2012). The mental and physical health of homeless youth: a literature review. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 43(3), 354-375.

Erdman, P., & Caffery, T. (Eds.). (2013). Attachment and family systems: Conceptual, empirical and therapeutic relatedness. Routledge.

Ginsburg, K. R., Kinsman, S. B., & American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Reaching Teens Strength-Based Communication Strategies To Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development.

Goldberg, S., Muir, R., & Kerr, J. (2013). Attachment theory: Social, developmental, and clinical perspectives. Routledge.

Gray, M. (2011). Back to basics: A critique of the strengths perspective in social work. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services,92(1), 5-11.

Heard, D., McCluskey, U., & Lake, B. (2012). Attachment therapy with adolescents and adults: theory and practice post Bowlby. Karnac Books.

Howe, D. (2012). Attachment theory. Social Work Theories and Methods, 75.

Howe, D.(2009) A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory UK: Palgrave MacMillan

Hyman, S., Aubry, T., & Klodawsky, F. (2011). Resilient educational outcomes: Participation in school by youth with histories of homelessness. Youth & Society, 43(1), 253-273.

Maidment, J., & Egan, R. (2016). Practice skills in social work and welfare: More than just common sense. (3rd Ed) Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin.

Pattoni, L (2012) Strengths based approaches for working with individuals: Insight 16. Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRSS). Retrieved from https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/insights/strengths-based-approaches-working-individuals

Payne,M.(2014)Modern Social Work Theory. (4rd Ed.) UK: Palgrave MacMillan

Trevithick, P. (2012). Social work skills and knowledge: a practice handbook, 4th Ed. McGraw-Hill, Open University Press. 

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