Understanding Human Beings

The methods of assessment for this module have been designed to test all the learning outcomes. Students must demonstrate successful achievement of these learning outcomes to pass the module.

Number of Assessments Form of Assessment % weighting Size of Word count (indicative only) Learning Outcomes being assessed
1 Case study analysis 100% 2000 words 1-4

In order to pass the module, students must achieve a mark of 50% or more in each of the two elements of the assessment. If students are referred on one or both of the elements they may be offered a resubmission. In the event that students are successful at resubmission, only the resubmitted component is capped at 50% and this is then calculated into the overall mark.

Module Assessment

The assessment for this module will comprise of a written assignment of 2000 words.

The assignment is due by 12 noon on Monday 9th January .

Within current agreed School timescales, your marked assignments will be returned by Friday Monday 30th January .

Critically assess a theory of human development that impacts on social work practice. You will need to choose ONE of the following case study scenarios and refer to this to illustrate your critique. Your critique will need to incorporate a psychosocial approach to the work.

Case Study 1: Luke (Service user)
Luke has been involved with mental health services for 3 years, and spent 10 weeks in hospital under s.3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 around a year ago. He was refusing to eat, believing that his food was being poisoned by people who were also following him. Mental health professionals assessments indicate that he experiences anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Luke denies positive symptoms, however assessments have revealed that he is preoccupied with one or two things and he thinks his thoughts may be controlled. He appears to be responding to auditory hallucinations. Luke doesn t identify specific problems, but thinks a lot of his difficulties stem from being bullied and physically attacked at school. He thinks his parents only worry because they are stress heads. He accepted that he was not as active as he once was, and puts this down to medication. He is aware that gets low and anxious at times, but denies hearing voices. He recognised that he did little in the house. He has stopped seeing his friends.

Sandra “ Luke s mother
Luke s mother has a lot of face-to-face contact with Luke every week. She describes him as being a lovely boy up until the age of 16, after which he has been mostly a loner . He had become slightly more withdrawn until just after his 17th birthday, when he fitted bolts to his bedroom door and refused to go out. Sandra is worried that he no longer socialises and she believes that this is unhealthy for a 21 year old man. He never starts conversations and spends long periods in his bed. He has put on a lot of weight and appears slovenly . Luke has been prescribed some tablets, and she has been told that if he does not take these as directed he will relapse. Someone said he had schizophrenia “ a psychosis . She has seen psychotics in films. She thinks that Luke needs to stop talking about how people are out to get him and get out of the house more. From time to time, she asks certain friends to help her by inviting him out. When Luke does do something he s very, very slow and she tries to encourage him, which bothers her a lot. Sandra no longer goes out or spends time on her hobbies.

Brian (Dad)
Brian has little face-to-face contact with Luke due to work and an active social life. Brian has not engaged fully in the family assessment process, although input so far suggests that he believes that Luke has a high degree of control over his illness and behaviour. Brian believes that Luke should do more (for example work, as he comes from a long line of hard-working men). He used to be fit, and a skilled footballer and is wasting this talent as well as his life. He has to get away from Luke sleeping during the day or he would end up shouting at him. Brian thinks Sandra is doing too much for Luke, and that this is at the expense of their marriage. He is unsure what the future holds, and thinks that services should do more, for example taking Luke away for the day. He has stopped talking about it to Sandra. He has started to drink more. He avoids Luke.

Case Study 2: Una and Sofia

Three weeks ago Una (65) was admitted to her local hospital after a fall that resulted in a broken ankle, severe bruising and a degree of disorientation. Her partner Sofia reported to the admissions team that Una had tripped on the stairs. She also said that Una had been quite forgetful for some time, and that more recently her moods had changed sometimes she would become quite angry and then almost childlike. She also becomes tearful and withdrawn and describes some sadness.

On the ward, staff have found Una quite passive and reluctant to ask for help even when she needed assistance to get to the bathroom. Sometimes Una asked if her mother would be visiting, and where exactly was she? Her mother had died 5 years earlier. Una s ankle was plastered after her admission, and she gradually became more mobile sometimes walking to parts of the hospital where she was completely lost and unable to find her way back to her own ward. Sofia visited daily in the evenings and Una always seemed pleased to see her, although some heated exchanges were observed. Una explained to the sister that Sofia is under a lot of pressure at work, and is worried that she might lose her job. Sofia travels by train every day to work and with poor health from a chronic chest condition due to heavy smoking, her absence at work has been commented on. Una also said, during her initial assessment that she (Una) had been working part-time in the café at a local garden centre, however they had been explaining to her that she probably should retire as she was often missing her shifts, and arriving on the wrong days.

The medical assessment identified early stage dementia however Sofia is reluctant to accept this and simply wants to get Una home so that things can get back to normal. She prefers to believe Una s difficulties in hospital are the result of the accident and some disorientation, and that the diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia would not be evident if Una was at home. Her forgetfulness, Sofia feels, is part of normal ageing. Una herself has agreed with the doctor that she can be quite forgetful and that she doesn t always know where she is. They have been together for 13 years, lately sharing the terraced house that Una inherited from her mother.

Case Study 3: Jenny and Eleanor
Jenny is 21 year old single parent of a 4 year old girl called Eleanor. Jenny and Eleanor are from a white British background. They live in local authority housing, part of a large estate which has a reputation for being rough . They have lived in six different houses since Eleanor was born. Jenny is claiming Job Seekers Allowance and has recently been attending a Community Drug Team for counselling to help her with substance addiction. She is thought to have significant debts due to her previous partner s gambling.

Jenny s history includes various admissions into local authority residential care after her mother was unable to care for her. Social work case file records refer to her mother s binge drinking. Jenny was aged 5 when she was first admitted into care. During her early teenage years she was in and out of care six times with different foster carers. Three placements broke down.

Jenny describes her use of drugs starting whilst she was in care. She says that she was exploited by various young men who gave her drugs to pay for sex. Initially she was smoking cannabis but progressed through various stimulants which eventually led to Heroin. Recently she said to her CDT worker that she wants to stop taking drugs so that she can be a better parent. However, the most recent hair-strand test indicated levels of methadone and heroin. There has been previous input from Childrens Services after an initial assessment and subsequent Child Protection conference concluded that Eleanor was at risk when Jenny was using drugs. At the conference the previous social worker made reference to inconsistent parenting with minimal awareness about risk and boundaries. This report indicated that the underlying problem was that a poor attachment existed between the mother and her daughter . Various support packages were implemented as part of the safeguarding plan with a focus on: a) reducing the risk to Eleanor and b) increasing the quality of parenting and attachment relationship. Jenny understood that if these objectives were not met then the LA would take legal advice with a view of implementing care proceedings.

In the nursery, Eleanor s behaviours have been described by Miss Griffiths, her nursery worker, as distant . There is evidence of delay in her speech and various milestones. Miss Griffiths said that it seems as if Eleanor doesn t know how to behave with other children. Other concerns have centred around Eleanor s presentation, for example her clothing, unwashed hair and regular outbreaks of untreated head lice. She has been aggressive to her peers and struggles to share toys. Although Eleanor has found aspects of school difficult she has responded positively to the input from the (female) (female) who have provided a range of firm boundaries.

Jenny does not have much contact with her family as she claims that they take advantage of her (asking for money). Eleanor has not had any contact with her father. Jenny claims that she does not know where he is.

In this case you have been asked to contribute to the next CP review as well as undertaking further assessments about the mother-child relationship.

Internally verified JH/CD July 2011
Bibliography and Learning Support Materials

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British Journal of Developmental Psychology
British Journal of Social Work
Child & Family Social Work
Infant and Child Development
Research in Child Development

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