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Assignment: Apply Theoretical Perspectives to Intervene in Real-life Scenarios


For each of the following three scenarios, use a chart format to assess how each traditional theoretical perspective would best explain the situation that a social worker would need to address. You may create your charts in Word or another software program of your choice. An example chart follows the three scenarios.

Scenario 1

You are a hospital social worker who is working with a family whose older adult relative is in the hospital because of end-stage renal failure. The older relative has left no advanced directives regarding medical decisions. There is conflict between family members over how to proceed with the older relative’s care.

Scenario 2

You are a caseworker in a drug court. Your client has had three consecutive dirty urine analyses. She is unemployed and has violated her probation order. 

Scenario 3

You are a school social worker. You have been asked by your principal to start a social skills group. Along with the third-grade teachers, you identify eight students who you believe will benefit from participation in this weekly group. You have never run a social skills group before and are starting to plan your first meeting.

Chart Example:

The questions to the right of each theory in the chart below serve as a guide for you to use as you assess each situation according to the stated theory. Please respond to these questions in your explanation of each scenario. Feel free to include information other than the answers to the questions to demonstrate deeper understanding of the theories.


Explanation for Scenario – please respond to the questions below in your explanation

Systems Theory

Who is your client? Of what systems is this client a part? How are those systems related (i.e. individual is part of a nuclear family which is embedded in an extended family and/or family interacts with certain other systems)? How does what is happening in one of those systems impact what happens in another system? How might you intervene in these systems based on your answers to these questions?

Generalist Theory

Who is your client? Describe how you might engage this client. How would you assess this client? Based on the data from your assessment, how might you intervene with this client? What are some methods you could use to evaluate that intervention? What factors would you need to keep in mind when planning to terminate your professional relationship with this client. How would you appropriately follow up with this specific client?

Behavioral Theory

Who is your client? What adaptive behaviors is the client exhibiting? What maladaptive behaviors is the client exhibiting? What is the antecedent (immediate cause) of the maladaptive behaviors? What are the consequences of the maladaptive behaviors? How are maladaptive behaviors being reinforced? What behavioral intervention would you suggest to extin

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