This case has been designed as a focus for learning about the legal, ethical and practice issues emerging from a child protection case scenario. As the case moves from allegations of abuse to planning for permanent care, learners can be asked to interpret and assess an unfolding scenario of complex needs and to consider a variety of responses designed both to promote the welfare of the three children and ensure parents' rights are actively considered. The case study consists of five short video clips representing the case at different points in time and offering the different perspectives of key players in the case: an anonymous caller; social workers involved in the initial investigation; a neighbor; a foster carer; and the child.
Type of Material:
As the website is organized, the main recommended use would be as a springboard for class discussion. The instructor can develop a series of ethical and practical questions to accompany each short video. The videos could be watched at home and students could prepare themselves for class discussion.
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Identify Major Learning Goals:
- Enhance awareness of multiple factors involved in the assessment of a child abuse/neglect case.
- Entertain ethical considerations regarding response of social services and attainment of necessary information.
- Awareness of practical considerations concerning options of placement.
Target Student Population:
This would be used for a social work/child welfare class or similar. Since this is a basic awareness instrument, it could be used in an introductory manner to the topic of child welfare at either the bachelors or graduate level.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic social work introductory course including ethical frameworks and ethical decision making.
A single case study - brief and easily accessible with videos and transcripts.
- There were not clear instructions which could help steer class discussion on the material.
- There was a lack of realism due to lack of demonstration videos on just how the workers would do a home assessment,interview the family members, and come to the conclusions of placement.
- You are given the conclusion of placement but not the rationale for that conclusion.
- There is no discussion of a projected future for the children.
- No supporting research or theoretical framework is offered.
- No alternative outcomes suggested.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
There are both videos and transcripts offered.
- There are no learning objectives identified.
- No theoretical framework to apply in the case.
- Unclear how they came to the placement conclusions they did.
- Unclear how to apply what could be learned to other cases.
- No suggestions as to how to fit this into a course format.
- No suggested means of evaluating learning.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Easily accessible. Video and transcripts. Well laid out.
- Although you can navigate the website, there is no actual bridge to link one segment to another. The viewer can create these connections but there are many gaps - too many for clear learning progression with students.
- There was no discussion or description of the local (Scotland) child welfare laws and how they may apply.
Other Issues and Comments:
This can be used as a discussion tool for initial looking at the implications of complex cases but much more expansion needs to be made along the lines above. It is simply not clear how the case was assessed, how laws were applied, the rationale for the conclusions, and how this can be generalized to other cases.
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