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5.2 Practicing from a Strengths Based Perspective

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5.2 Practicing from a Strengths Based Perspective

Assignment 3: Critical Reflection (15%)

Assignment 3 requires you to respond to topics and questions asked in Modules 5–8. This assignment provides an opportunity for you to explore and express your ideas, values, perspectives, and experiences related to new concepts or perspectives provided in the course material and readings.

Complete the critical reflection question once you have completed each module. Write your reflections with word processing software and save them as one file. Ensure that you title your response with the question number and question so the Open Learning Faculty Member can more easily assess your work.

You can view the grading rubric by clicking on the assignment link and then clicking on the View Rubric button in the Assignment Information area.

Assignment 3 is due at the end of Module 8.

Assignment 3: Critical Reflection Topics

5.1 Contrasting a Problem Solving and Strengths Based Approach

Write between 200 and 300 words in your response.

Summarize your understanding of both the problem solving and strength based models in social work. Incorporate some of Tong’s (2011) ideas into your discussion, and use APA citation style. Complete your entry with a critical reflection about how these models might be consistent with your perspectives on social issues, and explore how you might incorporate a strengths based approach into your social work practice.

5.2 Practicing from a Strengths Based Perspective

Write between 200 and 300 words in your response using the strengths based model to consider one of the situations involving Sherry, Dwayne, or Jared in Unfried, B. (2010). “Case Study: A Day (and Night) in the Life of a Social Worker”. Using the questions from Activity 5C (listed again, below), critically reflect on the situation from strength, empowerment, and resilience perspectives. Include any reflection on how the strengths perspective was used by Karen and how you would ensure to respect issues of diversity inherent in this situation.

  1. Does this person’s story show resilience?
  2. If you answered yes (above), describe how this person has shown resilience.
  3. How does the person’s resilience suggest a way to intervene?
  4. Identify an issue of diversity in the relationship between Karen and this person.
  5. How did Karen work through her understanding of the diversity?
  6. If you were in Karen’s role, how would you ensure that you are aware of your own social location and respect any intersections of diversity?

6.1 Identifying Helping Skills in Involuntary Client Relationships

Using Activity 6A as a guideline, write between 200 and 300 words in your response that integrates some of the relationship competencies (and concepts) from your textbook, the de Boer and Coady reading, and/or Schreiber, Fuller, and Paceley’s article on how you would approach Katy, Larry, or Donna from “Case Study: A Day (and Night) in the Life of a Social Worker”.

Pay particular attention to the social control responsibilities, the power imbalances in the relationships, and Karen’s mandate.

Activity 6A: Social Worker – Client Relationships

Read Chapter 6 of the text and re-read Unfried, B. (2010)“Case Study: A Day (and Night) in the Life of a Social Worker”.


You will expand on your answers to these questions when completing Assignment 3.

Read the following situations and reflect on the questions:


Karen asked Katy many questions about how she could manage to care for her baby and upgrade her schooling. Katy began to reject the social worker’s help, feeling that Karen was putting up roadblocks. Karen didn’t want to discourage Katy but felt she had gotten off to a bad start.

  1. If Karen wanted to build a better relationship with Katy by phoning her next week, how should she proceed?
  2. What could Karen do to prepare for a meeting with Katy

Larry, Jared’s father:

What approach might the social worker take when meeting with Larry to discuss Jared’s situation and the conditions for his return home?


Donna is being discharged from the residential addictions treatment centre. She has no interest in seeing a social worker because she was once a foster child and has had negative experiences with social workers in the past. Throughout her life social workers and other professionals have labeled Donna. As a child she wore the tag of “foster child” with connotations such as: loser, nobody wants you, and troublemaker. Later, as an adult, the label became: junkie, addict, and the like. Donna needs some help to ensure that she has support in place so she can avoid a return to using drugs and alcohol. Paying attention to the issues of social labeling, you want to develop a relationship with her.

  1. What strategies and methods could you use?
  2. How would reaching out to her help you build a relationship with her?

7.1 Child Protection in Practice

Using the reading from the text and any other information you find associated with Activity 7C, write between 200 and 300 words on your perspective of child neglect and poverty and/or domestic violence in your province, territory, region, or country (I lived in BC, Canada). Describe how the legislation and policy would influence your actions as a social worker in the situation Raisa and Valentina are in.

Activity 7C: Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment

Read McKenzie, B. & Kufeldt, K. (2011)and John Howard Society of Alberta.

It is now well known that children who live in a home where there is domestic violence are affected by the fighting, crying, and screaming (even if they are not physically or sexually harmed). Considering the articles and the situation of Raisa and Valentina, do you think domestic violence should be included as a form of maltreatment? Review the legislation in your area.

Some Canadian resources for this activity can be found at:

  • Search for rates of child abuse and neglect in Canada (including domestic violence): “Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2008” on the Public Health Agency of Canadawebsite at

8.1 Anti-Oppressive Practice

Write between 200 and 300 words providing your frame of Sherry’s situation (using your own words) from a structural social work approach. How would your interventions be different than from a problem solving perspective?


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