You are a social worker who is working in Brickville, a community faced with a redevelopment proposal that would dramatically change it. You have been working for the Brickville Community Development Corporation (CDC) for three years. Your primary roles center on work with young people in several Brickville neighborhoods. You facilitate a youth leadership development group, provide assessment and referrals for job training and employment, provide case management services, and convene a community safety committee. Your youth leadership group has an interest in community affairs and often undertakes projects that impact the community. The youth group is racially diverse, like Brickville itself. Most of the young participants’ families have been in Brickville for at least a few generations.Start this case
This case involves an entire community faced with major decisions about development, as well as a resident family experiencing transition. This case, therefore, provides students with a multi-level client system that mirrors real-life practice challenges—families challenged by their changing environment.
To best incorporate this case into courses, instructors should familiarize themselves with the case files that describe the features of the Brickville community, the presenting problems (a redevelopment plan created without community input and a family’s struggles within that context), and the social worker’s roles. Because development decisions are heavily influenced by dynamics of class and, especially, race, students should be encouraged to incorporate a critical analysis of these forces into their assessment and intervention approaches, as well. Becoming familiar with the backgrounds and assessments of the Stone family members, their presenting concerns (decisions to be made about caregiving, housing, and a memorial playground), and the social worker’s role with the family is essential. Instructors should also provide support for students around skills and challenges in community practice, including where and how such practice diverges from social work with individuals.
In addition to the narratives, the case also includes a town map and sociogram, as well as a genogram and ecomap for the Stone family. These additional tools can serve as the springboard for discussions about the nature of relationships between elements in the community and how interventions within one element of this system may affect other parts. The case can also introduce students to community strengths and needs assessments and provide opportunities to practice assessment at the individual and family levels.
Understand the connections between individual, group, and community dynamics, challenges, issues, and resources in the micro, meso, and macro systems using the person-in-environment perspective.
Learn how changes and proposed changes in a neighborhood may impact residents, and how those impacts vary along lines of race, class, and other dimensions of identity.
Using the four-phase intervention process (i.e., engage, assess, intervene, evaluate), develop your skills in working with client systems at various system levels.