In this course, you will be asked to select one case study and to use it throughout the
entire course. By doing this, you will have the opportunity to see how theories guide
your view of a client and the client’s presenting problem. Although the case may be the
same, each time you use a different theory, your perspective of the problem changes,
which then changes how you go about asking the assessment questions and how you
The first theoretical approach you will use to apply to a case study is systems theory. In
other words, your theoretical orientation—your lens—will be systems theory as you
analyze a social work case study.
Different theories can be used to take a systems approach. For example, Bertalanffy’s
General Systems Theory considers how a system is made of smaller subsystems that
influence each other and seek homeostasis, whereas Brofennerbrenner’s Ecological
Systems Theory focuses on how an individual’s experience is influenced by different
system levels (micro, meso, exo, macro, and chrono). Systems theory is commonly
used to understand the interrelationships of the systems (e.g., family, community,
organizations, society) of the client. If you are working with families, communities, and
organizations, it is also beneficial to use systems theory to get a holistic picture of all the
interrelated parts of the system.
To prepare: Select and focus on one of four case studies listed in the Learning
Resources. You will use this same case study throughout the course.
By Day 7
Focus on the identified client within your chosen case.
Analyze the case using a systems approach, taking into consideration both family and
Complete and submit the “Dissecting a Theory and Its Application to a Case Study”
worksheet based on your analysis.
Application of Systems Theory to a Case Study
Social work theories are highly fundamental in practice as they explain the situations of clients and predicting their behaviors, guide social workers in dealing with clients, and give social workers a perspective for the conceptualization of clients’ problems and application of appropriate interventions (Howe, 2017). According to Turner (2017), social work theory identifies gaps in knowledge about practice. Taking this into account, this paper is aimed at applying systems theory to Jake Levy case.
The Case of Jake Levy
Jake Levy, a 31-year-old Jewish Caucasian male is married to Sheri, a 28-year-old female. They have two sons Myles and Levi who are 10 years and 8 years respectively. Jake Levy presents with concerns that his wife threated to leave him due to his drinking, mean behavior, and lack of involvement in the lives of his sons. Since he came from Iraq, he has been having a hard time re-entering back to the family and the community. He was diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder but does not fully understand what PTSD is. Jake reports increased arguments with his wife and he drinks himself to sleep and to take the edge off. In his growing up, Mr. Levy was not close to his father as the father was working military. Jake, thanks to his upbringing, believes that real men do not display their weaknesses and must always assume the role of the head of the family. He is concerned that his negative behaviors can negatively affect his role as a husband, a provider, and a father to their three children as they just realized the wife is pregnant for their third baby. As such he seeks help….To access the solution click the icon below to purchase at $10