Response 1: Psychological Aspects of Aging


  • Respond to at least two colleagues who applied a theory of successful aging to Helen’s case that differs from the one you applied.


  • ·      State whether you agree that your colleague’s strategy for applying the theory to Helen’s case is likely to be helpful.


  • ·      Provide support for your response and suggest one additional way your colleague might support Helen’s psychological well-being.


Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.




Colleague 1: Lisa


Hello Everyone,


There are several key life events that have influenced Sara’s relationships. Sarah has experienced loss, and because of it she has become depressed and lonley. She states, “Every since my husband died theres been no one to talk to”, (Laureate 2013). This influences her relationships because, she has become withdrawn and angry. After her husband died Sarah, and her daughter began living together. “Sara and her daughter have lived together  for the past 10 years since Stephanie returned home after a failed relationship and was unable to live independently”, (Plummer Makris & Brocksen, 2014). This influences her relationships because, she feels that Stephanie is taking over, and she has no control over her environment. She has also acquired the habit of hoarding things which influences her relationships because her other daughter Jane refuses to come visit her because of the conditions of the house.Her daughter Stephanie is also having issues over her hoarding. As Sara’s social worker, I might apply a theory of successful aging such as Activity Theory to her case by encouraging her to get physically active by going outside to walk, by joining a gym that has programs for the elderly, and by going on short trips with Stephanie. This will also help them bond more. “There is considerable evidence that being physically and mentally active helps to maintain the physiological , psychological, and iintellectual functions of older people”, (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman 2016).


Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories, Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. {Vital Source e-reader}. “The Parker Family”


Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K.K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Chapter 15, “Psychological Aspects of Later Adulthood”.



Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Parker family: Episode 2 {Video file}. Retrieved from


Colleague 2: Koretta


Hello, Dr. H. and Colleagues. Sara Parker is 72-years old. She recently lost her husband to a heart attack, which has escalated her depression. Additionally, she has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and dementia. While visiting with her social worker, Sara mentioned that ever since the death of her husband, she has been feeling lonely. Even though she attends an adult day program three times per week, 6-hours per day, she has become disengaged with life. Disengagement Theory is a term coined by Cumming and Henry (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 2016). It’s meaning is two-fold–that a person begins to lose interest in life, and society begins to lose interest in the person.


During a meeting with the social worker, Sara mentioned that the program was not helping her, and that it was her cats and shopping that brought her joy (Laureate Education, 2013). Sara’s shopping has led to a hoarding situation. According to her daughter, Stephanie (48-years old), who lives with her mother, the hoarding is out of hand, and has caused a rift in their relationship. She is contemplating moving out, but is not sure she can do this because of her own mental illness issues (Plummer, Makris and Brocksen, 2014).


Hoarding happens as the result of a mental breakdown, and it is very difficult to remedy. It will take the individual’s willingness to cooperate before successful outcomes occur. Understanding this, as Sara’s social worker, I would have to be patient with Sara and build a trusting relationship with her. I would visit from time to time and help her become focused on getting rid of things maybe through donating to charity. I would address the filthiness of the apartment which leads to injury and disease.



Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Parker family: Episode 2 [Video file]. Retrieved from


Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2014). Sessions: Case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].


Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.




Response 2: Cultural Influences of Social Policy


  • ·      Respond to at least two colleagues by offering any other considerations your colleagues might need to consider when supporting the Hernandez family. Justify your recommendation. 

Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.



Colleague 1: Lisa


Hello Everyone,


Cultural considerations might affect child welfare policy because cultures discipline their children in different ways. In the Hernandez family, they discipline their children like their parents disciplined them. However; many people in America might see this as abuse. This will allow for a social worker to step in the make sure that the children are not being mistreated or harmed. This is why social workers need to familiarize themselves with the cultural aspects of each family before making assumptions. “Social workers continually strive to increase their professioanl knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice”, (NASW 2008).The responsibilities of a social worker in the Hernandez family when it comes to addressing their child welfare needs through the accessibility of services is to explain to them the issues that they  and be supportive to any questions or concerns that they may have. Let the family know that a social worker is there to work out their issues and not to punish them in anyway. They can do this by applying the child protection approach to situations that affect clients from different cultures. “The child protection approach involved providing personal services to families with the goal of preventing the recurrence of maltreatment: seeking out the causes of abuse, neglect exploitation, and delinquency; and preventing maltreatment through environmental reforms”, (Popple & Leighninger 2015).


Popple, P.R., & Leighninger, L. (2015), The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics of the National Assocation of Social Workers. Retrieved from



Colleague 2: Jesse


Cultural considerations effect child welfare policies because different cultures raise their children in different ways from the way they educate their children to the way they discipline their children. As social workers this is a major reason cultural competence is so important. To be a useful resource to our clients’ we need to be able to understand the traditions of other cultures our clients could be members of.  In the Hernandez case study they disciplined their children the way they were disciplined in their native culture. Their practice of disciplining could have been deemed as abusive. This is when a social worker needs to step in and talk to the parents and children as see if there is a cultural difference or if it truly is abuse. As social workers we need to continually strive to increase our knowledge and skills to use within our practice (NASW, 2008). The responsibilities of the social worker in the Hernandez’s family case would be to support the family by stepping them through the process and helping them access services such as counseling. Individual counseling would be beneficial for this case because you would be able to speak one on one with each family member and uncover the root of the problems. This way you could help every member of the family by identifying what services could be of assistance.



National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from:





Response 3: Child Welfare and Family Preservation


·      Respond to at least two colleagues by offering an insight for the comparison of benefits and shortfalls of permanency planning and family preservation your colleagues described based on your state’s child welfare policies.



Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.


Colleague 1: Janet


Dealing with children and being a voice for their rights and their needs is an important aspect of being a social worker.  However, we also have to be able to be non-judgemental and level headed and be able to determine the cause for the referral to our agency. We need to be able to see how, and why the maltreatment or negligence is happening, and what are the causes of it. Each case that we will come to will be different and we must treat each case as such. I believe that depending on the risk to the child/children and what the case overall is, we must then determine if we must go the family preservation route or just remove the children and place in foster care. Ultimately, if as social workers we take the whole picture in and we make the determination that the problem is minor and it is a cause of lack of education, lack of resources, then ultimately the family preservation must be done.

According to the Child Welfare League of America (as cited in Mullins, Cheung, & Lietz, 2012), Family Preservation Services were “developed largely in response to the over-reliance on out-of-home care and the recognition that separating children from their families can be traumatic, possibly leaving lasting negative effects. Overall, the research does not completely show that Family Preservation Services is completely and totally the best for children and their families, but above all some research goes to show that this is because of the professional relationship between the social worker and the family. For example the study done by Mullins, Cheung and Lietz (2012), revealed that “families seemed to be saying they desire services that are challenging and relevant, delivered in a way that is respectful and responsive, that their relationships with providers create a context for making difficult change and that the combination of emotional and tangible support makes these changes possible. In essence the families that had a positive outcome and benefited from Family Preservation Services in the study, were the ones that had a better working relationship with the social worker. The successful clients were the ones who were given better help and better resources and were able to rectify the situation that led them to be referred in the first place. The other families with the negative outcomes explained that the help that they received was not personalized to their family and it did not tailor their needs and did not seem to help them overcome the issue. Every family dynamic is different and we must be able to tailor the programs to each family. Social work is not a one size fits all program.

Permanency planning and Family Preservation both have its positives and negatives. The more I read the more I think that if we could find a happy medium between both of these policies that would be ideal. Above all Family Preservation allows for a social worker to apply the strength perspective to help a family and allows for the family to get help as a whole and allows them to obtain the resources to become independent for the social services system. However, there have been cases that ultimately have led to horrible crimes and abuse committed against children even after the family has gone through the Family Preservation system. The permanency planning while it acknowledges that the family home is the best place for the children, it will remove the children and a plan needs to be developed immediately, and monitored closely. The plan is to be able to have a permanent living arrangement for the child as fast as possible. If the child cannot stay in their home then “steps should be taken to legally free the child for a permanent placement at the earliest time possible.” (Popple & Leighninger, 2015, p. 223) The next steps would be to try and get the child adopted and if not able to then to get the child in a long term foster care. The negatives to this is that often times if a child is not adopted, they will be in the foster system until the legal age, and many times they will be bounced from foster home to foster home and not have a stable environment. A negative to this system is also that there are too many children that need foster homes and not enough foster homes to meet the needs of this system.


As a social worker I would prefer to use the Family Preservation system as my first response, however this I believe depends on what the problems that lead to the referral in the first place are. Family Preservation is a good approach if the family needs resources and are willing to make the changes possible. If it is a severe case of abuse, neglect or sexual abuse then immediate removal is necessary then we would have to proceed with the permanency planning because a child should not be subject to that.  I think if we could come to a policy that would be able to have both systems incorporated then it would be the best.






Colleague 2: Daneilia


 Family Preservation in Child Welfare

The role of family preservation in child welfare is so that the family does not have the added stress of being separated from one another.  While family preservation alleviates the stress of being separated it allows for empowerment and stability to the whole family.  The family gains empowerment through support services and provides service to keep the children safe throughout the time being (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d.).

Foster Care Harmful?

Foster care has not been proven to be harmful to children as far as abuse goes because abuse can still occur in their biological home.  However, statistics say otherwise as far as the future outcomes for children who go through the foster care system.  To support the theory that foster care is harmful, it was “…found kids reunited with families after a brief stay in foster care were more likely to abuse drugs, get arrested, drop out of school and have lower grades than those who stayed in foster care” (Koch, 2007).  Now, that does not necessarily insist that is what will happen to all foster care kids and it definitely does not define family preservation is better.  The topic is actually lacking in quite a bit of research to help support and define both sides.

I do not agree with the assumption that foster care is harmful, to an extent.  I believe that it is only harmful if the child has other family that could help care for the child.  I think children are better off with family members at least if not with their parents.  However, if there are no other family members besides the parent(s) then the child might be better off depending on the severity of the abuse/neglect.  Sometimes even family members are not ideal because it could turn into a similar situation with the child as it was with the child and the parents.  Foster care truly becomes harmful when abuse occurs, just the same as in the child’s home.  Foster care and family preservation each have the good and the bad.

Georgia Foster Care

“Statistics indicate children entering foster care are at increased risk of developmental delays and disabilities due to a variety of factors. Sadly, they often also suffer emotional distress due to the trauma of being removed from their home” (Division of Family and Children Services, n.d.).  A gap that seems to be present is the lack in support for the child in the initial transition.  Georgia states there are several programs that support the child and the foster care family; however, statistics and reports say otherwise in how children are transitioning into foster care (Division of Family and Children Services, n.d.).  Foster care can also be seen as harmful due to the homeless rate of foster care children when transferring out of the homes as adults.  The lack in support especially in programs to assist these young adults in transition such as work skills, stable home or financial means to attend college.  “Nearly one in four foster kids will become homeless…” (Scott, 2012).

Permanency Planning and Family Preservation

Permanency planning allows for the agency to follow up with distant relatives of the child to help care for the child until reunification can occur with the parents and the child.  Family Preservation encourages the family to work through their issues and gain support and services that will empower them to be reliant and self-sufficient (Georgia Department of Human Services, n.d.).  The shortfalls of permanency planning are there might not be extended family that is available or that has the abilities to help.  However, the benefit of permanency planning is it allows the child to be in the comfort of family while the parent(s) get assistance.  The shortfalls of family preservation are that the abuse that had occurred may continue throughout the entirety of everything.  Yet the benefit of family preservation is that it keeps the family together which alleviates stress that if the family was separated.


I prefer permanency planning because biological relatives can comfort the child.  It is an option that keeps the child still somewhat close to home.  The environment is still fairly the same with the exception of the parent(s) in the day-to-day activities.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *