Skip to main content

Social Work: Study


Case Study 3

Sam is 17 years old and has been drinking alcohol for the last three years. Having been suspended from school at 15 years of age, Sam did not return to education and has been unemployed since 'officially' leaving school. Recently Sam has become bored and has started hanging around with a group of older youths who are involved in offending and who drink every day.

Sam's parents have become increasingly concerned about him and are now at their wits' end because Sam has been charged with:

  • Shoplifting
  • Breach of the peace
  • Possession of cannabis


  1. What are the issues for Sam?
  2. What can be done here?
  3. Who can help?
  4. What wider issues are suggested here, e.g. use of 'ASBOs', schools' capacity and ability to include all levels of learners.

What next?

Research into Practice will provide some guidance here.

Recommended reading on this course includes:

  • Erikson, E. (1950) Childhood and Society.
  • Kelly, G (1998) 'The influence of research on child care policy and practice' in Iwaniec, D and Pinkerton, J (eds.) Making Research Work. Promoting Child Care Policy and Practice.
  • Kilbrandon (1964) The Kilbrandon Report.
  • McGuire, J (ed.) (1995) What works: reducing re-offending; guidelines from research and practice.
  • Utting, D (2000) What works with young offenders in the community?
  • Waterhouse, L. McGhee, J. Whyte, B Loucks, N. Kay, H. and Harris, R. (2000) The Evaluation of Children's Hearings in Scotland: Children in Focus.

Also of help will be Social Work in Communities.

Recommended reading on this course includes:

  • Amit, V (2002) Realizing Community: Concepts, social relationships and sentiments.
  • Barr, A. (2006) 'Dialogue with communities: Issues and insights', Journal of Community Work and Development, 7, 97-113.
  • Barr, A. (2007) 'Social work and community development' in J. Lishman (ed.), Handbook for practice learning in social work and social care (2nd Ed.).
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979) The ecology of human development.
  • Coulshed, V. and Orme, J. (2006) Social work practice: An introduction.
  • Cree, V. and Davis, A. (2007) Social work: Voices from the inside.
  • Ferguson, I. (2008) Reclaiming social work: Challenging neo-liberalism and promoting social justice.
  • Fulcher, L.C. and Ainsworth, F. (eds.) (2006) Group care practice with children and young people revisited.
  • Hawtin, M. Hughes, G. and Percy-Smith, J. (1994) Community Profiling: Auditing social needs.
  • Howe, D., Brandon, M., Hinings, D., & Schofield, G. (1999) Attachment Theory, Child Maltreatment and Family Support: A practice and assessment model.
  • Jack G. (2001) 'Ecological perspectives in assessing children and families' in The Child's World: Assessing Children in Need, J. Horwath, (ed.).
  • Lister, R. (2004) Poverty.
  • McNeil, F. & Whyte, B. (2007) Reducing Reoffending: Social Work and Community Justice in Scotland.
  • Mooney, G and Scott, G. (2005) Exploring social policy in the 'new' Scotland.
  • Saleeby, D. (ed.) (1997) The strengths perspective in social work practice (2nd edn.).
  • Whyte, B. (2009) Youth Justice in Practice.
Two seniors crossing road