The following case study is an account of the assessment and intervention approaches used for Michelle Smith. Michelle is a fourteen-year-old African American student born on July 5, 1989, that attends Dunbar Middle School. The study examines the problem, assessment notes, observations, rationale for the intervention, and a review of the strengths and limitations of the intervention.
Reason for Referral
Mrs. Sneed, Michelle’s English teacher, referred Michelle to me as the school Social Worker at Dunbar Middle School. Mrs. Sneed reported that Michelle could not focus in class and her grades were steadily declining. The teacher reported that Michelle drastically changed her overall performance in class and after-school activities. According to the teacher, Michelle is usually a very active, happy young adult. Michelle belonged to the 4-H club and was a varsity cheerleader, but had quit both the week before.
As the school Social Worker, I first contacted Michelle’s mother to see if she was aware of Michelle’s behavior changes. Her mother had not noticed anything different about Michelle but she kept her distance from her. She stated that Michelle really did not talk when she came home; she went straight to her room. Ms. Smith came to school after I contacted her and signed the informed consent in order to do the Dunbar School Psychosocial Social School Assessment on her. I met with Michelle with her mother’s consent. Her mother stated she would sit outside and wait. She explained that Michelle would not talk if she were in the room with us. I met with Michelle shortly after about the teacher’s report, in order to find out further information about Michelle’s recent changes in behavior. Michelle appeared highly anxious and sad. I supported Michelle and made her feel safe by discussing confidentiality issues. We went over the participant rights, grievance form, and lastly, we went over the informed consent and she signed. When Michelle felt ready, we started the assessment process. During the process, Michelle reported she was pregnant and did not know how to tell her mother who is herself a single parent and is struggling with her. In addition, she did not know how to tell her friends because everyone looked up to her. I called Michelle’s mother in to inform her why Michelle’s drastic change in behavior occurred. Michelle told her mother that she was pregnant.
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