To understand Sara better in light of the Life Course Perspective, concepts from at least two developmental stages, and general systems theory.

Life Course Perspective



Setting:                                      Benjamin Franklin Middle School (Valparaiso)


Your Role:                                  School Social Worker


Client:                                                     Sara Decoteau

                             Age:                   13

Grade:              6th

Physical:           5’5     135 lbs.     Straight Black Hair     Brown Eye      Reddish Brown Skin


Circumstances:                        Sara enrolled at “BF” in the middle of September, when her family moved to Valparaiso from Southern Indiana.  This move was precipitated by a job transfer for Sara’s father. Prior to this, Sara had lived in the same home since she was born. Sara’s family functions well, is supportive of her, and has no notable issues. They would be characterized as belonging to the middle- to upper-middle- class in socioeconomic status.

Sara has always been an average student and has never had any major behavioral issues in or out of school. She does not exhibit symptoms of any diagnosable mental illness, nor does she exhibit symptoms of any learning disability.

Teachers at BF have observed that Sara does not appear to be engaged in classes. She often fails to complete homework and sleeps in class. She does not interact much with other children, though a number of girls in her class have been observed inviting her to join them in the lunch room and in other activities. One of her teachers noted that she has seen her crying silently at times.

Your Task:                      To understand Sara better in light of the Life Course Perspective, concepts from at least two developmental stages, and general systems theory.

Specifically, you should apply at least three concepts for the Life Course Perspective, concepts from at least two of the developmental stages (infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence) to help you understand Sara and her current situation. You should also apply your knowledge of general systems theory to assist you in making sense of Sara’s current situation and show.

Extra Information:      You have all of the information that you need to know about Sara’s family.

Given previous issues with group process, I am asking you to focus specifically on doing this case study AS A TEAM.  Please use a Google Doc to write this paper, and share the document with me when you begin working on it. As I noted in class, there are certainly legitimate reasons that a Google Doc would not show an equal amount of writing by each group member, in which case I expect that your tables will assist me to understand the contribution each team member made to the final product.

To clarify our discussion of what you are actually rating in the table, each of the four content areas should add up to 100%- it does not matter what the total number is for each team member. In other words, you will be turning in a paper that is 100% written. What percentage did each team member contribute to that 100% of writing. Likewise, what percentage did each team member contribute to the 100% of coordinating, the 100% of research, and 100% of editing that was required to create this final product. Again, it does not matter

For the table of individual contribution to the final product, rather than creating one table that appears at the end of the paper, I would like each group member to create their own table, independent of other group members. These tables will look exactly like the tables you’ve done on previous case studies, but will be created by each of you individually, rather than being the product of any type of collective process. Please bring a hard copy of your own individual table to class the day that the Case Study is due.

I have created a Blackboard discussion board which you can access through the Discussions tab on the left side of the class Blackboard site.



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