three systems levels – micro H u m a n i t i e s

three systems levels – micro H u m a n i t i e s

Assume that you are the social worker who will be doing an ASSESSMENT of Juan’s suicide potential and you are also responsible for developing a CARE PLAN.

Juan, age 19, is depressed. He lives in one of the poor, inner-city, neighborhoods of a large urban area. He finished high school, in a way. Reading and writing are not really some of his strengths. He managed to slip through each grade because he had a knack for playing basketball. He wasn’t quite good enough for playing in the pros or even in college, but he had been good enough to play on the high school varsity team. This is what kept him interested in school. The team seemed to offer the structure that he needed to stay in and finish high school. But now Juan is bored. He had a girlfriend in high school, but she graduated and decided to go to community college and doesn’t really have much time to spend with Juan. It seems he has looked everywhere for a job but just can’t find anything. He almost landed one as a janitor at a local supermarket. However, someone else got that job, which only paid minimum wage. It was not enough to move out of his parents’ home and live on his own. Juan says, “ all the parents seem to do lately is nag”. They want him to get out and do something useful. He tries to tell them how hard he has been looking for a job, but they don’t seem to understand. His father has been working at a local clothing store for years. Juan’s family is poor but are able to provide basic needs. His parents are also disappointed that he didn’t go to college. They have been hoping that Juan’s life would be better than their own in terms of opportunity and financial security. Juan feels that nothing he does ever pleases his parents. He does still go to church with them but prefers to hang out in the back with his friends. Now Juan has given up. The only thing left to do, it seems, is to sit around and drink or smoke pot with his buddies who are in similar situations. Lately, Juan is considering ending it all. What is the use, anyway? He has no future. Things don’t matter. Maybe he’ll just borrow a friend’s old wreck of a car and drive off the Center Street Bridge. One of these days maybe he will do just that—end it all. Church youth pastor referred Juan to the county’s behavioral health services.

In order to do this you are asked to do the following:

1. Assess Juan’s suicide potential using the SAD PERSONS scale. Explain your rationale

2. Use Erikson’s psychosocial theory and Marcia’s work on identity status to describe what may be happening with Juan. Also Use a historical approach when discussing Erikson’s developmental theory. That is review the case by looking at past and present developmental stages.

3. Using Problem Behavior theory and other sources of data describe the risk and protective factors that apply to this case.

4. Identify possible resources, in the vignette, at each of the three systems levels – micro, meso and macro to address Juan’s risks. State one intervention strategy using a resource for each level.


Material: Zastrow, C, Kirst-Ashman,K.K. & Hessenauer, S.L. (2018). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment (11th Edition) and other resources.

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