Case study - The Kamal Family
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Case study - The Kamal Family


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Hamza aged fourteen, lives with his mother Bisma and his paternal grandmother Hifza, in a small town north of Manchester. 

Hamza’s father, Aadil died three years ago, since then Bisma has been finding it increasingly difficult to manage emotionally.  Hamza has autism and severe learning disabilities and as he gets older his behaviour is getting more difficult to manage. Neither Bisma nor Hifza work outside of the home; and are experiencing great financial difficulty. Bisma and Hamza speak Urdu and English, Hifza speaks very little English. Contact with extended family is difficult as neither Bisma nor Hifza drive.

Hamza attends a special school in a nearby town. Bisma said she is concerned that Hamza is not receiving enough speech therapy in his school.

Bisma relies on Hifza a lot to help her take care of Hamza, and that she is grateful to have her around. Bisma worries about money a lot.

Bisma first became concerned about Hamza's development when he was not talking by age two. She said he has always been fascinated with trains and spends hours lining them up. Hamza becomes angry when people change his routine or tell him it's time for bed. He gets in other children’s space at school and bites or scratches his classmates when he is frustrated or agitated. His behaviour can be difficult to manage at times, for example when in shops if he wants something he cannot have, or when he wants something but cannot 

express himself. Sometimes it seems like he just can’t get the words out to say what he wants. He has had some recent success in toilet training. While toilet training has taken a long time, he is now staying dry most days and asking to go to the bathroom. However, he still has accidents at night. Hamza is learning how to dress himself, but is still having some trouble. He puts his clothes on inside out or backwards. On a positive note, Bisma reports that Hamza will stay in the house when told and does not wander off into the neighbourhood. She tries to keep Hamza at home because some of the neighbourhood boys pick on him. Also, she is concerned that these boys will be a bad influence on Hamza. 

Hamza's current neighbourhood is not a supportive environment. Hamza's mother is afraid for Hamza to play in the garden because she is afraid the other boys will bully him. 


Aleeza is a social worker on the children and family social work team. They receive a referral from the school which states that:

Hamza told his teacher on numerous occasions recently that he doesn't like being locked in his bedroom.

Bisma has told the school that she doesn't understand Hamza's behaviour. Bisma said her mother in law thinks that Hamza’s behaviour is due to her bad parenting. Bisma said she is frustrated and wants to find a way to address Hamza's behaviour.

The school also report that Bisma sounds very flat, and she appears to have a depressed mood. They say that when asked, she told the head teacher that she has had a difficult time looking after Hamza following the death of her husband. 

Bisma has also told the class teacher that she is worried about her mother who is becoming very forgetful recently.

Please answer the 7 tasks below referencing to the above case study.

TASK 1 Assessment

The assessment framework for children in need is set out in 

Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (HM Government 2015). This can be downloaded at  

Please look at the assessment triangle (HM Government 2015 p 22)

Using the headings below which make up the three sides of the assessment triangle drawing just on the basis of the information provided in the case study present a summary of your assessment making sure that it draws upon strengths as well as limitations.

  1. Child Developmental Needs (150 words)
  2. Parenting Capacity (150 words)
  3. Family and environmental factors (150 words)

Task 2 Collaborative Working

Having identified the key issues in Task 1 and referring once again to HM Government (2015) please indicate:

Which other agencies could or should be involved with this case, and what their role would be. What is the role of the social worker?

Please indicate how they would work effectively together (200 words)

Task 3 Theories

Explain one pertinent theory, and how it might help a social worker make sense of any of the needs you identified in Task 1 (400)

Task 4 Research

Using online tools, look up an academic journal article that relates to one of the issues identified within the Kamal family. How can Aleeza use this information to inform how she words with the family? (300)

Task 5 Social Work Methods

Identify one social work method from the following; Person Centred Practice, Task Centred Practice, Solution Focused Practice, Social Pedagogy, Motivational Interviewing, Crisis Intervention, Cognitive Behavioural methods.

Explain why the method may be appropriate and consider how this method might be used with one or more members of the Kamal family to address any of the needs outlined in Task 1 

It should be clear how this method helps the social worker get beyond simply 'helping'? (400 words)

Task 6 Skills

What social work skills are relevant for the intervention, and why? (150 words)

Task 7 Anti-oppressive practice

What is anti-oppressive practice? Please demonstrate your understanding of this with reference to the social worker's practice with the family (300)


Task 1: Assessment summary

a. Child Developmental needs

In the case study, Hamza is a 14-year child who is suffering from autism.  As asserted by Gonzalez‐Izquierdo et al. (2015: 186-193), in order to have proper development approach, vigilance, stability, information, engagement and exploration were some basic needs of the Hamza. Most significant development need for Hamza to fight back with autism is advocacy, explanation and support. As stated by Baines, S., & Edwards (2015: 28-34.), early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children. All the developmental needs of Hamza is not fulfilled as the family do not have a stable financial condition, thus, they are not be able to provide proper medical support to Hamza in an effective manner. In absence of Hamza father Aadil, Bisma finds it difficult to manage Hamza emotionally. As Hamza is becoming older, it is getting difficult to manage the situation and fulfil the required needs of Hamza. Hamza should get respect from the family as well as his neighbours to lead his life effectively.


b. Parenting Capacity

Four major elements define the parenting capacity. Firstly, meeting the child's development as well as health needs. Bisma and Hifza were not able to meet the health as well as developmental need of Hamza. However, both of the guardians of Hamza are trying to maintain the second element of parenting capacity that is to put Hamza's need first. Bisma and Hifza due to lack of proper support and financial guide were not able to provide the consistent and routine care to Hamza (influenced by Hood et al. 2016: 493-498). Bisma realised that Hamza is not being provided with proper speech therapy at school However she was not able to switch Hamza's care to other profession for better speech therapy due to financial instability. The toilet training of Hamza was successful as he stays dry most of the time and asks to take him to the toilet. Bisma acknowledges Hamza's problem. However, Hifza thinks that this behaviour is due to bad parenting, Bisma always tries to engage Hamza with different support services.

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