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A Shoplifter? – Decision Case



Case Synopsis

Mrs. Jane Clark came to the mental health clinic (MHC) because she was court referred as a consequence of shoplifting. Mrs. Clark is a middle-aged homemaker who lives with her husband of 25 years and one teenage son. Mr. Clark is a retired Air Force member who now works for the U.S. Postal Service. In addition to the shoplifting charge that brought her to the MHC, Mrs. Clark revealed other issues in her life such as: her husband’s dissatisfaction with his job, concern over her health, and her son’s involvement with drugs. She also disclosed that she was a Christian and asked Mr. Cameron if he would pray for her. As Mr. Cameron prepared to write the report, he considered the conflictingthoughts and emotions he had about Mrs. Clark. He wondered what he should write to the judge.

Intended Case Use

Written for an advanced-level BSW course in generalist practice, the case may also be relevant for MSW students in foundation-level practice courses. It may be useful for discussing content on general practice methods, ethics and values, spirituality, and professional boundary issues.

Author/Speaker: George E. Huff, Michael E. Sherr, and Nelson Henning

No part of this electronic copy of case may be reproduced, revised, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise — without the written permission of NACSW.



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