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Working with Client’s Case Study
Case Study in Singapore
Direct Practice in Social Work, by Scott W. Boyle
The family comprises Mr… Ivan Yeo, 49, and his Vietnamese wife, Ms. Chau, 28, who is
on long-term social visit pass. They have 3 girls aged 3, 2, and 1. The couple stays in a small apartment owned by Mr. Yeo and his mother, Mdm Yeo, aged 63, a homemaker. Mr. Yeo’s father has severe dementia and has
been placed in a nursing home for about 6 months now. The family was able to place him
there for a monthly charge of $150 with the assistance of Ms. Lily Neo, a Medical Social
A worker at the Sengkang General Hospital.
Mdm Yeo has diabetes and is on long-term medication. She follows up at Sengkang
General Hospital. Mdm Yeo helps to cook and clean for everyone while Ms. Chau mainly
takes care of her three children.
Ms. Lily Neo has referred the family to you for follow-up at the community agency after
new developments in the family amidst COVID-19. Mr. Ivan Yeo, who was working as
a retail assistant at a sports apparel store was suddenly laid off. He has registered to
become a food deliveryman. He will be starting his new job in a week. Though,
Mr. Yeo’s monthly take-home pay was $2000 at the Sports shop, he only received 50%
of his normal salary for the past four months due to the lockdown. This has resulted in
outstanding arrears of five months with Singapore Power (the apartment’s electric supply company), as well as unpaid maintenance service and conservancy charges for their apartment. Based on Ms. Lily Neo’s report, the family has arrears of about $4000 in total. This has also further aggravated the already tense situation at home.
Mdm Yeo’s relationship with her daughter-in-law has not been very good since the
couple’s marriage. Indeed, Mdm Yeo was against Mr. Ivan Yeo’s decision to marry Ms
Chau. She only grudgingly agreed to the wedding after Mr. Ivan Yeo threatened to leave
for Vietnam for good if she objected to his decision. The poor relationship between Ms
Chau and her mother-in-law have been mainly due to their language barrier. Mdm Yeo speaks Malay as well as the Chinese local dialect (Hokkien). Ms. Chau, however, can only speak Cantonese and a little bit of English. The young couple and their children communicate with each other in very simple English. Hence, Mdm Yeo often feels left
out in their conversations. Mdm Yeo and her daughter-in-law also seem to have a very different perspectives on
parenting. Mdm Yeo feels that Ms. Chau does not manage the young children well and
blames her for their mischievous behavior.
Mr. Yeo is often stuck in between his mother and wife whenever an argument erupts. He
copes by either locking himself in his room or walking out of his apartment unit hoping for things
to resolve on their own.
Mr. Yeo feels that the situation has worsened now that his mom has not been able to visit his
dad at the nursing home due to the COVID-19 situation. She has become rather lonely
and withdrawn. She also feels very bad that they have all just abandoned the older Mr
Yeo somewhere far away now that he is sick and not able to contribute to the family
and feels that she too will be treated similarly.
The purpose of the referral is for your agency to look into emergency financial aid, food
rations as well as to help improve the hostile relationship between Mdm Yeo and her
Answer the following questions based on the case study above.
Knowledge, Skills & Values are three crucial elements that guide social work in helping
process. Appraise how these THREE (3) components would guide you when working
with the Yeo Family. Explain with clear examples.
Question 4 (