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Steps of the case discussion

Purpose of a case discussion: Reviewing, together with the team members, the problems related to the planning procedure of the supporting activity and case management, and also that the team could contribute to the interpretation of the personal feelings of the case-deliverer and facilitate a creative solution to the problem. The case discussion is about the case itself, that is it is all about the student in a complex way (including the individual, his/her family, the society around him/her), all about his/her problem (what is the obstacle, the difficulty) and about the action plan and the related real action. The main aim of the case discussion is to help and strengthen the professional team with supporting questions, common reflections to the dilemmas, with new ideas and viewpoints. It is very important that the case discussion should never leave the ground of realities and factualities.


  1. Case review – case-deliverers present the case, and bring to light the emotional feelings of the participants towards the difficulty revealed;

  2. Characterization of the family and the student on the basis of the PDP and the observations of the colleagues, fellow students, family members and on the basis of the student’s own opinion;

  3. Revealing the student’s emotional attitude: mapping the accepted / rejected persons. Who are the persons the helpers and the student can rely on during the solution of the problem?

  4. Analysing the help so far given to the student: who are the persons already have dealt with the problem of the student? Why have they failed to solve it?

  5. Considering the competencies: who and at what level is competent during the intervention process? How is the student involved into the process? What is the expected change resulted by the intervention?

  6. Defining the direction and depth of the expected change, involving specialists: what kind of other specialist’s involvement seems to be necessary? Who will contact him/her? What is the exact subject of the help requested? What is the expected change resulted by the intervention?

  7. Considering the possible obstacles: what kinds of difficulties are likely to come up? How can we reduce or possibly avoid the number of these obstacles?

  8. Defining and fixing the schedule of the intervention: setting up the strategic goals, make all participants accept the suggestions in a frame of a contract, since the intervention is not effected instead of them, but is realized in favour of them. It is vital that the role played and the responsibility taken by the student during this helping process is made clear at this point.

  9. Evaluation: it is a continuous action throughout the process, but we have to keep in mind to give a final evaluation on the whole process, on the achievement of our goal, the selection method of the support and about the fulfilment of the contract. The followings are worth keeping in mind during the evaluation:

a)    Short summary of the period passed.

b)   The plan set for the period passed.

c)   The unrealized plans, fiascos and their reasons.

d)   Difficulties, conclusions, new questions.

e)   Personal feelings towards the process, the achievements, the goals.

f)   Working out new action plan, if necessary.

These steps are not necessarily realized during one meeting but there are certain elements, rules, which are to be realized in each meeting. These are the followings:

  • Don’t forget to invite the participants of the case discussion in time;
  • We should pay attention to the number of participants! This number for a meaningful case discussion is around 8 participants;
  • It is very important to have a quiet place for the discussion. Put the chairs in a circle;
  • Protocol of comments: setting up timeframe, ruling out indulging in personalities;
  • Electing the moderator and the keeper of the minutes of the case discussion;
  • Preparing an attendance register;
  • Signature of the participants to the minutes of the meeting;
  • Duration of a meeting should not exceed 90 minutes;
  • The student or his/her mentor / supportive person should be present in each case

How often should we organize a case discussion?

It depends on the case. In this regard we should usually keep in mind the followings:

  • What is the nature of the problem?
  • How often does the student/client require a feedback?
  • How often do the helpers require support, professional discussion? 
  • Ideally, the frequency of discussion is a minimum of 3 times per case, since this would ensure continuity.  

Typical mistakes of a case discussion: 

  • There are too many / too few persons invited;
  • The moderator does not manage the meeting, pays no attention that everyone has the opportunity to contribute;
  • Instead of the helping manner the accountability is emphasized, the case discussion tends to be a kind of hearing;
  • They leave the ground of reality, the goal set is not adjusted to the student’s/client’s, but to their own expectations; 
  • They do not consider the interests, peculiarities of the student;
  • The participants do not speak the same language, instead of settling the problem they list they own injuries; 
  • They do not make notes on the things happen, which may cause contradictions;
  • The supportive person, representing the student’s interest is not present;
  • They decide on an emotional basis, instead of solving the problem they prefer to get rid of it, they try to transfer the responsibility to each other.

It is worth paying attention to the above in order to eliminate possible mistakes and to make sure that case discussion becomes a goal-oriented, professional ground for the helping process.

User’s guide, equipment:

  • Room
  • Chairs (as many participants)

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