The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez Term

With this term paper you will be required to watch the Netflix docuseries, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez. This term paper is a combination of your research of Child Welfare social workers, examination of the systems involved in Gabriel’s life, along with reflections of the textbook, class lectures, and small group discussions.

In this term paper, please consider the following: were the social workers involved in this case practicing their job duties in alignment with the NASW code of ethics? What do you think you would have done differently if your supervisor instructed you to do something against your ethics? What did this film teach you both personally and professionally and how will you apply this to your role as a future social worker?

You are expected to use a minimum of 3 quotations/citations from the Netflix Docuseries. “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, and the “course textbook/outline,” to define and support the use of social work theories, approaches, values, and practice methods in this term paper.

What is required in this research is an explanation of the case of the child Gabriel Fernandez and who is the target and concerned party in this case, interspersed with a brief explanation of the role of each of these institutions and their effects and responsibilities in the case

Please note: All term papers must be word processed in APA format and between 6-7 pages NOT including the Title Page and References. All textbook quotations must cite the textbook source, not the chapter outline packet.

Each paper is to address the following:

Agency Introduction:

1. Briefly describe the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and its mission statement. You will find a lot of information using the following link: (

2. Describe the target population in detail, including pertinent information related to age, gender, socio-economic status, race, culture, ethnicity, etc. (What population does the Department of Child and Family Services Serve)?

3. Does the agency respect self-determination? Describe how the agency does, or does not, uphold self-determination.

● Give one specific example to support your point of view.

Theories and Interventions

1. Social Work Theories and Approaches:

● Choose two of the following social work theories or approaches and apply them to the work being done at the LA DCFS. Give at least one specific example for each theory to illustrate your applications.

o The Strengths Perspective

o Ecological Systems Theory

o Systems Theory

o Person-in-the-Environment

2. Social Work Interventions:

● Based on the documentary and your research of Gabriel’s case, choose at least one social work intervention from your observations of the documentary:

o Individual Casework

o Case Management

o Individual or family counseling

o Group work, 5) Client advocacy

o Community organizing (to include outreach work and attempts to change social policy or legislation)

● What was your impression of the social worker’s involved in Gabriel’s case?

● State the intervention you chose and give at least one example of the intervention.

● How did the Social Workers utilize the intervention you chose? Would you have used the same intervention? Why or why not?

● Were these interventions effective or ineffective? Why or why not?


1. Recommendations for the Agency

● Which code of ethics did the social workers not abide by? Provide one example (refer to the NASW code of ethics on canvas).

● What do you think you would have done differently if your supervisor instructed you to do something against your code of ethics?

● What changes would you suggest to make for the DCFS agency to be more successful at delivering services? Give one example.

2. Self-Reflection

● What did you learn about yourself from watching this docuseries?

● Discuss how you would have demonstrated social work practices and ethics.

● What did this film teach you both personally and professionally and how will you apply this to your role as a future social worker.

Formatting Requirements

1. 6-7 pages in length

2. Formatting: 1-inch margins, page numbers, double spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman and Word processed

3. APA Specific Format: Title Page with Running Head, Topic Headers, Reference page, Quotations/Citations properly formatted, In text citations match Reference page.

Organization, Grammar and Spelling

1. Sentences convey meaning clearly and are grammatically correct

2. Spelling and punctuation are accurate

3. Organization with clear introductory and conclusion sentences

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