The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez Term Paper

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez Term Paper

Guidelines and Prompt

With this term paper you will be required to watch the Netflix docuseries, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.” We will be transitioning your volunteer term paper requirements to this docuseries. 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.

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


1. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and will be treated seriously.

2. According to the 2016-2017 Cuyamaca College Catalogue, plagiarism is defined as “the act of taking ideas, words or specific substantive material of another and offering them as one’s own without giving credit to the source.

3. Writers give credit to sources by using citations. According to Richard Nordquist, a citation is a source quoted in an essay, report or book to clarify, illustrate, or substantiate a point (

4. A detailed description of plagiarism and accompanying consequences is available in the Cuyamaca College Catalogue under “Academic Honesty”. Here are some common examples of plagiarism:

● Submitting a paper with someone else’s ideas, opinions, or research without citing the appropriate source

● Paraphrasing without citing the appropriate source

● Submitting the same paper in more than one class

● Submitting a paper as your own work that was written by another student or person

● Submitting a paper that was purchased from the Internet or elsewhere

5. When in doubt, use a citation!

● Citations show that you made the effort to do the research for your essay or term paper.

● Always have a References page at the conclusion of your work.

● Consult the instructor if you are unsure about an issue related to plagiarism.

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