Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Social Work with Children and Families: About Case Studies

About Case Studies

For SOCW 4310, you will be reading and answering questions about a case study. What is a case study? Read on below to find out!

Case study research method

A Case Study is a type of in-depth, qualitative research method that uses one single example (case) to provide information related to social or clinical issues. Case studies are often used in social work education to help students understand  and analyze scenarios they may find themselves in.

Image of Case study research bubble from the Sage Research Methods database's Method Map. Text: Case study research, a term with a variety of meanings and historical resonances but which today usually refers to the intensive study of a small number of cases, or a single case. Click the image to go to this entry in the database.


Pros & Cons

A case study is valuable both as a teaching tool and as a research method. Like any tool or method, case studies best serve certain, specific purposes.


  • Case studies provide in-depth information that includes multiple aspects for analysis
  • Case studies provide a narrative lens through which to examine an issue or problem
  • Case studies can put the reader in the shoes of the study participants


  • Case studies are more susceptible to researcher bias than some other types of research methods
  • Case studies can lead to a type of bias in which conclusions drawn from the case study are generalized, or considered applicable in other settings, situations, or with different populations.