I Am Sam” is a movie with Michelle Pfeiffer and Sean Penn about a single-father who has the mental capacity of a 7 year old. He has a daughter by a homeless woman; who abandons them after giving birth. Sam is left to raise their daughter by himself.

For this reaction paper, you being asked to view “I Am Sam” as a case study. Think about what interventions would be appropriate for this family. You will be viewing this case study from two different perspectives: as a home-based family preservation worker and as an administrator of an agency that offers home-based family preservation services.

In your reaction paper, please respond to the following questions:


Who are the characters involved in this case study? What is their role? (*Include a family genogram)
What do you view to be the crisis in this family, as presented by this case study?
What are the strengths that you view are inherent in this family system?
What are the weaknesses that you view are inherent in this family system?
What network of support does this family have available to them?
What goals would you set for this family?
What hard and soft services (family preservation interventions) would you refer this family to?
What safety planning and clinical skills interventions, if any, would you require for this family?

What are the hallmarks of home-based interventions?
What characteristics would you look for in a home-based family preservation worker?
What type of training do you believe is necessary for home-based family preservation workers?
How would you evaluate the effectiveness of your agency’s family preservation services? What measures would you use?
What are some current trends that you think may impact the effectiveness of family preservation services?