NCU The Case of Cabrini Greens & Social Work Profession Case Study

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This week, you learned about how social workers work in IC with housing disadvantaged populations, and read in detail about Cabrini Green. Review these resources again carefully and conduct external research on Cabrini Green and other projects in large urban areas.

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Based on what you learned in these resources, determine how an IC could work effectively with the residents who were displaced when Cabrini Green was demolished. For example, members of this population discussed the problems with available, affordable replacement housing for more than 14,000 families. How can you apply the foundations of the social work profession at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels to work with diverse clients to problem solve this issue?  

First, write a 2 to 3-page summary of the history and background of the problems at Cabrini Green. Then, create a chart, similar to the one below, where you explain the components of an IC for each of the social work issues to address this problem (lack of housing for displaced residents).  

Example Chart:

Problem: Lack of affordable, adequate housing for former residents of Cabrini Green

Disciplines/ Professions

Involved Problem Solving Strategy

Micro level

Mezzo Level

Macro Level

As you have explored in previous weeks of the course, the social work mission and perspective is essential on IC teams working with marginalized, disadvantaged, and oppressed populations. For persons with disabilities, older individuals, those living in lower-income neighborhoods, and other marginalized populations, the social work contribution is elemental in providing high-quality care. Also, people with disabilities, the elderly, and lower-income populations face discrimination, pervasive lack of access to resources, and stigma, clearly calling for the micro, mezzo, and macro integrated approach to care that social workers can provide. Social workers are uniquely qualified to work with individuals who have multiple, complex, and overlapping issues such as a homeless individual with a disability, who is also experiencing unemployment. A social worker working with a client with this level of needs would ensure safe and stable housing, assist in finding employment, and help this person cope with the challenges their disability might contribute to activities of daily living.

Social workers work in IC teams with persons with disabilities across multiple settings, in hospitals, clinics, community-based settings, or in their homes, and may intersect with cross disciplines including health sciences, law, and other social sciences (Kolomitro, Stockley, Egan, & MacDonald, 2015). Social workers providing services to persons with disabilities may work with other professions such as development specialists, nurses, registered dietitians/nutritionists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and others (Boyer & Thompson, 2014). More frequent collaboration and use of interdisciplinary skills have been shown to correlate with more positive outcomes for clients with disabilities (Rosenberg, Margolis, Umble, & Chewning, 2015).

Geriatric social workers (or those working with the elderly population) work in IC to assist older individuals with health and mental health care needs, help maintain independence, provide for social and behavioral needs, and increase the overall quality of life. Geriatric social workers provide not only for a client’s needs but the needs of their family as well. The NASW predicts that careers for geriatric social workers will continue to increase as the population continues to age (NASW, 2018).

Dating back to Jane Addams and Hull House, the social work profession has a long history of working with the housing disadvantaged populations. Social workers work in ICs with housing disadvantaged populations in many contexts from homelessness to transitional housing and government-assisted housing, to advocating for fair and affordable housing prices, and safe and stable neighborhood environments. In addition, housing problems often occur co-morbidly with many other issues social workers address including substance use, justice involvement, lack of access to mental health and health care providers, unemployment, food insecurity, and others (Kaiser et al., 2016).

As an example, consider the neighborhood of Cabrini Green in Chicago, Illinois. Cabrini Green was a public housing project located on the north side of Chicago with a capacity to house 15,000 residents. The project became synonymous with poverty, gang violence, drugs, murders, vandalism, insect and rodent infestations, decay, and overall deplorable living conditions for residents, including a high population of infants and children (Chicago Gang History, 2017). The Cabrini Green projects were torn down in 2011, and while the tenements were demolished, many residents were left homeless and mired in the cycle of intergenerational poverty, crime, systematic lack of access to resources, and violence (Austen, 2018).

Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.


Austen, B. (2018). The towers came down, and with them the promise of public housing [Web article]. The New York Times.

Boyer, V. E., & Thompson, S. D. (2014). Transdisciplinary model and early intervention: Building collaborative relationships. Young Exceptional Children, 17(3), 19–32.

Chicago Gang History. (2017). Cabrini Green [Web resource].

Kaiser, M. L., Rogers, C., Hand, M. D., Hoy, C., & Stanich, N. (2016). Finding our direction: The process of building a community-university food mapping team. Journal of Community Engagement & Scholarship, 9(2), 19–33.

Kolomitro, K., Stockley, D., Egan, R., & MacDonald, M. L. (2015). Crossing boundaries: The design of an interdisciplinary training program to improve care for the frail elderly. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 36(3), 302-317.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW). (2018). Aging [Web resource].

Rosenberg, A., Margolis, L., Umble, K., & Chewning, L. (2015). Fostering intentional interdisciplinary leadership in developmental disabilities: The North Carolina LEND Experience. Maternal & Child……

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