Respond to the prompts for the 4 case scenarios. Refer to your Notes on Family Dynamics, Family Strengths, and Family Life Cycle.
Using the following case scenario, give specific examples to show you understand how to assess parental skills and child developmental issues when completing a family assessment. Focusing on the techniques of observation and problem solving, what are some intervention techniques you would use to help this family?
Alice and Rob have been married for 3 years and have a 2 year old daughter Heather. Rob has 8 year old twin daughters Kristy and Kathy from his previous marriage. Kristy and Kathy have recently moved in with Alice and Rob. Their biological mother was arrested for DUI while the girls were in the car. She has been charged with neglect and child endangerment and court ordered to seek treatment as this was not her first offense. Rob was aware of his ex-wife’s substance abuse problems but acknowledged that he did not realize how serious the problems had become. Even though he had been paying child support on a regular basis, he did not visit with the twins on a regular basis after their mother moved with them out of state.
Kristy and Kathy are having difficulty adjusting to their new family environment. They have not had a lot of structure or attention and have fallen behind in their school work. They argue with each other and have been disrespectful to Alice when she tries to set any behavioral limits, get them to do chores or their homework. While Rob agrees the twins need structure, he thinks Alice is expecting too much from them. Alice and Rob both work full time; they worked out a child care agreement with a neighbor who also has a 2 year old to take care of Heather. The neighbor told Alice that Heather is usually very sweet and agreeable, but lately she has been crying more when her parents drop her off and she has had a couple of temper tantrums. Alice was able to take some time off from work when the twins moved in but now she and Rob are going to have to make other plans for the twins when they are not in school. Alice wants to be a good mother to the twins but she’s feeling overwhelmed and stressed and not supported by Rob. Alice has threatened to take Heather and go stay at her mother’s house if things don’t change. Rob wants to provide for his family; he acknowledges he feels guilty about the twins and is feeling torn between trying to keep his marriage together and make his children happy.
Using the following example describe three specific roles you would use as a family social worker to help decrease risks for this family.
Lilly Foster met with the family social worker after learning she was pregnant. Lilly described her live in boyfriend Phil as physically and verbally abusive, so she had to make the appointment while he was out of town or she said she would be “in trouble”. She and Phil have been living together for 2 years. Lilly had to give up her job as a waitress because Phil didn’t like the long hours she was working. This has put a financial strain on their relationship because they are now having trouble paying their bills and Lilly is worried they may lose their apartment. Phil has become more jealous and possessive and doesn’t like for Lilly to spend time with her family. Phil controls the money in their relationship and only gives Lilly cash each week for groceries and other necessities. Lilly went to the emergency once with a black eye but didn’t tell the hospital staff that Phil had hit her. There have been other beatings but Lilly has not let anyone know and Phil always apologizes afterwards promising he won’t do it again. Lilly told the social worker that she has always been very religious and was taught that she should stay with her baby’s father no matter what happens. Lilly is now worried about the safety of her unborn child.
Using the following case scenario, give specific examples to show you understand how to assess overt and covert rules, decision making and power structures, and traditional roles in the family.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams have been married 11 years and have 3 boys, ages 5, 8, and 10. Mr. Williams works as a county auditor; Mrs. Williams is a full time wife and mother. They were referred to your family counseling agency by the older boys’ school counselor. The boys have been showing aggressive behavior towards other children. Mrs. Williams seems very shy and overwhelmed in her role as a mother. When asked a question she deferred to her husband before answering. Mr. Williams blamed the teachers for over-reacting and said he believes in teaching the boys to stand up for themselves and not let anyone “push them around”. He said Mrs. Williams is too easy on the boys; he thinks the boys should be disciplined as he was by his parents – locked in their rooms or spanked. He also said children should be “seen and not heard” so he doesn’t believe in talking about their feelings. The only reason he agreed to family counseling was to avoid having the boys suspended from their school.
Using the following case scenario, give specific examples to show you understand how to identify strengths in a family and how to assess both functional and dysfunctional behaviors and goals in a family.
Ms. Byron is a single parent mother of 3 children – twin boys age 10 and a 15 year old daughter. She and her children recently moved into a small 3 bedroom house because she qualified for a low income housing loan. She works 2 jobs and is trying to get her GED at a community college. She wants to get an Associate’s Degree so she can get a job as a child care worker. She has to depend on extended family and her church for assistance to buy clothes and school supplies for her children because she can’t count on regular child support from the children’s fathers. Ms. Byron came into your agency for help because she found out her 15 year old daughter is pregnant and she is very upset. She said she blames herself because she knew her daughter was hanging out with older boys and was not on a birth control plan. Ms. Byron got pregnant as a teenager and was hoping that wouldn’t happen to her daughter. She wants her daughter to finish high school and was hoping all her children could have a better future – maybe even go to college. Her boys do very well in school and are involved in the Boys Club at their school.
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