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Create a scenario for youth and family services:
On September 8 of this year, Children and Youth Services (CYS) received an anonymous phone call, which alleged that Samantha Smith, mother of two, was beating her children as a form of reckless punishment. The unnamed caller claims he hears Samantha’s children screaming and crying “throughout the whole day” and has observed the mother spanking her children on the buttocks with her hand. This is CYS’s second referral on the Smith family.
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When the intake caseworker arrived at 11:30 a.m. on September 10, the two children, ages three and one years of age, were jumping on the sofa and yelling. They were only dressed in diapers with no other clothes, shoes, or socks. The mother was sitting at the kitchen table, sipping on a cup of coffee. The intake officer proceeded to ask the mother for her permission to check the two children’s bodies for any visible injuries, and the mother complied. There were no apparent injuries on any one of the children, and they appeared to be healthy, although they were clearly out of control behaviorally. The intake officer met with the mother, who explained that she is a recovering heroin addict and has been clean for two years. Samantha stated that she had experienced an overdose three years ago and was “scared straight.” The mother did admit to the intake officer that she had very little to no control over her children’s behavior and was feeling overwhelmed and a bit hopeless at times. After the intake was complete, the caseworker informed Samantha about parenting classes that were taking place at a recreational center just two blocks away from her home. The eight-week courses provide daycare services and are designed to help mothers such as Samantha that has very young children to learn nonviolent parenting techniques, how to prepare for each day as well as how to cook healthy nutritious meals for herself and her two children. The case on Samantha and her two children was transferred for ongoing, in-home services.
Identify the client information:
Samantha is a 22-year-old, Hispanic, single female and a mother of two children: Martha who is one year of age and Brain who is four. Samantha had had a few cases in her past but is currently closed cases with Child Protective Services (CPS) majority of her life when she was very young herself. Samantha has spent the majority of her childhood living in and out of foster homes, until she turned 18 and moved out, got a job and her apartment. Her boyfriend, Jack that is currently 19 years old who is the father of Martha and Brain is now in jail for charges of domestic violence against Samantha and is expected to get out in a couple of weeks. Marcy (Samantha’s mother) feels guilty at times because she knows that Samantha had no choice but to live with her mother’s abusive husband during the first part of her childhood and was exposed to abuse which was not the best interest for Samantha at a very young age. This involvement of violence in the home is how Samantha got involved with the Children and Youth and was placed into foster care. There have been many failed attempts to reunite Samantha with her mother by Child Protective Services, but each time was unsuccessful. And Marcy still expresses the willingness to support Samantha yet, she still feels alone and without much support. Samantha’s caseworker referred her to the Family Group Decision Making. The main client problem is being so young with a child with behavior problems and feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Samantha needs referrals because her past abuse by her step-grandfather, counseling for her previous drug use, parenting classes to help her raise her children and daycare services so she can continue to work and provide for her family. The ethical problem and fair value that I see in this case would be the patient confidentiality since the client has expressed to me that she feels hopeless, which could lead to harming herself later. At this time, I would have to break the confidentiality code to help this client. There might be some concern for culture value since the client has a different cultural background, then I have but should not be a problem if I respect her culture values and her standards.
The intervention Plan:
The Desoto County community partnership collaborative worked hard to establish a community partnership approach to help mothers like Samantha and her two children. Because of these efforts, Samantha and her two children outcomes look promising. Samantha, with the help of daycare, could attend parenting classes to further assesses the situation and to begin planning for herself and her children. Samantha was a little worried about the meetings in the beginning but soon found out that the classes were beneficial. She was urged to bring anyone that she liked to the meetings so they could support her or even help themselves. Samantha decided to bring along her mother Marcy who was eager to be in her daughter’s life. The CPS caseworker and Samantha’s foster mother were both at the meeting. Representatives from the Healthy Head Program, the substance abuse treatment counselor and a parent partner from her parental meetings were also present. As a result of the meeting, a plan was developed for Samantha and her family would: (1) be enrolled in Healthy Head Start program (2) have one meeting a week at substance abuse treatment program that Samantha will be entering to help continue her drug free lifestyle (3) continue her parenting classes (4) counseling for Samantha’s emotional state and past domestic violence victim. This plan will allow Martha and Brain to stay in the home with their mother without being removed into foster care. With a healthy head start involvement will ensure academic development for both children. The plan also provided her a Parent Partner who would help with CPS and the encouragement needed for a better and brighter future for Samantha and her two children. Finally, Samantha will continue to attend her parenting classes with others mother’s to be successful in raising her children as a single mother.
Plan for evaluation of interventions:
Through the Desoto County community partnership process, Samantha was able to obtain affordable daycare for her two children, still living a drug-free lifestyle and was able to keep her children in her care without losing them to foster care. Martha is in daycare learning her colors and Brain who is starting pre-k at West Elementary school and is doing very well. Also, other mothers at the parenting meetings and Samantha’s counseling sessions helped her to identify her career goal of nursing and connected her with vocational and education needed for her dream to come true. Today, Samantha is still raising her children alone and is currently buying a home, with a white fence surrounding the yard for her two children to play in. She has been working at a well- respected doctor’s office and recently received a promotion and a pay raise. Samantha and her mother continue to attend the parenting meetings, and she has begun volunteering at the domestic violence shelter in her neighborhood.
Before our next session, I need to reach out to Samantha and ask her to come with some questions and concerns that she may have by writing them down before our meeting. I also believe that applying the SMART goals to this case will allow me to see how Samantha is coming along on her progress. Being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Being specific about the goals that Samantha has accomplished and shown her the goals she has achieved can go a long way in her recovery. Check to see if Samantha needs more time to complete measurable goals or decide if she has completed them. Attainable- make sure that the goals that I give Samantha is reasonable and will be able to succeed without any hardships and plenty of time to complete. Relevant- Make sure that the goals that she has made for herself is achievable and can reach more goals as she goes on. Time-based making sure the time frame of each goal is not putting a strain on Samantha’s life so she will not have a relapse of her past drug use (“SMART Goals Examples for Work,” 2019). Not only will this be a follow-up but also a termination of her case with CPS but let her know that CPS will still be there if she ever needs us.
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