Sandra Malone is a 29 year old Caucasian single mother with four (4) children. Sean is 13, Patrick is 11, Molly is 4 and Caitlin is 15 months old. Sandra dropped out of high school when she became pregnant with Sean so she only completed 9th grade. The family lives in a rural community in Sussex County, Delaware. All of the children have different fathers. Sean’s father is Caucasian, Patrick’s father is an undocumented immigrant who arrived here from Mexico, Molly’s father is African American and baby Caitlin’s father is Caucasian. Sandra began dating Caitlin’s father, Travis, about two and a half years ago. Travis is a part-time mechanic in a local auto-shop. Sandra receives no child support from the first three fathers and receives only sporadic child support from Travis for Caitlin.
Sandra wants to regain permanent custody of Sean and Patrick. She wants all of her children living under the same roof but she needs a steady job to make that happen. Currently, Sandra receives TANF, WIC and Purchase of Care. Sometimes Sandra drinks beer and smokes marijuana. But although she drinks beer in front of the children she only smokes marijuana with Travis when the children are not at home. When Travis is not at Sandra’s home, he calls her constantly and wants to know where she is every minute of the day and night. He accuses her of cheating when she doesn’t answer the phone. Travis is very controlling and jealous of Sandra. Travis attempts to isolate Sandra from family and friends. He withholds money that helps her make ends meet when he perceives some slight. He is manipulative and when they get into an argument he calls her names, demeans her in front of the children, and it becomes physical. Sandra believes that Travis loves her, but at times she is afraid of him. Sandra is overwhelmed and feels depressed. She often misses appointments with the children’s doctors. She wants to be a good mother, but does not consistently meet their basic needs. In addition, she does not have the finances to get transportation or a better home that is adequate for all of the children, and has trouble finding a good paying job. Sandra is an outstanding seamstress and wishes she could make a living from her love of sewing.
One week ago, the neighbors called the police because of a disturbance in the Malones’ home. The neighbors suspected domestic violence because they had heard such disturbances before. The police came to the house to investigate the situation, but although Sandra had visible bruises, she did not admit to being hit by her boyfriend Travis. Travis does not live with Sandra and was not at the home when the police arrived. The case of the Malone family was reported to the Division of Family Services.
Sean whose father (Dan) is Caucasian is incarcerated in Sussex Correctional Institution. Sandra used to regularly take Sean to visit his father but three years ago, Sean asked not to visit or speak with his father anymore. Since then Sean has been exhibiting aggressive behavior at home. Sandra became concerned that Sean may hurt the younger children and sent him to live with her parents (Joseph and Siobhan) as a temporary solution to the problem. Initially, Sean settled down and Sandra’s parents have enjoyed raising him. However, in the last six months, Sean has begun to exhibit negative behaviors in school and at home. In addition, Sean has begun missing school one or two days a week. The teachers are concerned about the effects that Sean’s negative behavior is having on the class and are worried about him. He is often sent to both in-school and out-of-school suspension. The grandparents want to help their child and grandchild but feel they are getting too old to deal with Sean’s negative behavior. Sean has admitted to the social worker that he has difficulty understanding the course work and thus is unable to complete the home work, and that since he gets in trouble all the time he does not feel like going to school.
When Patrick was only two years old, Sandra lost her job and was having difficulty making ends meet. Her Aunt Betsy, her mother’s sister, had retired early and volunteered to take the child and raise him until Sandra got on her feet. Patrick is still living with the aunt. Patrick has been happy living with Aunt Betsy, but recently he’s been asking his mother why he does not live with her and his sisters. Additionally, Patrick has been asking about his dad and questioning why he looks different from Sandra, Sean and Caitlin.
Molly is enrolled in the local Head Start program. In school, she is not able to keep up socially and academically with her peers. Sandra has noticed for some time that Molly responds very slowly to instructions. Molly’s teachers are concerned about Molly’s ability to keep up in school. It is quite possible that Molly may be experiencing either cognitive or developmental delays and thus she should be tested by the school psychologist. Recently, Molly asked Sandra why she is brown and no one else in her family is brown or has curly hair.
Catlin lives at home with Sandra, and Molly. She is a good baby but she cries a lot and frequently does not sleep through the night. When Sandra is able to get a temporary job, Caitlin goes to a home day care in the neighborhood.
Travis is a 35 year old man. He finished technical high school and is a good mechanic. But he has difficulty keeping a job because he sometimes goes to work intoxicated. He loves Sandra and is excited about being a father to Caitlin. However, Travis does not know what it’s like to have a family because he grew up in the foster care system and has little contact with his biological family.
PAPER 1 The Family (DUE, July 9, 2022)
Assume that you have been assigned this case as a social worker, clearly demonstrate how you would engage Sandra and her family. The family includes Sandra, her four children, Travis (father of Caitlin) her parents and her aunt. What specifically will you do to build trust and develop a relationship with Sandra and her family?
Using a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model develop your assessment of Sandra and her family.
NOTE: Assessment (does not have to occur in one session…it is continuous)
1. Discuss the Biological and developmental milestones that you expect to see in the children
2. Review the literature to help guide your assessment based on the information you obtain.
Begin your assessment-
a. Assess the family’s home environment (HBSE).What resources are needed to improve the home environment?
b. Assess Sandra’s perspective on the spiritual aspect of her life.