Child Abuse and Neglect Assessment Case Study (BSHS/408)

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Question description

Select a case study from the Child Abuse and Neglect Case Studies.

Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word paper answering the following questions:

  • What forms of neglect are present in this family?
  • How do these forms of neglect impact the child's protection or the children in the family?
  • Does the neglect impact family preservation? Explain.
  • What characteristics are present in the abuser and abused?
  • Knowing these characteristics, what forms of assessment would you use for screening?
  • What information are you lacking about the situation and its context that you feel you need to know to gain an in-depth understanding?
  • What assumptions about human and social behavior are you making, and how would you follow up with these?
  • Identify the strengths, limitations, risks, and barriers present in this family. Based on the strengths, where would you start to work with this family?

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

THE BERNARDEZ FAMILY Student Instructions You are working as a family preservation worker with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). You have been assigned to work with the Bernardez family. The department recently started a new program to work with families dealing with substance abuse. The purpose of this program is to work with families in which substance abuse is the primary problem. The parents have voluntarily agreed to work with your program as an alternative to having their children removed from the home. They have been arrested for possession of marijuana and for domestic violence. They asked the judge to give them a chance to keep their family together. The judge placed both parents on probation, contingent upon them getting drug treatment, marital counseling for domestic violence, and working with your program. If they fail to get treatment and complete your program, they will go to jail and possibly lose their children. You will meet them on Friday. They have completed one week of treatment. Family Composition The Bernardez family consists of the parents, Felix, age 35, and Marisa, age 30. They have two daughters, Danielle, age 9, and Nicole, age 7. The paternal grandmother, Lena Bernardez, and the maternal grandparents, Jose and Helena Messina, are involved with the family. They do not reside in the home. The family is from Current Situation Mr. and Mrs. Bernardez started smoking marijuana together about five years ago. About six months ago, Mrs. Bernardez went out with a few friends and experimented with crack cocaine and found she liked it. About two months ago Mr.Bernardez found out that she was using crack, and he is very angry. As a result, they do not smoke together anymore. He has asked her to stop using drugs altogether. She is refusing to stop, and Mr. Bernardez feels that their marriage is in trouble. He states that she cannot handle crack, because he has come home on two occasions and found their two children dirty and hungry. He has asked her to get some help or leave the house. Mr. Bernardez stated that he came home one evening and found Mrs. Bernardez doing drugs in front of the children. He states that he was so angry that they started to fight. Their oldest daughter, Danielle, age 9, took her sister, Nicole, age 7, and ran across the street to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor called their paternal grandmother, who lives only a block away; she came and picked up the children and then called the police. From Brown, Child Welfare: Case Studies © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. The police took both parents to jail. At their bond hearing, the judge told them to either go to treatment and try and get their family back together or go to jail. They agreed to go to treatment. Mr. Bernardez called his mother, and she agreed to keep the children while they are in treatment. She has agreed to keep them for a little while, but no one knows how long they might have to stay in treatment. During the intake interview, the counselor advised them that she will have to make a referral to DCFS. They are very angry because they did not want anyone to find out about this. They fear they will lose their jobs and everything they have worked so hard for. Family Background The Bernardez family is a lower-middle-class family living in a working-class neighborhood. Their annual income is about $60,000 a year. The parents are originally from Guatemala, but they have raised their children in the United States. Both parents acknowledged their difficulty in fitting into this country when they first moved here. They started using drugs to make friends with people at Mr. Bernardez’s job. Felix Bernardez Mr. Bernardez is employed with a major firm as a computer operator. He has been having problems on the job for several years, as his new boss has problems with people who speak another language. He has used drugs socially on special occasions, but never felt he was addicted. He has been on this job for eight years and thought this job was a “gift from heaven.” He does not see himself as an addict, but says that he often wishes he could stop using drugs, because he knows that it is not good and he is not setting a good example for his children. He has a good reputation at his job and does not want anyone to know what is going on. However, he only has two weeks vacation, and everyone at his job thinks he is on vacation. He does not know what he will do about the next two weeks or if he will have to leave treatment. He does not want to leave because he does not want to lose his children or go to jail. Marisa Bernardez Mrs. Bernardez is also working. She is an elementary Spanish teacher in the local public school. She has also used drugs with her husband socially. However, in the last six months she has tried crack occasionally and is finding that she likes it. Mr. Bernardez is upset, as he thinks she is addicted. She disagrees, and this is causing marital problems. She states that it is not affecting her job yet, but she is in charge of the “say no to drugs” program at the school. She feels guilty for using, but feels that she can stop any time she wants. She is very emotionally upset, as she cannot believe that she and Mr. Bernardez had a fight From Brown, Child Welfare: Case Studies © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. and that their children saw it. She has called her school and asked to take two weeks of sick leave. She must bring a doctor’s note to the principal when she returns. She does not know what to do, and she fears that if the school board finds out they will fire her. She is disappointed in herself, as she feels a lot of kids look up to her in the school because of the “say no to drugs” program. Danielle Danielle is 9 years old, and a very intelligent child. She is an A student and attends the same school at which her mother works. She speaks Spanish and English fluently and is well liked by her teacher. Her teacher has recently noticed a change in her behavior and is wondering what is wrong with her. Danielle wants to tell her teacher what she saw at home and that her parents are in a drug program, but she is afraid to say anything, as her grandmother told her not to say anything to anybody because her family will be in trouble. Danielle is becoming very sad because of her home life. She does not play with her friends at school and is becoming more withdrawn every day. She has a best friend and thinks she can share the secret with her, but is too afraid. Nicole Nicole is 7 years old and usually very friendly. However, lately she is often sad and appears distracted. She used to laugh all the time. She attends private school, because her parents thought she might need more attention. Nicole is not as bright as Danielle. Nicole is into playing with Barbie dolls, and she speaks little Spanish. She does not know specifically what is going on in the family. Recently, she has been creating more imaginary friends and is beginning to talk about those friends at school, and the teacher is accusing her of lying. Also, she is in a Brownie troop and they do a lot of activities. Nicole is close to her Brownie leader and has been asking to spend the night with her on a weekly basis. The Brownie leader has talked to the parents and the parents state that Nicole is just infatuated with the leader because of the fun she has with her. After observing the domestic dispute between her parents, Nicole has become more withdrawn and sad. She is close to her father, but lately she does not even talk to him or allow him to hug her. Extended Family Lena Bernardez is the paternal grandmother with whom the children are currently staying. She is from Guatemala and has been in the United States for only seven years. She came to the United States after her husband died. Felix is her only son; she has two older daughters, one in New York and the other in From Brown, Child Welfare: Case Studies © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Guatemala. She speaks both English and Spanish, but mostly Spanish. Her English is not as good as she would like it to be. She describes herself as a Christian woman and is totally against any kind of “wrong-doings.” She often comments to her son about how bad drugs are in Guatemala and that she is so glad that she and her children never used drugs. She lives on her own in a small senior citizens’ apartment complex nearby. She often babysits the girls when the parents have to go out. However, she cannot keep the girls for long, because of the rules of the building—only the person whose name is on the lease can live there. Others can come to visit, but not for more than thirty days. She loves her son and his family and is very upset, as she was not aware that they were using drugs. She is always bragging to her friends and family in Guatemala about how successful they are. Her grandchildren love her very much. Helena and Jose Messina are the maternal grandparents. They live in a city nearby that is approximately three hours’ drive from the Bernardez’s. They have four children, two older boys and a daughter younger than Marisa. They too are from Guatemala and are a very proud Latino family. Marisa called them to come and get the children. When they arrived, they demanded to know what was going on. Lena told them everything. They have been very supportive of the family, but they are very angry about this situation. They are disappointed in Mr. Bernardez, and they feel it is all his fault. Mr. Messina said, “What kind of man would allow his wife to use drugs?” Mr. Messina says that he is so angry with them that he does not know what to do. They had a very good relationship with Mr. Bernardez up until now. Mr. Messina has often told Felix how much he respects him and appreciates his taking care of his daughter and grandchildren. THE PHILLIPS FAMILY Student Instructions You are employed as a social worker with the Society for Children. Your agency’s primary focus is family preservation. You have been assigned to work with the Phillips family. The family was referred to your agency by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for family preservation services. The family has been served by other social service agencies, but after a review of the case the committee felt that this family needed more one-on-one direct services. An assessment of the current family situation is needed. Family Composition The Phillips family consists of the mother, Keisha, age 22, and her three children. She has one son, Jeremy, age 4, and two daughters, KeKe, age 7, and Alexia, age 15 months. The family resides in the Third Chance Shelter for From Brown, Child Welfare: Case Studies © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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