You are the Case Manager for a Child Welfare agency. You will manage one case from start to finish and present your analysis of the situation and your recommendations for the client to your supervisor in the form a PowerPoint with a voiceover.
Please choose one of the following four scenarios:
Scenario 1: Billy is a thirteen-year old Vietnamese-American boy. His mother and younger sister were killed in Vietnam when he was an infant. Billy and his father subsequently moved to the United States to live with their extended family in a large, urban city. A year ago, Billy ran away from the hotel where he and his father lived. You receive the case and when you interview Billy he says, “I don’t like him. He just laid around. He got drunk all of the time. He stole from me. He hit me bad.” Billy has been removed from his father and placed in a foster home. You are tasked with overseeing Billy’s case.
The Patterson’s are one of the county’s most experienced and reputable foster parents. Their home is located in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood in the hills. The house itself is spacious and well-maintained. There are decorations and adornments from around the world. Mr. Patterson proudly tells you, “They’re there for storytelling and knowledge that there are other worlds out there to explore.” He bought big, comfortable furniture so the four adolescent boys in his care would enjoy spending time in the house’s common spaces, as well as their private bedrooms. Mr. Patterson clearly strives for an orderly home atmosphere and in his efforts to achieve that goal, he regularly solicits support from social workers, therapists, and volunteer mentors.
Billy has low grades, but really believes he can attend college, whereas Mr. Patterson is trying to teach him about other Vocational opportunities. During the interview, Billy reported he doesn’t like Mr. Patterson because “he talks too much and thinks he knows everything.” Billy also perceives that Mr. Patterson has consistently low expectations for his future, while Billy himself believes that he will finish high school, go to college, have a job when he’s older, and generally stay out of trouble. In spite of his criticisms of Mr. Patterson, Billy said he likes the people with whom he lives and is proud of his new home. When asked if he wants Mr. Patterson’s home to be permanent, Billy replied, “Yes, my father can’t get at me here, and there’s nowhere else to go.”
Prior to the interview, Mr. Patterson told the interviewer that Billy steals from the other boys, regularly beats up on a developmentally delayed fifteen-year-old boy who also lives in the home, and is frequently involved in physical fights outside of the home. The Department of Social Services and Juvenile Probation Department are currently conducting two separate investigations into Billy’s behavior. During the interview, Billy reported that physical fighting, stealing, drug deals, and arrests frequently occur in Mr. Patterson’s home, but Billy did not identify himself as the perpetrator. Billy also said that, although he feels safer in Mr. Patterson’s home than in his father’s home, he still feels “not at all safe” in Mr. Patterson’s home. Out of any place in the world, he feels most safe in church. At the conclusion of our interview with Billy, we asked, “If you were in charge here, what is one thing you would change around here to keep kids safe?” He recommended that Mr. Patterson give personal keys to the boys for their bedrooms, install metal bars on the windows, and purchase an alarm system for the house.
Branching Paths: Case Management Studies
This case presents a violent adolescent boy who is having a rough time coping with his new foster family. After an in-depth review of Billy’s social and psychological background, his hostile character, theft practices, and trust issues originate from a lack of parental love and a toxic relationship father. I also understand that Billy has unhealed trauma of losing his mother and younger sister that still torment to date. Through an extensive analysis of his emotional, behavioral and social status, I will establish the best materials, tools for discussion towards holistic therapeutic actions.
The sudden loss of his primary caregiver and siblings at an early age shocked and traumatized him. With time this dysfunctional behavioral habits that are fully manifesting in his early adulthood, such as low grades, contact the Juvenile system. Moving to a different region can negatively affect a child, especially in the developmental years. Billy could be dealing with deep-rooted attachment issues and a lack of sense of identity. He may feel estranged in a foreign land and stuck with a drunken father. As the only care provider for Billy’s father neglected him thus lacked love, affection growing up. From a young age, Billy was exposed to harsh beatings, theft, and alcohol abuse, making it difficult to interact with his peers. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Children Bureau, abusive parents are the primary reason why children run away from home. Furthermore, children living in low-income families are reported to be at risk of physical abuse (Colleen, 2018).
Billy’s low grades are due to the prolonged stress, abuse, and lack of guidance he experienced living with his father. The continued lack of parental guidance has drastically affected his foster years. Living in a hotel room in an urban city with his abusive father may have taken a toll on him and disoriented his academic life. Although Billy as a young adult he craves a sense of independence, his rogue behavior makes it impossible for Mr. Patterson to grant him. However, Billy suggests that the only way to solve the misconduct in his foster home to grant the children freedom. Over the years, Billy has mastered disruptive behavioral disorders such as petty theft, making it difficult for him to assimilate into Mr. Patterson’s family home. Billy’s symptoms of physical fights, conflict, and theft emanate s trauma response to lack of parental love and guidance. He has never received affection, care, and love to pursue his dreams and interact with peers from a well-off family for most of his life. He perceives Mr. Patterson’s advice to join a vocational college as demeaning and violate privacy and acts to control his life.
After an in-depth review of Billy’s cause, I recommend that Billy should be enrolled in Stanford cue-centered therapy (SCCT). Billy is in urgent need of trauma-informed therapy to grief the loss of his mother. This treatment option will help Billy improve various life functioning areas, such as interacting with people. Billy’s therapy will focus on overcoming the loss of his mother and sister. This involves psychoeducation thorough reconstructing memories, journaling about trauma, cognitive briefing to assess his knowledge and understanding of the trauma. This treatment plan employs a holistic approach to overcome trauma and improve life’s functioning areas. Another form of treatment is conscious healing to get in tune with Billy’s healing process. I advise Billy’s foster parents to intuitively create a safe environment for Billy to feel accepted, loved, and appreciated rather than dictating the trajectory of his life without consulting him. Given his background in an abusive home also needs cognitive therapeutic trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy that aims at mastering essential skills to manage the stress and challenges of homelessness and abandonment. At the same time, this form of treatment will help Billy cope with experiences that trigger his trauma and ultimately move them beyond victimization. During these sessions, Billy will learn conscious coping skills and mechanisms such as relaxation, cognitive coping skills, modulation, and affective expression. In furtherance, this form of treatment includes comprehensive family treatment for both the victim and his foster family. Through conjoint child-parent sessions, the victim feels safer.
Lastly, Billy can hugely benefit from the TARGET therapy program created explicitly for Juvenile offenders at risk of being charged for rogue behavior. This type of therapy focuses on training the traumatic to understand their trauma and its effects on their brain. Furthermore, they become aware of how the brain manipulates the brain’s everyday stress and response to an alarm response that can manifest into post-traumatic disorders. Traditionally this treatment plan involves practical lessons on self-control; through creative exercises designed to boost their self-esteem and confidence. During these sessions, the survivors gain valuable knowledge and skills on managing and controlling anger, feelings, guilt, shame, grief, and impulsivity.
Experiencing trauma at a young age has ripple effects as one transition to adulthood. Furthermore, the repercussions of trauma can become heightened during adolescence. As a result, it is paramount to provide children or youth with trauma-informed therapies to help them overcome the trauma at an early age.
Colleen, W. (2018). Supporting Traumatized Adolescents in Schools A Review of Literature. International Journal of Arts and Humanities, 8.