HUS3605 Child Welfare and Family Services

1. Case A

The J Family

James (age 3), Jacob (age 4) and Janice (age 6) have been in foster care for most of their lives. Their parents Joseph (age 35) and Joyce (age 34) were separated three years ago when Joshua was born. Since all three children were born testing positive for cocaine and were placed in foster care. Foster mother Sulekha (age 40) has a son (Simon) who is 15 years and is in high school. Sulekha lost her husband 10 years ago due to some illness. She has a boyfriend (Steven) age 50 years. He lives in her house with all four children mentioned above.

Joseph and Joyce, the birthparents do not have custody over their three children as they failed to maintain contact with their first two children. Both of them were struggling with drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Ms. Sulekha intended to adopt the children, but after an investigation found that her boyfriend had abused Janice and Jacob, all the three children were moved to a different home.

The children’s new foster mother, Ms. Nancy, has worked in the health sector for most of her life and is well experienced with children. She complained to the foster care worker that she was struggling with James, Jacob, and Janice and at times felt so frustrated because the children engage in severe sexualized behavior, are very violent towards each other, have intense fears, and she is afraid to leave them alone for even a moment.

Foster care worker is looking into services that would help Ms. Nancy in caring for them and she has found day care for James and Jacob and afterschool program for Janice. Despite these services, Ms. Nancy expresses that the two boys are still violent in their behavior towards each other and Janice. Ms. N is asking the foster care worker to services to set up mental health and sexual abuse evaluations for children but foster care worker does not think it is necessary that the children be evaluated now.

After working for three months with the N family, the foster care worker left the agency for a better paying job. After waiting for two weeks, a new foster care worker was assigned to N family.

Foster care worker observed that Ms. Nancy and Janice interacted very well and there was bonding between the two, whereas the both the boys responded negatively to their foster mother. The new foster care worker suggested that both boys should receive EMDR therapy.

Working with Ms. D and the foster care agency, Foster care worker helped to set up mental health, sexual abuse and educational evaluations for the children and ensured they were enrolled in play therapy and supportive services. Worker continued to work on securing additional therapy for Joshua and Jacob to address the sexualized behavior, as these services have been recommended by the specialist who evaluated the children. I also speak with Ms. D every week or so to discuss how the children are doing, as Ms. D says she finds that sometimes just being able to talk about the challenges she is experiencing can be helpful.

Ms. D signed the preliminary adoption papers two weeks ago. She says that while she still at times struggles with the children’s behavior, she knows she has support and finds her voice is being heard when she advocates for the children’s needs. This knowledge, Ms. D shared with me, gives her the strength to provide what she knows the children need above all else: a loving and permanent home.

2. Case B

3. Case C

4. Case D