Family Support

Family Support

CA Supporting Children and Families in Social Care
CA Supporting Children and Families in Social Care
Read the case study. Using an ecological model discuss the role of the social care worker in
supporting the children and family in the case study. Advocate for approaches that will
meet their needs including information on supports/ programmes or interventions that you
think would be suitable and critically discuss the reasons for your choices. Use of theory to
back up all aspects of your response are expected.
You must:
Identify key strengths along with risk and protective factors for this family.
Demonstrate an understanding of the key strengths and challenges/ risks using relevant
theory to support your assessment.
Choose one programme or method of support that you will prioritise for this family (This
can be aimed at just one or more family members)- show your analysis in making this
decision- what other priorities did you identify and how did you prioritise.
Marking scheme
Critical analysis 35
Knowledge, understanding and application of supports etc 35
Knowledge and use of theories 30
Word Count: 1,500-1,800 words
Due date: Tuesday 16th of March 2020. Uploaded to Moodle by 6 pm.
Use of appropriate literature and correct use of Harvard referencing is expected and
marks in all categories will reflect this.
CA Supporting Children and Families in Social Care
Case Study
You are a Social Care worker in a voluntary agency that works with children and families.
The agency uses evidence-informed interventions to support the children and families that
engage in their service. They also work using an interagency approach, linking with other
agencies the children and parents are working with.
Family Composition
Mam Sarah Smith
Dad John Jones
Children Siobhan age 7 years
Michael age 3 years
Sean age 8 months
Sarah (mam) is in addiction. She started using heroin when she was 14 years old, she is now
28. Sarah has been on Methadone since she became aware of her pregnancy with Siobhan.
Sarahs partner John is dad to Michael and Sean. He has used heroin since he was 16. He
has been on Methadone for the past 5 years, he is now 29. He has some health issues
including hepatitis c. His parents have a close relationship with Michael and Sean. They
spend time with them every week and have a sleepover 2-3 times per month.
Currently, both Sarah and John are on methadone maintenance programmes through an HSE
addiction service. They do not engage in any other supports for their addiction. They have
tried to detox, without support, but have not been able to remain drug-free. They have both
expressed that they would like to be drug-free but feel it is very difficult and there isn’t
enough support. Their link worker is trying to get support from a local community
addiction service that offers key working, counselling, support groups and drop-in services.
They both missed their first meeting as Sean was unwell.
They live in private rented accommodation and have been here since just before Michael
was born. They have a good relationship with their landlord and pay their rent on time. They
get on well with the neighbours. They say there is occasional anti-social behaviour but
generally, their road is quiet with no problems. The previously lived in a different area and
had a family support worker who helped with practical tasks when Michael was born. There
were regular reports of anti-social behaviour to the Gardai on this road, but this family were
not involved in this.
The referral is from the Public Health Nurse (PHN). She has stated that she felt the children
were consistently dirty and underweight. She has to remind Sarah to bring the children for
vaccinations and developmental checks. Both boys are behind with their vaccinations.
Michael was treated with phenobarbital at birth due to Sarah’s drug use while she was
CA Supporting Children and Families in Social Care
Siobhan dad died of an overdose 4 years ago. She previously had regular contact with him
and his parents. She now only sees her grandparents irregularly. Siobhan is very withdrawn
and has a very limited vocabulary. She attends a speech and language therapist (SLT) in
school. She is falling behind in school and regularly misses days. She is in 1st class in the
local school. The school is designated as DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity In
Schools). Last year she missed 35 days from school. This means she is regularly missing her
learning support and her SLT. The PHN has reported seeing Siobhan playing with Sean in
their garden, sometimes during school hours, and she seems to enjoy spending time with
her brother.
Sarah and John find it difficult to deal with the children’s behaviour, especially Michael who
they describe as having temper tantrums and being very aggressive. They feel this may be
because he is jealous of his younger brother.
Sean is a placid child and is reaching his developmental milestones. Sarah reduced her
methadone during her pregnancy as she did not want the baby to go through withdrawal.
Her dose has been raised since having Sean as she was worried about the stress of having a newborn would be too much.
The family were previously referred to another family centre, but they did not engage. This
was six months ago. Although they frequently miss appointments with the PHN they were
happy for a referral to be made. Sarah said she knew of the project as one of her friends
had attended.
The agencies currently working with the family include PHN, GP, HSE addiction service,
School, Speech and language therapist, St Vincent de Paul. For more information on Family Support check on this:

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