Thecase will focus on an African-American family living in a small ruraltown in Mississippi. It was a single parent family comprised of fourchildren and their mother Maya. The children include Ketanya (20),Dacey (3), Olisa (2), and DeMarco (6 months). These children havebeen in and out of the relative and non-relative care for some timebecause of their mother’s negligence. There were three incidenceswhere family members came and took the 3 younger children from theirmother after noticing that she was not in a position to take care ofthem. The children were taken by their aunt in the first 2 incidentsand their grandmother in the last time. The aunt was their mothers’elder sister aged 38. She had 2 children and had been convicted onceafter intentionally pouring hot water on her husband. She stayed withher husband about 25 kilometers away. Her husband did not support theidea of living with the children of her sister for long. He demandedthat the children be returned to their mother after becoming stable.The other time was when the grandmother of the children took them tothe village near Luka town. She was furious that Maya could not takecare of the children due to her addiction and negligence. Thegrandmother said that Maya had not been stable since her son died ofcancer. She neglected her duties as a mother and let the childrenhandle risky activities alone. The other instances where the childrenslept outside their home were when their mother and Ketanya were lateto return home. Dacey and Olisa sought refuge at Mike’s home whenMaya was either late to return home. Mike stayed about 100 yards awayand only had a temporary house made of old iron sheets. The childrenhad a risk of being abused when their mother left them alone withMike. In such an insecure place, these children could meet withcriminals and hijackers with the intentions of selling children. Itis argued that children are kidnapped from such poor regions and soldelsewhere in the country (Noor‐Mohamed,2014). Furthermore, there was possibility that the children’s auntmight fight and mistreat the children. A similar issue could arisewhen their grandmother argued with Maya on how she was raising thechildren. However, the grandmother had filed a case and requested toadopt the children since their mother was not in a position to takecare of them. The grandmother was 63 years old and lived with her 70year old husband.
Researchinforms that people with criminal history introduce their children torisky encounters (Graham, Powell, & Taylor, 2015). All theindividuals interacting with the children had criminal history exceptthe husband of Maya’s Sister. The mother of Maya had been jailedfor 3 years after using abusive punishment for her children. She wasjailed at the age of 40 after she was found guilty for abusing herdaughters. She was capable of using similar strategies to punish thechildren that she sought to adopt. Mike had about 6 encounters withthe police for the last 2 months ranging from theft to harassment. Hewas the father of Demarco, which made him the closest adult to relatewith the children after their mother. He was the person who suppliedcocaine to Maya and assisted her to raise the children at times. Heput these children at risk of drug abuse and involvement in criminaloffences. The children were exposed to violence since Mike wasinvolved in risky activities including use of drugs, theft, andchaos. Maya was held under house arrest after giving birth to anaddicted child. She was accused of using controlled substances duringpregnancy. Finally, Ketanya had several issues with the police afterstealing food to provide for the younger children.
Accordingto Hockenberry and Wilson, (2014), parents abusing drugs are not ableto take care of their children properly by providing for their basicneed. In this case, the negligence was attributed to the addictionand heavy use of cocaine by the mother. The children had been forcedto develop risky ways of meeting their daily needs, which led todeviant behaviors. The family lived in a single room in the poorestarea of the town. It was surrounded by sewage and stagnant water thatenhanced mosquito breeding. The town waste pit was about 20 yardsfrom their house making the air quality poor. Their room lacked theessential items, such as furniture and beds. They all shared an oldmattress spread on the floor. The kitchen was in one corner of theroom where the utensils were scattered on the floor together withashes, firewood and charcoal. Apart from two aluminum cups in theblack jug, all the other cups and plates were different in shape,size and color. It was like each had been borrowed from a differentplace. There were no security precautions in their home to warnagainst fire or call for help to the people leaving nearby. Apartfrom the clean running water and electricity recently introduced bythe state government, it was easy to identify that the children didnot have the basic needs. For instance, there was not food stored forlater meals like lunch and super. Food was either available whenKetanya had received payment or a well wisher had decided to assistone of the children in the market. Ketanya was working at the SealMillers and hated to come home whenever she did not have money. Shehad been arrested six times after stealing maize bags and other foodproducts in the local shops and supermarket. The mother had beentaking care of DeMarco who had been crying a lot since he was born.Doctors had informed that the child needed specialized treatmentsince he was undergoing withdrawal symptoms. Ketanya blamed hermother for the direction that their family had taken. She was furiousthat her mother did not pay for her education. She hoped to work hardand get money that could help her siblings study and probably enableher to complete education. She believed that education could give hera better chance to compete with other people in the society bybecoming a respected person.
Parentsshould protect their children from the environmental issues that canharm them. For instance, the sewage and stagnant water around thehouse could cause such diseases as malaria. Some types of malaria hadgrave effects on children health. Similarly, other insects associatedto the smelling waste could poison children through the food theyate. Finally, the house was not orderly to ensure that playingchildren were not hurt by knives, broken utensils and slippery floor.The sewage and stagnant water could also lead to other diseases liketyphoid, schistosomiasis, and cholera. The mother should use atreated mosquito net to protect against malaria. She should alsoensure that the stagnant water around the house is treated of drainedto prevent mosquito breeding. It is also necessary to organize thehouse to ensure that the utensils are placed in their rightfulplaces. If this area cannot be improved, the mother should take astep relocate to another location or give the children for adoption.
Thepurpose of this case plan is to focus on a family history examiningspecific social issues that might be affecting the family and whichmight force the state to take the custody of these children (O`Flynn,1999). The goal is to identify a family considered vulnerable wherethe children are neglected to warrant the state taking them away. Thefamily selected for this case plan is an American single parentfamily that has been affected by their mother’s substance abuse.The family also provides insight on various circumstances that mightmake parents lose their parenting rights over children. Further, itprovided insight into foster home environments and drug counselingand treatment programs that help strengthen the family. In-Homeservices are situations where the children are placed under the careof relatives while out-of-home services entail placing the childrenin foster homes where their needs would be addressed adequately. Thefamily problem present in the subject of this paper has been an areaof attention for many years where the children have suffered themost. Some family issues might force the parents to lose custody oftheir children such as drug addiction, child neglect, child abuse andfailure of the parents to provide them with basic needs.
Thereare similarities between the caretakers around these children. Theyare all from Mississippi within a distance range of zero to 100kilometers. They grew up in poor and abusive condition that couldhave led to the development of deviant behaviors. Maya and her motherhad a history of neglecting or mistreating their children. AlthoughMaya had a passion for children, her husband was not willing to takecare of children from another nuclear family. He did not feelcomfortable when Maya’s children were staying in their home.Similarly, Mike did not have a good attitude of raising children. Inessence, he supplied the cocaine to Maya during her pregnancy puttingthe baby at the risk of addiction. He might not have been concernedabout the safety of the children during the period of pregnancy.
Aftercollecting some information about this family from the neighbors, itwas apparent that there were many problems. For instance, Abrahaminformed that the children came to ask for super and lunch in theirhouse. They had complained about disturbance when Maya came homedrunk at night making noise in the neighborhood. They were worriedabout where her children were at such time of the night. Abraham’swife stated, “I wish I could do something for those children. Theyare really suffering to survive here”. Hillary said that her friendKetanya was always stressed about the life of their family. She drankalcohol and wished that something would turn out good for them beforethey die of desperation and poverty. Another neighbor named Terryinformed that the crying of the children made her sad. She said thatit was the most painful experience she had to experience throughouther life. The baby did not stop shivering and crying no matter whatthe mother did. The three families suggested that the most effectiveways to punish the children involved implementing the consequencesfor unwanted habits. These punishments may include timeouts andrestrictions from leaving the house. However, Terry and Abrahaminformed that the children cry frequently after being beaten by theirmother. Maya also slapped Ketanya when they argued about how thechildren are being raised. These punishments were abusive andinappropriate for people at the age of 20. By slapping Ketanya, Mayamight be involved in a fight which could lead to violence.
Fromthis evaluation, several issues that affect how the children growwere apparent. These include the development of deviant behaviors,poor parental care and protection, wrong punishments, lack of safety,and effects of abusing controlled substances. The issues lead to poorlife standards for the children where basic needs are not met. Thechildren start catering for their basic needs and end up engaging indeviant behaviors. According to Bornsteinand Bradley (2014),a family shapes the personality and behaviors of a child depending onhow they interact with parents and other children. Some of thesenegative effects include engaging in criminal activities where theirsocial life affects other people in the society. They are not able tolive with other people peacefully without triggering fights andcontroversies.
Bornstein,M. H., & Bradley, R. H. (Eds.). (2014). Socioeconomicstatus, parenting, and child development.Routledge.
Graham,A., Powell, M. A., & Taylor, N. (2015). Ethical researchinvolving children: encouraging reflexive engagement in research withchildren and young people. Children& Society, 29(5),331-343.
Hockenberry,M. J., & Wilson, D. (2014). Wong`snursing care of infants and children.Elsevier Health Sciences.
Noor‐Mohamed,M. K. (2014). The definitional ambiguities of kidnapping andabduction, and its categorisation: the case for a more inclusivetypology. TheHoward Journal of Criminal Justice, 53(1),83-100.
O`Flynn,M. (1999). The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997: Changing childwelfare policy without addressing parental substance abuse. J.Contemp. Health L. & Pol`y, 16,243.
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