Signature Assignment: Allegations of Neglect Case Study

Allegations of Neglect

The Family

Mother:              Janice – 22 years old – African American

Father:                Mark – 25 years old – African American (uninvolved)

Children:            Asia – 4 years old

                             Hunter – 1 years old

Presenting Issue

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, in-laws of Ms. Calhoun, went to Ms. Calhoun’s home Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. to retrieve some belongings and discovered that the children were left home alone. When Mr. Johnson entered the home, he observed Asia with a glass of whiskey because Hunter had sore teeth. Asia stated that because his teeth had been bugging him the day before her mother told her to rub some whiskey in Hunter’s mouth so they would not hurt him today.

While in the home Mr. and Mrs. Johnson noticed takeout containers in each room. Some still had food left in them. They also noticed clothes left on the floor and bugs in the kitchen cabinets and fridge. Mrs. Johnson asked the children what they were having for lunch, and they showed her the box of cereal that they were eating from. There was a number on the refrigerator that the children could use to call their mother if she was needed. Mr. Johnson called their mother from his cell phone. The call went to voice mail, and he left a message for her to return home immediately. Mrs. Johnson then called the police department, who then contacted the Department of Child Protective Services (CPS).

When the social worker arrived at 2:30 p.m., she observed that the description given above of the home was accurate, as evidenced by the takeout boxes, dirty clothes, and roaches. While being interviewed by the social worker Asia stated that her mother made them breakfast before she went to work. Asia stated that her mother instructed them to eat cereal throughout the day when they were hungry and that they are not allowed to cook or use the microwave. Shortly after the social worker’s arrival, Ms. Calhoun contacted Mr. Johnson, who brought her “up to speed” on the situation. Ms. Calhoun spoke to the social worker and said that she would explain the situation to her employer and ask to be allowed to leave work by 5:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. At 5:00 p.m., Ms. Calhoun called the social worker and stated that she was on her way home. The social worker agreed to wait for her arrival.

When Ms. Calhoun arrived, the social worker observed that Ms. Calhoun was driving her own vehicle. The social worker noticed that Ms. Calhoun responded to and interacted with the children appropriately and observed that they seemed to have a close bond with her. During the initial interview, Ms. Calhoun appeared to understand the need for CPS to be involved and agreed to cooperate.

Ms. Calhoun works in a factory, where she earns $6.25/hr. Last month she was required to work seven-hour days, six days each week. As of last month, her employer now required her to work twelve-hour days, five days each week. Ms. Calhoun is afraid to object because she is afraid that her employer will fire her. Her childcare provider could care for her children when she was working seven hour days, but not now that she is working twelve-hour days. Ms. Calhoun stated that she has to work so she can pay her bills and provide food for her family. She admitted that she has been leaving her children home alone ever since her employer required her to increase her hours. She stated that on her off days she tries to clean the home and attend to her children as much as possible, but stated that it is difficult being that she is often very tired.

The social worker stated that there were some immediate safety issues in the home, such as the cleanliness of the home and the fact that Ms. Calhoun has been leaving her young children alone for extended periods of time for the past month. Given their ages and the fact that Asia was giving Hunter a glass of whiskey, it is clear that these children are not able to adequately care for themselves.

Mr. Johnson, who is the children’s grandfather, agreed they would care for the children. Ms. Calhoun, Mr. Johnson, and the social worker agreed to this plan and signed a Safety Plan.

Assignment Content

Read and review Allegations of Neglect.

Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper that addresses the following questions:

  1. What indicators of neglect are present in this case?
  2. What are the potential sources of client resistance to treatment?
  3. What therapeutic intervention would you recommend for this family?
  4. What are the supports needed from CPS workers?
  5. What are some of the legal procedures you would expect to occur with this case?
  6. What is the social worker’s role?
  7. What are some ethical implications in this case from a social work perspective?

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

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