Absent Parental Figure—Single parent raising 4 children

Absent Parental Figure—Single parent raising 4 children

Description of Family System

o Develop a case study of a family system starting with the basic description assigned to your group. The case study needs to present identifying characteristics of the family including gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status, employment, ability, age, religion. Your group is encouraged to consider diverse family types.

o Identify and discuss any problems that may be presented to the social worker working with this family. Research the literature in developing your case study to identify potential issues affecting this type.

Family Description:  

Single Parent/Father- 

· Name: Albert Jones

· Race: Black 

· Ethnicity: African American 

·  Age: 35 years of age  

· Ability: Able bodied 

· Employment: Refinery worker security officer 

· Socio economic status: Middle class 

· Gender: Male 

· Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual 

· Marital status: Divorced 

· Religion: Christian 

· Culture: Comes from a 2 parent African American Christian home. Was raised southern that a man provides and a woman stays home and raises the children but chose to live differently as he got older and became a father. 

· was a stay-at-home dad before divorce now works 12 hour shifts for the refinery, looking for a new job with better hours as he is struggling to balance work life and family life 

Absent Parent/Mother- 

· Name: Jane Jones

· Race: Black

· Ethnicity: African American

· Ability: Able bodied 

· Employment: Pacific Gas and Electric Company Manager 

· Socio economic status: Middle Class  

· Gender: Female 

· Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual 

· Marital Status: Divorced 

· Religion: Christian  

· Culture: Comes from a single father household as her mother left when she was 1 years old. However, her father remarried and had more children. Her stepmother was always good to her throughout her life. She never was in contact with her mother. Was raised in the country farming with her father. Her father taught her to be independent and that nothing would ever come to you unless you worked hard for it. She chose to leave the country and live a city life.  

· Was the provider of the family and unexpectedly left the family because she no longer wanted to be with the father  

· Even with a court order to with visitation for kids Friday night until Saturday afternoon, still refuses to spend any time with her children. Won’t pay or participate with transportation for school or any extracurricular activities, took children off her dental coverage no longer pays for their braces 

Child-  

· Name: Aniah Jones

· Age: 17 year old 

· Grade: 12th grade 

· Race: Black

· Ethnicity: African American

· Gender: Female 

· Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual 

· Religion: Christian

Absent Parental Figure—Single parent raising 4 children

· Aniah is in her senior year of high school and is trying to not let anything distract her from getting her good grades and leaving for college. Aniah is the stepchild of Jane as her mother passed away from a drug overdose when she was 10 but has been with her father and Jane since she was 2. She looks at Jane as a mother figure but used to spend time with her biological mother from time to time when she would be clean and sober. She still has contact with her biological family and spends time with her maternal grandmother every other weekend. Has recently gotten her driving license and a new car from her maternal grandmother. Aniah will be turning 18 in 4 months but wants to move with her maternal grandmother now. Her father Albert told her she could move next month as soon as he finds a job that doesn’t require so much of his time. Aniah is currently getting her siblings from school and running the household when her father is at work. She is starting to feel stressed and anxiety in fear of her grades slipping from all the pressure being placed on her at home. 

· Name: Jayla Jones

· Age: 14-year-old  

· Grade: 9th grade  

· Race: Black 

· Ethnicity: African American

· Gender: Female 

· Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual 

· Religion: Christian 

· Jayla recently entered high school and is having a hard time adjusting to higher expectations and her mother no longer being in the home. She has always argued with her mother frequently getting along with Jane off and on, as she felt like she worked too much and barely spent any family time with them, but now says she really hates her for leaving their family at a time when she needs her most 

· Name: Alicia Jones

· Age: 12-year-old  

· Grade: 6th grade 

· Race: Black 

· Ethnicity: African American   

· Gender: Female 

· Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual 

· Religion: Christian 

· Previously played soccer and basketball prior to parents’ divorce. She has now picked up a love for basketball since she can play at home with the hoop she has. She is just entering middle school and having a hard time adjusting to now having multiple classes. She has started her menstrual cycle and feels like she needs her mother there to help guide her, but her older sisters have been a huge help. She misses her mom and all the fun things they could do together when she wasn’t working. Shes upset with her mother for leaving her and is having anger outburst by yelling at her siblings and isolating herself in her room most of the day when she isn’t playing basketball. She feels like she can now take advantage of the situation and manipulate her mother into buying her things if she ever comes around.  

· Name: Daniel Jones

· Age: 8-year-old  

· Grade: 3rd grade 

· Race: Black and White 

· Ethnicity: Mixed 

· Gender: Male 

· Sexual orientation: Heterosexual 

· Religion: Christian  

· Previously played basketball and soccer before parents’ divorce now he just goes to school and come home. He feels sad that his parents divorced and that he no longer sees his mom. He rather have them both in the same home as before the divorce but wants to be wherever his siblings are. Currently confused about the sudden change.  

Scope of the Issue

Define the extent or scope of the issue by offering specific current statistics of the broader issue. Explain which populations may be most affected and whether or not the family your group created for this project matches the typical family addressing this issue.

Scope of the Issue 

Since Jane has left the home, Albert has now had to pick up a job. Jane refuses to help with anything alongside refusing to spend time in all aspects with any of the children. She has stopped paying for all extracurricular activities for her children as well as dental coverage and both Jayla and Aniah have braces. She refuses to pay for Aniah because she is not her biological child and says her maternal grandmother can pay for anything that pertains to her. Jane is having an emotional detachment from her children because she no longer wants to be with their father Albert. She feels the best way to leave him is to leave the whole family. Jane feels as though Albert is turning her kids against her (Jayla tells her she hates her, and all the kids want to stay with their father), so she rather not spend time with them at all.  

Albert has always been a stay-at-home dad but since Jane has left the home he is now working in the refinery as a security guard. The problem is, is that although the pay is good, he works 12 hour shifts 6 days a week and is struggling to balance work life and home. Albert needs help with the kids now and although Aniah has been that extra help with pickup and taking care of home while he is away, he knows it is not her job to care for siblings. Next month Aniah will be moving in with her maternal grandmother and Albert will be in need of childcare services who are willing to transport his children to and from school. Albert needs to find another job that can support him and the kids but also allows for a more flexible schedule to be home with the kids once they are out of school to help with homework and extracurricular activities. 

Engagement and Assessment

Describe techniques of how a social worker would engage with this family and assess the presenting issue. Explain any cultural factors that should be taken into account during engagement and assessment. Provide scholarly evidence to support techniques.

Literature Review

A single-parent household often means a single income. That increases the chances such a household will face poverty (Jensen, 2020). The poverty seen more often in single-parent households has long-term effects on health and can even reduce life expectancy. Jensen (2020) states that government policies have not provided sufficient support for such families, especially among populations of color. LaRisha Baker, director of the county’s Maternal Child Family Health programs, says there may be a correlation between single-parent households and poverty, but the disproportion is rooted in the nation’s history.

The Census Bureau defines a family as follows: “A family is a group of two people or more (one of whom is the householder) related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together; all such people (including related subfamily members) are considered as members of one family.” In 2019, there were about 1.05 million Black families with a single father living in the United States. This is an increase from 1990, when there were 472,000 Black families with a single father in the U.S. This is significant because single-parent families experience more stress and economic strain than dual-parent households with two incomes (Smithwick, 2021). Children in these families are at risk of poorer health and educational outcomes. However, children may also have opportunities to build resilience and experience a larger community through the support of extended family and friends.  Smithwick (2021) states racial and ethnic disparities in rates of single parenthood have several possible causes, including current and historic policies that have placed particular strain on African American families, as well as broader changes in social attitudes about gender roles, marriage and single parenthood.

Moreover, two different interventions that could be used to address the issue of poverty in a single parent household are strategic family intervention and an innovation family intervention for trauma and loss. A strategic family intervention (BSFT) is when a therapist initiates what is happening during therapy and designates a particular approach for each problem. Strategic therapists are focused on finding a solution to the problem, are actively involved, responsible in helping individuals turn their life around, assist in strategically planning, execute, and measure outcomes (Education Dynamics, 2021). Five common strategically integral stages that are implemented are to identify solvable problems, set goals, design interventions to achieve those goals, examine responses, and examine outcome of therapy. The strategic family intervention could be utilize to explain the problem single parent households  who are impoverished have because they are stuck in the adjustment and development. This means difficulties are being ignored when they need attention (Bray & Anderson, 2019). In order, to help solve this issue one must bring knowledge or awareness to the issue to amend the problem or even be able to refer to social agencies for assistance in reduction in funds for services. This applies to the Jones family because since they are a single parent household that is struggling financially, they may not be aware of what resources may apply to them or where to seek them. Also, adjusting and developing into their new roles without their mother figure is a process that they endure together.

In addition, the innovation family intervention for trauma and loss could help the Jones family address their issues. The innovation family intervention for for trauma and loss is an approach for joining nontraditional and traditional families by creating shared goals, working with parents, children, and the whole family to build communication, make meaning out of trauma experiences, and be able to practice specific skills that will support their family resiliency (Saltzman, 2016). This program also, allows the family to have a narrative sharing process, where every family is able to share their timeline and tell their story. The purpose of the narrative sharing process provide discussions for convergence and divergence. The FOCUS family resilience program might help with the Jones family and ameliorating the presenting problem. The FOCUS family resilience program will help the family build communication skills, perspective taking skills, and a mutual understanding of each other. The FOCUS family resilience program will help the Jones family reduce distortions, misattributions, and bridge estrangement between family members (Saltzman, 2016).

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Interventions

Further, there are advantages and disadvantages of each of the interventions utilized for the Jones family. The interventions utilized for the Jones family were the strategic (BSFT) and family intervention for trauma and loss. Some advantages of utilizing the strategic family intervention are restructuring or reframing techniques help the family reduce problematic relations and patterns, and instead develop mutually supportive and effective relations and patterns (Youth Government, 2021). Families who demonstrated initial lower family functioning pretreatment showed significant improvement after participating in the BSFT group. As for disadvantages it can be difficult to see family situations as for family members as they are used to and their perceptions can become altered (Youth Government, 2021).This may lead family members to have negative feelings, especially if others within the family are not willing to follow through with therapy or are in denial of unhealthy family patterns.

In comparison, to the innovation family intervention for for trauma and loss also has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are changes families as they work to survive and adapt to their circumstances and environment (Saltzman, 2016). However, the disadvantages can come with the adjustment because it may be smooth for some, but for others the stress and burden cause them to feel alone, overwhelmed, and less able to maintain vital family functions (Saltzman, 2016).

In relation, how this affects the Jones’ family diversity and culture into receiving therapy, members of the Black community face structural challenges accessing the care and treatment they need. Black adults in the U.S. are more likely than white adults to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress, such as sadness, hopelessness and feeling like everything is an effort (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2021). Black adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress than those with more financial security. Barriers to services include, mental health stigma, provider bias, and inequality of care  (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2021).