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Comprehensive Family Assessment Process Assignment

Complete some research and select a case involving abuse or neglect and determine if it has enough detail to effectively complete the assignment

Solution: Family summary

John is a young boy aged around 8 years. His father and mother both are drug users. John's mother is already in the jail due to drug usage and abuse(NSPCC, 2019). John's father currently is into serious drug consumption. From a very young age, John realized that his life was different than of other children (Christianand Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, 205). He wondered that when the families of his friends sat around dinner tables, his father had already been asleep on the sofa by 6 in the evening. This had become a routine which took place every day. John reported that his father would do nothing the whole day, yet he would be very tired. He would try to make noises to keep him awake which seldom helped. Their house was in a bad condition, as there was no wallpaper and the windows were broken. John spent most of his time in his room to stay out of his father and his friends who took drugs inside the house. He started feeling very responsible at a very young age (Van der Kolk, 2017). John's father used to give him only a couple of pounds for food or as pocket money, but he used to ask him to return that too. His father never cared about John and did not take up his responsibilities as a father.John had started to feel lonely and scared at a very young age. His father spent about 40 pounds everyday on drugs but hardly spent about 20 pounds for food in 2 weeks. When he was above 9 years old, a friend of his father had an overdose of drugs at their house. John narrated that he saw the man on the floor of the bathroom who was lying next to a needle and a pool of blood. This scared in my lord and he did not know what exactly had to be done. After this incident John was referred to the program ofFamily Environment: Drug Using Parents(FEUDP) of theNational Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)(NSPCC, 2019). Such a program helps children of those parents who face alcoholic or drug problems.
Initial investigation


Q.1 Is child maltreatment substantiated as defined by State statute?

A substantiated finding usually means that there has been a happening of child abuse and neglect, as defined by the State law. The child maltreatment is substantiated in this case. There can be an occurrence of case closure with no services in case the maltreatment of the child was to be a one-time incident. The child would be considered to be safe in case there is only low or no risk at all of any maltreatment in the future. In some cases of child abuse, where there is future maltreatment risk, the family of the child might be offered with domestic services for reducing the risks of such maltreatment and abuse to the child and for strengthening the protective capabilities of the family as well. If such services are refused and the child is considered to be unsafe, a petition of court might be submitted by the agency for ensuring the cooperation of the family with the domestic services if it is considered that the child would be safe inside the house with the help of a significant safety plan while the problems which contribute to the future maltreatment risks are addressed by the family.

Q.2 Is the child at risk of maltreatment, and what is the level of risk?

The child, John is at a moderate risk of maltreatment. This is because the primary issue persisting within the family is related to drug usage of the parents of the child, which is a moral issue and no direct physical harm is caused to the child himself. Child maltreatment includes unethical treatment towards children including physical, sexual, or psychological abuse and neglect as well. This case does not include any kind of physical or sexual abuse. However it includes some kind of psychological abuse and a high amount of neglect by the parents of the child. Hence, the level of risk which John is exposed to is moderate or medium.

Q.3 Is the child safe and, if not, what type of agency or community response will ensure the child's safety in the least intrusive manner?

In the given case, the child John is not safe in this scenario as he is facing serious neglect by his parents. He is not being provided with the daily necessities such as food, clothes and education. Due to the open drug uses and abuses in front of the child, it is leading to a moral and psychological impact on the child (Bartlett, et al., 2017). Agencies for community responses such as theFamily Environment: Drug Using Parents(FEDUP)programme of theNational Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children(NSPCC) could potentially help in ensuring the safety of the child in the least intrusive manner. This program incorporates group work with children whose parents suffer from issues related to drugs or alcohol. Children are made to play games with each other program worker or conductor. Search games help in finding out more about what is going through the children. They also help them in escaping the gloom and Doom which they face at their homes. As narrated by John, he was able to get things of his chest instead of bottling of his feelings. Children are made to learn about each other's experiences as well which helps them in getting rid of the lonely feeling.


Q.4 If the child's safety cannot be assured within the family, what type and level of out-of-home care does the child need?

The safety of the child John, in this case, cannot be assured at all since his mother is already in the prison for drug abuse and his father is badly addicted to drugs due to which he is least bothered about his son which can be evidently seen in the case study. There are various out of home care services which John needs in order to get rid of the neglect and abuse which he is facing. These out of home care services include kinship care, group care, residential care, treatment Foster care and family Foster care. Foster care provides with resources and information regarding becoming Foster parent, family Foster care, statistics and achievement of a care continuum. The group and residential care offers resources related to placement and assessment decisions, secure and intensive residential treatment, licensing, practice problems, youth and children transitioning from residential care and supporting families. Kinship care provides with resources related to evaluation and impact of kinship care, achievement and maintenance of permanency, and supporting the family is related to kinship.

Q.5 Does the family have emergency needs that must be met?

The family of John has various emergency needs which must be met. Firstly, John himself needs a government program or a social service open non-governmental organization where he would be provided with the basic necessities of life which were not being provided by his family (Christian, Levin and ABUSE, 2018). After this, John's father should be sent to a counseling and rehabilitation centre in order to get rid of the drug addiction. John should be provided with good education, food and clothes.

Q.6 Should ongoing agency services be offered to the family to reduce the risk or address the treatment needs of the child?
In order to address the treatment needs of the child and reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect, ongoing agency services should be offered primarily to the family of John. Such services would help John in receiving the missing consistency in his life. These agencies help children in learning practical things in a fun and frolic manner (Nilsson, et al., 2017). They would also help in learning about how to deal with common emergency is taking place at home such as a fire. John recalled that once his father caused a fire in the house while sleeping on the sofa with a cigarette in his hand. The children as well as the parent would be able to learn about dealing with emergency situations.

Comprehensive family assessment

Q.7 What are the risks and needs of this family that affect safety, permanency, or well-being?

There are various risks of John's family which affect safety, permanency and well-being. Children like John who are victims of child neglect and abuse often experience harmful effects during their emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical development. A child's ability of developing capacities for sexuality, intimacy and trust can be undermined due to the fundamental damages caused by neglect and abuse. Child neglect in abuse are usually not considered to be single incidents (Masten, 2018). They keep taking place with time and have cumulative impacts. Children from all the socio economic and cultural backgrounds are affected by abuse and neglect. They are especially vulnerable to abuse because they are dependent on their parents and may not be able to stand up to them or speak for their own selves. Children are also vulnerable to abuse due to the fact that society usually promotes the idea of children belonging to their parents and hence the rights of parents outweigh the rights of the children.

The risks to the family of John are substance or drug used by parents, family violence absence of isolation or social supports, and unstable financial situation on housing and parental history of neglect or abuse.

John's family has various needs of safety, permanency and well-being. The safety need would ensure that John is not a neglected or abused and is kept safely in their home (Tylerand Melander, 2015). The permanency need would ensure I legally nurturing and permanent family for John in out of home care by the means of family adoption, reunification, another plant permanent living arrangement or guardianship. John as a child deserves to have stability and permanency in his living situations. Finally the well being need wood address the behavioral, social, emotional and physical health and functioning of John who has experienced maltreatment and neglect.


Q.8 What are the effects of maltreatment that affect safety, permanency, and well-being?

The outcomes of child maltreatment and neglect which affect the permanency, safety and well-being of the child can last long and be profound even after the abuse. These effects might appear in adulthood, adolescence or childhood and can potentially impact all the aspects of development of an individual including cognitive, societal behavioral physical and psychological (Maguire-Jackand Showalter, 2016). The impact of the child neglect and abuse are usually discussed on the basis of distinct categories. However, separating them completely is not possible at all. Various psychological implications can be caused due to physical consequences like effect on the growing brain of the child. The psychological implications include emotional difficulties, anxiety depression or cognitive delays of the child. Violent behavior as a high-risk might be manifested later on by these psychological implications. For instance, increased chances of smoking, consuming alcohol or using illegal drugs or even overeat. Maltreatment increases the risk of problematic performances of a child at school as well as lower achievement in academics (Prinz, 2016). Child psychological and emotional well being can be affected by psychological maltreatment, neglect and other kind of abuse. Maltreated children might be difficult to be trusted by others or might themselves face difficulty in trusting other people end face problems in understanding others' emotions and regulating their own emotions as well. Child maltreatment and abuse victims have a high possibility of engaging into adult criminality, violent and aggressive behavior and juvenile delinquency.

Q.9 What are the family's individual and collective strengths?

There are various individual and collective strengths which a family and all the family members have. These strengths include traits of a family such as appreciation and caring, together time, commitment, encouragement, communication, clear roles and responsibilities, family ties and community ties, spirituality, communication and coping with change. However, all these collective strengths in John's family are completely missing. This is because the family does not seem to be a family in itself. John's mother is in prison and his father is always indulging into drug consumption with his friends at their home. There is no instance of communication, commitment, care or appreciation (Cluver, et al., 2016). Neither of the parents plays any role or take up the responsibilities of being a parent. John's primary individual strength is that he is very strong as a person at a very small age. He is able to cope with change and has caring attitude towards his father.

Q.10 How do the family members perceive their conditions, problems, and strengths?

When it comes to perceiving the problems, strengths and conditions of the family, John and his family members lack as compared to that of a normal family. John's mother is already in the prison for usage of drugs. John's father has a lot of responsibilities towards his son and the whole family however, he does not seem to care about any of them and continues with his drug indulgence.

Q.11 What must change in order for the effects of maltreatment to be addressed and for the risk of maltreatment to be reduced or eliminated?

In order to address the effects of maltreatment caused to John and for eliminating the same risk, the usual daily habits of John's father should change. Firstly, he should give up or at least decrease the usage of drugs daily. Instead of spending money on heroin, we should use the money on food, buy new clothes for his son and spend on his education. He should stop calling his friends to their home and should start paying attention towards John.

Q.12 What is the parent or caregiver's level of readiness for change? What is their motivation and capacity to ensure safety, permanency, and well-being?

The level of readiness for change of John's father is very low. His motivation and capacity for ensuring safety, permanency and well-being of his son John and the family as a whole is quite low as well. John's father is a very irresponsible person and ignoring at the same time. As a father, he has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders towards his son and the family. Since John's mother is in the prison, his father should take care of him and fulfill his responsibilities as a care taker towards his own son. However, his sincerity towards the same is almost null since he is all the time busy indulging in drugs and heroin.


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