Description of the family system:
Michael Lewis is a 42-year-old; heterosexual African-American male who lives in a small apartment in Queens, N.Y. Michael identifies as Christian, yet does not attend religious services regularly. He has a masters degree in counseling but is currently working as a delivery driver for a small furniture company. He has 4 children, Malani (12) Micah(10), Zakiaha( 5) and Zayla (3). Micah is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and is non-verbal and Michael receives SSI disability for him. Michaels mother, Janet (63) assists Michael with caring for the children, yet she is suffering from diabetes and has been having health-related issues recently, therefore, her assistance has been limited. She currently lives in a small apartment in upper Queens, which is about 30 minutes away from Michael and the children. Michael struggles to maintain financially and receives SNAP assistance, Medicaid for the children, as well as WIC for Zayla.
The childrens mother, Andrea Jackson, uses substances (opioids) and has not been involved in the childrens lives since Zayla was born. She currently lives with her boyfriend in New Jersey and continues to use opioids. She has two other children, Elijah (17) and Tamara (15) who currently live with their grandmother in Brooklyn, N.Y. and have limited contact with their other siblings.
The Lewis family came into the awareness of Child Protective Services when a neighbor called to report that the children had been left alone in the home for long periods of time, sometimes overnight. After an investigation and claims were substantiated, the children were removed and placed into foster care and Michael was court-ordered to attend mandatory parenting classes and report to his social worker weekly about his progress within the class during visits. The classes interfered with Michaels ability to work and he subsequently ended up losing his job due to attendance issues.
Scope of the issue
Single fatherhood is on the rise in the U.S. According to Pew Research Center (2013), about 8 percent of households with children were headed by a single father in 2011 which is an increase from 1960 where single father households were at only 1 percent. Single fathers are more likely to are less educated and younger, than their married counterparts (Pew Research Center, 2013). Single fathers are less likely to be white, but more likely to be class than fathers in married two parent households (Pew Research Center, 2013).
While single fathers are better off financially than single mothers, they are worse off than their married counterparts. Pew Research Center (2013), reports that the median household income for single fathers in 2013 was 40,000 as opposed to 70,000 for married fathers. This pattern continues with regards to poverty with almost one-fourth or 24 percent of single father households living at or below the poverty level (Pew Research Center, 2013).
The Lewis family matches some of the characteristics listed with regard to single fatherhood. Michaels educational attainment is not typical of the selected population as single fathers are less likely to have higher education than married fathers. Also, as mentioned earlier, single fathers are more likely to be white, whereas the Lewis family is of African American race. Lastly, single fathers are more likely to live in poverty which is a mitigating factor in the case study with the Lewis family.
Child Abuse and Neglect
There is a correlation between single-parent households and child abuse/neglect. Gelles (1989), claims that there is a higher risk of abuse in single head of households due to increased difficulties in meeting the demands of child-rearing. He refers to this phenomenon as the parent-absent hypothesis (p.493). He further explains that due to a lack of economic resources, single-headed households are more likely to have high rates of violence and abuse of children (Gelles, 1989). This correlation is referred to as the economic deprivation hypothesis (Gelles, 1989, p.493). Dubowitz (2015), mentions that inadequate protection from environmental hazards constitutes as neglect. Inadequate protection threatens childrens health, development, and safety (Dubowitz, 2015). With regards to the case study, The Lewis family is comprised of one parent which makes the children more susceptible to abuse or neglect based on literature.
The absence of a parental figure has detrimental effects on the developmental, emotional, and economical aspects of children. Howard, Martin, Berlin, and Brooks-Gunn (2011) explains that the absence of the mother correlates with higher levels of instability and chaos in the home environment which is associated with emotional distress and lower cognitive functioning in young children. Moreover, adolescent adjustment problems, such as earlier sexual initiation and educational and externalizing problems are linked to the absence of mothers within the home environment (Howard et.al. 2011). Ackerman, Kogoa, Youngstrom, Schoff, & Izard (1999), found associations between externalizing behavior problems in children and family instability with regards to intimate relationships between parents and residential changes. The absence of a parent in the household also affects the children and the family unit economically. Page & Stevens (2004), mention that following a divorce, the family income falls about 41 percent and total family food consumption decreases by 18 percent. As mentioned earlier, two-parent households have a higher median income, which means the children of these households are have more resources and availability to higher education and schools, better communities and increased support. This impacts the ability of these children to obtain economic mobility. According to Corak, Curtis, & Phipps (2011), children with two biological parents in the home have the highest odds of a successful path.
Below is my other part of the assignment for the peer review of interventions. You have any questions or suggestions please let me know.
Literature review of evidence-based family interventions
In the article ” Strategies for Supporting Basic Needs to promote Opportunity” by Heather Hahn talks about the economic struggles of the great lake states such as New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, etc. These particular states were facing low-economical struggles and it has effective numerous families that have a residence in these states. The article talked about how the state and local policymakers can support the needs of low-income families and promote productivity, well-being, and economic mobility. Their prediction was that by supporting families access to resources it may help produce a healthier and more productive generation that can remain in the region and contribute to the vitality of the Great Lakes states (Hahn,2016). The article highlighted five brief key point policies in the framing letter to all the capitol offices in the great lake region. It helped address the needs of the people, one of those needs was supporting the basic needs of children and families and to create better employment opportunities for struggling parents (Pendall,2017).
In the text, it listed a few programs that could help families and children within the great lake states which would be SNAP, Medicaid, Chip, and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The SNAP program is to help children and families to receive nutritious items for the household to feed low-income families. The Medicaid and CHIP program is for families to receive quality healthcare within each household and the children can receive those benefits until the child reaches 18 years of age (Brown, Kowalski, and Lurie 2015). Research shows that single parents who received help paying for childcare were 40 percent more likely to remain employed two years later and to experience wage growth than those who did not receive help (Boushey 2002). The researcher also found that by using SNAP benefits to purchase food also allows low-income families to use their earnings for other basic necessities and reduces their need to choose among food, health care, housing, heat, and electricity (Carlson et al. 2016).
As a result, by state legislators and local officials made a change to continue to heavily apply the policies to help lower-income families the number of children served has increased from the year of 2006 to 2015. In the great lake states to increase government assistance to help vulnerable families has increased by 60% since the year of 2006. In addition, the number of eligible households was able to receive benefits such as SNAP, CCDF, CHIP, etc. was increased by 70% nationwide in 2017 (Cunnyngham 2017). In conclusion, based on the research of this article, the interventions that would best fit this population for the case of Micheal would be the involvement of government assistance such as CCDF, SNAP, and Medicaid.
Advantages and Disadvantage of Interventions
The interventions that the child protective services worker recommend to Micheal was TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program) and the Child Care Subsidy Program. The advantage of the TANF program would be that it could be a temporary source of income for Micheal who is a single parent. Since Micheal has been delayed from his job the TANF program helps to cover the cost of his expenses within the household, including expenses for his children as well. The disadvantages of TANF in the state of New York would be that the assistance is temporary, the recipient has to meet a certain amount of hours to receive funds, and also finding a paid job for the parent is not guaranteed in the state of New York (DHS NY,2019). The advantage of the Child Care Subsidy Program would be that it can provide assistance for childcare for single-parent households. In addition, Micheal would be already eligible if he participates in the TANF program to cover the costs (OCFS NY, 2019). The disadvantages of this intervention are temporary as well and also he would have to attend employment training to continue the program to show proof that he is looking for employment (McLoughlin,2018).
MY ASSIGNMENT: BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION CREATED BY MY WIKI GROUP MEMBERS
Recommendations for treatment: Recommend one of these evidenced-based family interventions to treat this family. Discuss the theoretical orientation of the theory behind the intervention, the major tenets of the intervention and the strategy/techniques used. Explain why your group recommends this treatment.
Evaluation: Describe how a social worker could evaluate treatment outcomes for this family to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. 4-5 REFERENCES
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