Assignment: Paper School-Based Social Work – A Case Analysis
at home and involve a variety of community resources to support the child and family.
In this Assignment, consider the work done by the school social worker with the Rodao family. How would you prepare the family for continued success once your role is complete?
Review the Case of the Rodao family from this week’s Learning Resources.
By Day 7
Submit a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following:
- Briefly summarize the case.
- Identify the specific social work roles demonstrated by the social worker.
- Identify at least two additional community professionals you would invite to support the Rodao family once the social work services have terminated and what you hope they could offer.
Working With Children and Families: Case of the Rodao Family
Michael was a 10-year-old African-American male. Michael lived with oneyounger brother, age 8, and an older brother, age 17, who was in and out of the homedue to Division of Juvenile Justice involvement. Two additional older siblings did not livein the home: one brother, 23, and one sister, 26, who also just had a baby of her own.Michael and his family lived in a local housing project.Michael was a fourth-grade student at the local city magnet elementary school.He was referred to the school-based mental health provider by the assistant principal.Michael was becoming increasingly defiant and unwilling to comply with the rules andregulations of the school. Michael experienced drastic mood and behavioral swingsfrom day to day. He would be a model leader one day, and then the next refuse tofollow any directions and be a distraction to the entire class. Michael argued with histeachers and refused to complete assignments. During class, Michael would beatpencils on the table, attempt to talk to anyone around him, or try to engage the entireclass. At times, he became physically and verbally aggressive with peers. Michaelwould be intentionally annoying to others and spent more than 50% of the school day inthe office 2 to 3 times a week.Michael had not received mental health services before being referred, and ittook several months to foster buy-in from Michael’s mother. Michael’s home life hadalways been chaotic, with many moves and instabilities. Michael did not know hisbiological father growing up, but he did have a stepfather in the home until he was 9years old, when his stepfather was incarcerated for robbery. The family moved closer to© 2016 Laureate Education, Inc. 2Michael’s mother’s family at this time, and Michael’s biological father began to reach outfor a relationship. Before his stepfather was incarcerated, there were several instancesof domestic violence in the home. Michael’s mom always believed that the childrennever saw any of the violence, but they lived in the same home and heard the fights andarguing.Before Michael’s stepfather was incarcerated and the family was forced to move,Michael was a model son and student in previous schools, according to his mom,school staff, and by self-report. He was a leader in his class and was on the A/B honorroll. Since starting at his new school, Michael was emotionally dysregulated andoutraged. He was no longer able to focus and became easily irritated. Michael stillwanted to be a leader, but his erratic moods and aggressive behaviors hinder his abilityto do so. Michael has also watched his brother go through probation, get involved withgangs, and spend time in juvenile detention centers.After the move, the family struggled to find stability and security. Michael’s momhad a difficult time finding a job, and because of this, after 6 months in the area, thefamily found themselves homeless and had to move in with extended family. This moveput the family in the middle of one of the most violent housing projects in the area.Michael’s level of insight into his behaviors and thinking patterns was very high.He was able to process cognitively appropriate and inappropriate responses tosituations when he is in a calm state of mind. Michael was an intelligent young man andwas able to use that intelligence to connect his thoughts and his feelings. He wanted tobe a good role model to younger kids and was helpful in working with kindergarteners inthe mornings at school. The recommended treatment was outpatient therapy within the© 2016 Laureate Education, Inc. 3school, as well as family sessions to address the stressors in the home setting.Michael’s goals for treatment were to increase his ability to maintain appropriateinterpersonal relationships and regulate his emotions as evidenced by participating incognitive-behavioral therapy, identifying 5 contributing factors to his “bad attitude”;complying with adults 4 out of 5 times on the first prompt; processing past traumaticevents; learning, practicing, and implementing 5 emotional regulation skills; and learningself-regulation.Therapeutic rapport building was the first step I took with Michael and his family.The family needed support to be able to process events and talk about emotions.Michael responded to the positive attention, but his mother remained guarded andunwilling to participate actively. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was the modality ofchoice. Michael was able to connect to the thinking strategies and identify how thoughtsand feelings are linked to each other. Michael and his family struggled to open up aboutpersonal emotions and the history of violence and abuse within the household. I spent alot of time during family therapy sessions discussing appropriate and inappropriate waysof communication. Just a few months after Michael began services, the family movedaway.To find a job, mom moved the family out of state with a month left in school. Thefamily did not engage in any mental health services while living in another state. At thebeginning of the new school year, the family had moved back to a different housingproject and reentered mental health services in the school. The family’s newneighborhood was not as chaotic, but was a home to one of the city’s major gangs.Upon Michael’s return, his symptoms were more severe, including becoming more© 2016 Laureate Education, Inc. 4physically aggressive with peers. Therapeutic rapport had to be reestablished, and myconsistency and follow-through became an important factor in that development.After returning to services, Michael’s mom refused to acknowledge that therewere any concerns at home and be directly involved in treatment. The interventions atthis point were directly focused on Michael individually, but I still attempted to call hismom every other week to engage her in Michael’s progress and discuss any concernsfrom home. Michael was engaged during therapy sessions, initially learning selfregulation activities such as blowing up balloons to practice deep breathing, musclerelaxation through trying to move walls, and coloring Mandalas. After engaging in theself-regulation activities, Michael and I began to focus on CBT techniques. Michaellearned to process a situation and identify how automatic thoughts affected his feelingsand behaviors when separated from the situation and in a calm state of mind. Michaelwas able to identify some of his automatic negative thoughts. He was unable to talkspecifically about traumatic personal events or any related feelings, but did engage indiscussions about trauma and trauma responses as well as the effects of trauma onthoughts and feelings. I showed Michael how trauma can affect the brain using thediagram of our brain as a fist with our fingers being cognitive processing, our thumb asthe trigger to fight, flight, or freeze, and our palm as the survival part of the brain.Michael related to this demonstration and was able to identify being in the survival partof his brain when he is angry and that he is unable to access the cognitive part of hisbrain.Michael was unable to meet his goals, and his behaviors in the school settingcontinued to be out of control. Michael was unable to identify and acknowledge any© 2016 Laureate Education, Inc. 5trauma experiences in his past. He will continue working toward his goals and beingable to transfer the strategies he has learned to times when he feels out of control.Michael’s family will be the biggest challenge moving forward, and getting theirinvolvement is a crucial factor in the success of treatment. It would be beneficial for thefamily to become involved in a higher level of care, such as intensive in-home orpossibly multi-systemic therapy
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