Izzie Case Reflection

Izzie Case Reflection

Provide clear examples of how you would act to intervene with this client. Include in your discussion how a culture?s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power in this family system. In working with the family, point out ways that you could assist in diminishing the following (oppression, marginalization, alienation, privilege and power). 4.In carefully reflecting on this case, describe the ways in which you would attempt to eliminate any influence of your own personal biases and values in working with this family system. Also, provide at least three clear examples of how you would ensure in your work with Izzie and her family that you would not impose your own personal biases and values on them. 5.Use case study and supplemental resources included with this assignment to demonstrate an exceptional awareness of how a culture?s structures and values may impact intervention strategies that address the following: This case centers around Isabella (Izzie), a thirty two year old woman of Mexican descent, her three children, Jesus (thirteen years old), Sally (thirteen years old), Susanna (ten years old), and her husband and father of her children, Ramon. Izzie and Ramon were both born in the United States, the children of migrant farm workers. Much of their young lives were spent in the nomadic existence of farm workers, traveling from town to town in the hopes of finding work. Izzie was the first of five children; she did not work in the fields with her parents. Her job was to care for her younger siblings while her parents were in the fields. At the age of twelve, she stopped attending school altogether. Ramon, on the other hand, began working in the fields alongside his mother and father at the age of six and continued farm work until he turned sixteen. The family had established a semi-permanent home in South Texas where Ramon was completing high school. At sixteen he was enrolled in a technical high school where he learned basic mechanics as well as some construction skills. Ramon completed high school at eighteen. Ramon met Izzie at the wedding of a mutual friend while both were visiting family members in Mexico. The couple settled in Northern California. Both Izzie and Ramon?s extended families reside in Mexico. Izzie frequently visits both of the couple?s parents, siblings and grandparents. The couple sends money to both families on a monthly basis. Four years earlier, Izzie, Ramon and their children resided in a three bedroom home in an urban area. Izzie was employed as a contract worker for a large construction company performing job-site clean-up services. Ramon was employed seasonally by the department of transportation where he operated snow removal equipment during the winter months. The rest of the year, Ramon worked a variety of construction jobs and sometimes supplemented their income with the proceeds of illicit drug sales. Their lives together included intermittent unemployment, homelessness, recreational drug use, and an intense commitment to one another, their children and their families. Approximately three and a half years ago, when Izzie was visiting Mexico, Ramon was arrested in a state police sting operation for the sale of cocaine. Their home and all the family?s assets (family car and checking account) were surrendered to authorities and held by the court as drug proceeds. The night of Ramon?s arrest, the couple?s three children were taken into custody by Child Protective Services (CPS). The police raid was a frightening experience for the children, a situation worsened by their separation by CPS. The twins, Jesus and Sally were taken to a juvenile shelter, their sister Susanna was placed in emergency foster care. After one week in her emergency foster placement, Susanna, the youngest child, was assigned to a foster placement agency; after three weeks the twins were assigned to a foster placement agency, different from their sister. Although Jesus and Sally had both been assigned to the same foster placement agency, they were placed in different homes. The children were re-united for monthly supervised visits with their mother. Other than this designated time, however, the siblings had no contact with one another. Upon Izzie?s return home, she was repeatedly detained and questioned by police over a period of months. Although the authorities were never able to approve any involvement by Izzie in Ramon?s drug operation, the official police statement to family court reported that she was still a suspect in felony drug charges. In a signed statement to police officials, Izzie denied any knowledge of Ramon?s drug transactions, but did admit to her own occasional use of cocaine and marijuana. During this time Izzie lived with a series of friends and relatives. She spent her days planning the reunification of her family. She continued her work in construction, purchased a car and saved money for rent. According to her CPS worker, family reunification was contingent on two factors: she had to secure housing and she had to be in drug treatment. Reunification had been delayed twice due to her inability to locate housing. The Housing Authority did not consider her eligible for public housing unless she had custody of her children; Child Protective Services, however, would not reunify until housing had been secured. Izzie secured additional employment (a paper route) to earn the money needed for an unsubsidized apartment. In addition to her struggles with housing, drug treatment was difficult to find. She was placed on a six month waiting list for a public outpatient drug treatment program that offered services during a time that would not interfere with her work schedule or her children?s visitation schedule. Izzie?s contact with both her and Ramon?s families in Mexico had become difficult. She did not have the resources to call or travel to Mexico and the financial assistance she had been giving to both families was no longer possible. She had not told either family about Ramon?s incarceration. Reunification of Izzy and Her Children After Izzie had secured housing and successfully completed six months in treatment, and after her children had spent eleven months in the care of CPS, her children were returned to her custody. Izzie spent her days working both jobs, attending outpatient treatment and re-establishing her family. Izzie began her day at three o?clock in the morning. She picked up the newspapers, prepared the papers for delivery, delivered the papers and returned home in time to get her children up and off to school. After she dropped her children at school, she drove to the construction company to inquire about work availability. On the days there was work, Izzie was grateful for the money; when there was no work she was content to go home and sleep. Izzie was worried about leaving her young children home alone during the time she delivered newspapers. Since the night of Ramon?s arrest all of the children had been showing signs of stress (behavioral problems and declining grades). Susanna in particular had been having nightmares combined with frequent incidences of nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting). Approximately four weeks ago, when Izzie was preparing to leave home to deliver her papers, she noticed the smell of smoke. Upon investigation, she noticed billows of smoke pouring out of the windows of the apartment directly under theirs. Izzie quickly gathered her children and escaped the fire shortly before their apartment was engulfed in flames. Once again Izzie found herself homeless. This time, however, she had her children and she vowed she would not give them up again. She feared if CPS were to discover her homeless status she would once again lose her children. Izzie and her children spent most nights at the homes of family and friends, however, some nights Izzie and one or two of the children slept in the car. Since the fire Izzie continued to work both jobs and look for housing. Due to the time and energy involved in homeless tasks (e.g., finding showers, restrooms and a safe place to spend the night) she had not attended treatment for three weeks. After Jesus went to school in unlaundered clothes and with a general unkempt appearance, one of the teachers made a report to CPS .On the following day, when Izzie arrived at the school to pick up the children, she was asked by the school counselor to come into the school to speak to the CPS worker. The worker listened to the family?s story of the past four weeks. Izzie tearfully confided to the worker she had used cocaine twice in the time she had been out of treatment but if she could find housing and reunite her family, she was confident she could re-enter treatment and stay clean. The CPS worker told Izzie that if she made sure her children had temporary housing and she was again in treatment and remained clean, she did not need to fear her children?s removal from her custody. Izzie was directed to report to the homeless shelter that night to secure temporary housing for herself and her children. She was also told that outpatient treatment was not optional; she would need to begin treatment again within the week. The CPS worker told her she would visit Izzie the next day at the shelter and they would together come up with a plan. Upon the family?s arrival at the homeless shelter, Izzie was directed to the women?s shelter, however, she was told that her thirteen year old son would not be allowed at the shelter. The women?s shelter prohibited males over the age of twelve. Her son would need to, once again, be placed at the juvenile shelter. Izzie?s appointment with the CPS worker the next day revealed she was no longer eligible for the outpatient services she had been participating in due to her absence from the program. She would again need to be placed on a waiting list, which could be up to eight months. The worker felt this was too long for Izzie to be out of treatment and presented a solution designed to help Izzie and her family get out of the cycle of addiction and poverty. The CPS worker had managed to get Izzie moved to the top of the waiting list for Family House. Intervention Izzie arrived at Family House the next morning for a meeting with the administrator. The administrator described Family House as a residential substance abuse treatment facility that addresses the special needs of women, mothers and their families. Women and their families reside at Family House for one year, receiving counseling related to substance use and parenting; vocational training and stress management are also required for the female residents. One year of intense outpatient follows residential treatment which includes counseling and group therapy; other services such as job placement and anger management workshops are also available as needed. Unfortunately, Izzie?s thirteen year old son will not be able to reside with her-he will again be placed in a foster care home and Izzie?s family will be separated. In addition, Izzie will not be allowed to have contact with Ramon for the time she is involved with Family House. She would be permitted to write to Ramon however this was discouraged. Currently, Izzie has remained drug free for nine months. She has successfully completed parenting classes as well as a vocational training program offered by a large computer firm. She is working one job during regular daytime hours and earning more money than the combined income from her past jobs. She gets off work at four o’clock in the afternoon, in time to pick up Susanna and Sally from after school care. Every day they stop by the house where Jesus is living; they spend time talking, doing homework and planning for the time when the whole family can be reunited. Although the family living situation is not ideal, Izzie feels secure in her sobriety and her career, in addition, she has re-established a routine that keeps the family in daily contact with one another. All the children?s grades have improved and Susanna?s nocturnal enuresis has stopped. In a recent group session, the leader used the term role overload. As Izzie listened to the definition, she buried her head in her hands and began to weep. She suddenly had words for her feelings of exhaustion and incompetence. She began to identify all her current roles : mother, wife, employee, client, patient, student, daughter, provider, house member, housekeeper, chauffeur, group member?.It had been close to three years since Ramon?s arrest; she deeply missed his support and his love; her strongest wish was for Ramon?s release from prison and the reuniting of her family. Izzie?s Wish for the Family to Reunite after Ramon?s Release from Prison Ramon will be released from prison in three weeks. Izzie has followed the rules of Family House, she has refrained from visiting Ramon in prison, however, she and the children have written to Ramon two to three times a week since his incarceration. She feels she has lived up to all of the expectations she has had of herself as well as all the obligations the system has imposed on her. Izzie has requested to speak with the administrator of Family House to request permission to leave the program early. She explains that she has respected the facilities policy regarding no contact and she has abided by that policy. She goes on to explain how much her family, her children and her husband mean to her and the agony the separation of the past year has caused everybody. She promises to continue the program?s outpatient treatment for the required twelve months, but she strongly feels it is in the best interest of her family to reunite after Ramon?s release from prison. The administrator explains to Izzie that because her commitment to Family House was court ordered, she would not be allowed to leave the facility prior to the one year time period. The administrator also explains that the facility?s policy prohibiting contact with drug offenders is effective throughout Izzie?s contact with Family House-this includes not only her time living in the facility but also her twelve month outpatient commitment.The Case Study: Questions for Consideration (Think about these questions as you begin preparing for the signature assignment) 1) From a policy perspective, what are some of the alternatives to the hard line the Family House administrator has given Izzie? 2) Discuss how the combination of race, class and gender affected Izzie and her family?s interaction with the police, CPS, the shelter, the housing authority, and the Family house. 3) When the family is completely reunified, what cultural, gender and class issues might arise within the family? Source: Anderson, J., & Wiggins, C. R. (Eds.). (2003). Diversity perspectives for social work practice. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Comments are closed.