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ChrisJohnsonCaseAnalysis718.pdf

Chris Johnson January 25, 2023 Case Analysis 2: Marie and Janet

Introduction

As a foster care worker in the Special Placement Unit (SPU) at the Stanislaus County Department

of Social Services (SCDSS), Marie Johnson has been assigned to reunify Janet Oswalt with her mother,

Paula Oswalt. Marie’s specialties include regular contact with community professionals and

communication amongst school administrators, guidance counselors and teachers, attorneys for families

or the agency, juvenile court judges, the police, and emergency shelter staff. Samantha Myers and Luis

Medina have also been assigned to work on this case with Marie and based off verbal reports that have

been presented by Samanta, it appears as if Janet has been more receptive to Samantha than Marie.

Problem Statement

Marie is sort of at a standstill because progress is starting to deteriorate ever since the Burger King

situation. Marie was convinced that Janet and Paula could live together again since Paula was able to

complete the various drug programs, but Janet still needed more time to cope with her depression, as well

as rekindling her relationship with Paula.

Contextual Analysis

It appears as if Marie had her suspicions pertaining to the relationship between Janet and Paula

Oswalt as soon as she received the case on her desk when she walked into her office. She immediately

became aware of the racist remarks that Janet had made at Burger King during an outing that she had with

her family, and often reminded them to call immediately as soon as a crisis occurred, or even if there is a

possibility of one occurring. Marie was categorized as a smart and quick learner, and even though she

figured that this case would be a great start to her social work career, she more than likely didn’t realize

what she was about to get herself into, even though she has had experience with residential treatment

centers for adolescents and addressing mental health needs.

Janet Oswalt was diagnosed with severe depression at the age of 12 due to her moving back and

forth between her parents and grandparents’ houses (both maternal and paternal), as well as feeling as if

no one could ever understand her circumstances. Her mother, Paula Oswalt, started drinking heavily when

Janet was young, which not only resulted in homelessness, but she also had a cocaine addiction which left

Janet and her other three siblings behind. Paula completed an extensive drug rehabilitation program,

which granted her a HUD certificate for Janet’s three younger siblings to have a place that they can call

home. Paula also had the privilege of receiving weekly therapy sessions with Janet and had opportunities

to have separate sessions with the other children, while attending various Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

meetings. She was able to pass all her drug screenings, was invited to stay as a resident mentor for other

mothers of the groups and sessions, and even though one or two children were allowed to live with her at

one time, her primary goal was to be able to live with the three youngest children so that she can be a

better mother for them.

Since Marie felt as if she couldn’t build the strongest relationship with Janet, she decided to

incorporate help from Samantha Myers, even though Marie felt as if Janet was going to take advantage of

her, just like she did Marie. Samantha is a 28-year-old psychologist who just received her PhD, and the

Oak Hill treatment center considered that to be an advantage because they felt as if she would be able to

relate to Janet as much as Marie would’ve liked to. She had reported that Janet was able to be more

receptive towards Samantha, claiming that she could never trust her mother to stay sober and that she

would continue to be homeless if she were to stay with her. Janet had also mentioned that she fears for the

safety of her younger siblings, even though she would instill fear in them due to her outbursts, but the one

Chris Johnson January 25, 2023 Case Analysis 2: Marie and Janet

thing Marie knew from the beginning was that Samantha’s services were going to be temporary due to

funding restrictions.

Alternative Strategies

Now that Janet has moved out again and the reunification between her and her family are starting

to become less of a possibility, Marie can result to these three options:

1. Marie could contact Charter of Phoenix to see if they can start a new psychiatric hold for Janet.

This will allow Janet to be in a comfortable setting and it could build on the relationship that she

has with Samantha. The only disadvantage of this solution is that it could prompt Janet’s suicidal

ideations to the point where she immediately commits suicide after discharge, or it could get to

the point where the hospital wouldn’t know what to do with her anymore. This will also delay the

main goal which is to reunite Paula with Janet

2. Paula could provide proof of income, as well as participation in NA meetings to assure Janet that

she is clean and is doing what she needs to do to take care of the other siblings. This would

probably be the best solution because Janet doesn’t fully trust her mother and believes that she

could easily fall back into addiction. A disadvantage of this could be where Paula currently works

because even if she has a job, Janet may feel as if Paula’s income isn’t substantial enough to raise

four children on her own.

3. Marie could try to have a separate session with the maternal grandparents to show them that both

Janet and Paula are doing well and trying to get better for themselves. This would probably be the

worst option to go with because the grandparents don’t believe in therapy, and they expressed

little resentment towards Janet. This however could be a good option because the maternal

grandparents are going to be the best source of care for Janet, especially since the paternal

grandparents had sexually molested one of Janet’s siblings.

Recommendation and Evaluation

I recommend the second option for reunification because Marie nor Samantha had the opportunity to tell

Janet about Paula’s progression and how she desperately wants Janet back in her life so this could be a

good start for Janet to open more about her depression. This could also allow her to reduce her suicidal

ideations since she is in a state of isolation, as well as making sure people truly understand what is going

on with her emotions. Once the reunification process shows overall improvement, this could also allow

Samantha to be more active in the relationship between the Oswalt's, and this could also allow the other

siblings to be more accepting of Janet.

Rationale

My recommendation is based off the reading and my interpretation of the problem that needed to be

addressed.

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