FCS Opening Summary
Case Open Reason:
An FCS case was opened on Mr. and Mrs. Smith due to an investigation for physical abuse of their son, Randy Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were found to have been using unreasonable punishment in the form of using a belt to whip Randy, leaving numerous bruises on his back and buttocks. Mr. and Mrs. Smith agreed to open a FCS case to help them learn more appropriate discipline techniques and to help them get services including marital counseling to improve the overall family dynamic.
Prior History of the Family:
The family has had two prior assessments, one in April of 2013 and one in October of 2013 for allegations of physical abuse on Randy. One assessment was concluded as “No Services Needed”. The other assessment linked the family to services for 30 days. The family was referred to The Guidance Center and CD confirmed the family was participating in services when the assessment was concluded.
Mr. Smith has prior reports listing him as a victim child for physical abuse in 1995 and 1997. One report was substantiated for physical abuse. Mr. James Smith, father to Mr. Smith, was listed as the alleged perpetrator. Services were provided to the home.
Mrs. Smith has no other prior reports.
Cultural Diversity of the Family
The Smith family is made up of two parents and one six year old child, Randy. Mr. and Mrs. Smith married very young due to Mrs. Smith getting pregnant at 16 and they felt “they had to”. They expressed their love for one another, but felt “tied down” at a very young age. The family reports they practice the Catholic faith and are very involved with their local church. They are also involved with several community activities such as league bowling and the YMCA. Mr. Smith stated he learned his disciplining skills from his father, and he turned out ok, so he is having trouble understanding why spanking Randy is inappropriate. Mrs. Smith appears to disagree with the way Mr. Smith disciplines Randy. She reports she was never spanked as a child. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s parents are in the area and are reportedly supports for the family. Mrs. Smith also has a sister that helps out with babysitting Randy.
Know Your Rights Brochure:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith were given the Know Your Rights Brochure, and each point was explained to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They stated they understood and had no questions pertaining to the paperwork.
Identify the Needs of the Family:
The identified need includes age appropriate discipline techniques. I will connect the family to resources that teach appropriate discipline. The family has also requested marital counseling. Referrals will be given to the family based on their insurance. I will continue to assess the needs of the family as the case progresses.
FCS Monthly Summary
The household is made up of Jenny Smith, age 22, her husband, John Smith, age 22, and their six year old son, Randy. The family lives in a one story house on 3rd Street. The family has a cat and a dog, both of which appear to be house trained and cause no health issue in the home. Jenny’s sister, Jamie, occasionally spends the night at the home and is helpful in babysitting Randy. The house currently is clean and tidy. There is plenty of food in the refrigerator and cabinets. Randy has his own room and it appears appropriate for a six year old boy. No safety concerns are noted with the home at this time.
Mrs. Smith contacted me on February 16 and was concerned that Mr. Smith spanked Randy again with a belt. I met with the family and completed a safety assessment, CD-17, and revised the Safety Plan, CD-18, to include no physical discipline. Mr. Smith was upset with regret and noted he had been tired and “just got mad”. Randy is currently safe.
Parent Protective Capacities:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have the skills to keep their child safe. They have several supports in their family as well as in the community. They appear mentally and financially stable. Mr. Smith works outside the home and provides a lifestyle that allows Mrs. Smith to stay home and take care of the house. There are no known drug or alcohol issues.
Parent’s Progress towards WSA:
After an initial assessment of the family, a written service agreement was developed with Mr. and Mrs. Smith. We discussed things that could improve their knowledge of appropriate discipline and also improve their communication. Mrs. Smith noted she saw a class at the YMCA that might be helpful. I asked her to get information about the class and we could discuss if it might be good to attend. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have also spoken to their priest at church about marriage counseling. I also gave them referrals to other marriage counselors in the area. We agreed they would make an appointment for counseling before our next home visit.
Based on the moderate risk level, two collateral contacts are required. Mr. and Mrs. Smith noted several collateral contacts. This month the following were contacted. See actual contact in FACES for further information:
2/3/14—Phone contact with Bailey Bush, Randy’s teacher. She reported Randy seemed happier and reported no concerns.
2/5/14—Phone contact with Jill Russell, Jenny’s mother. She stated she had been in the home several times over this month and noted no concerns.
2/27/14—Phone contact with Sara Starr at the YMCA. The Smith’s had signed up for the 123 Magic Class at the YMCA and had attended one session so far.
Court Outcome (if applicable):
There is no court involvement at this time. If the family is unsuccessful with the FCS case and safety becomes an issue for Randy, the Smith’s are aware a court referral could be made.
Absent Parent Role:
Cultural Diversity of the Family:
The Smith family is made up of two parents and one six year old child, Randy. Mr. and Mrs. Smith married very young due to Mrs. Smith getting pregnant at 16 and they felt “they had to”. They expressed their love for one another, but felt “tied down” at a very young age. The family reports that they practice the Catholic faith and are very involved with their local church. They are also involved with several community activities such as league bowling and the YMCA. Mr. Smith stated he learned his disciplining skills from his father, and he turned out ok, so he is having trouble understanding why his spanking Randy was inappropriate. Mrs. Smith appears to disagree with the way Mr. Smith disciplines Randy. She reports that she was never spanked as a child. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s parents are in the area and are reportedly supports for the family. Mrs. Smith also has a sister that helps out with babysitting Randy.
I learned this month Mr. James Smith, John’s father was a strict father that never let them bend the rules. Sometimes that resulted in harsh spankings with his belt.
Case Goal (if applicable):
The goal for the Smith family is for Mr. and Mrs. Smith to learn and use appropriate discipline techniques for their six year old son. Prior forms of discipline by Mr. Smith have left bruising. Mr. Smith reports Mrs. Smith does not discipline at all. It is the goal of the case to be able to come to a compromise in discipline that is appropriate not only for Randy, but appropriate for his parents to execute in a safe manner.
Due to the safety concerns this month, I will also be referring Mr. Smith to anger management counseling. He admitted he was tired and “just got mad”. Randy received a referral from school. Mrs. Smith stated it was dealt with at home by taking away his Ipad for two days. Mrs. Smith reported she is pregnant again. She is about four months along. The family appears happy about the idea of another child.
I met with Jill Cane, Children’s Service Supervisor, on February 2, 16, and 28. Updates on the case were given at each consult. The family is stable. Mrs. Smith reported she is pregnant again. We discussed the safety issue of Mr. Smith spanking Randy. Jill recommended an anger management assessment and for Mr. Smith to follow recommendations of the assessment. See contact in FACES for more detail.