HSV210: Child Welfare
Unit 4 Assignment: Child Neglect Case Evaluation
Imagine you are a social worker in a protective agency. You have just inherited the case
of a 23-year-old mother with three children. Through reading her record and meeting
with her several times, you learn more about her.
Before you can begin planning for the family, you will need to complete the Child
Neglect Index. Refer to page 86 of your textbook (Figure 4.1).
Jadene was 18 when she realized that she was pregnant. She thought the father was
Davy, whom she had dated for several years, but the pregnancy could also have been a
result of a party she had gone to where everyone was drinking and paired off. She didn’t
remember much about that guy she had met there so she told Davy the baby was his.
Jadene’s mother had died when Jadene was 10, and Jadene and her brother Ralphie
were raised by their dad, who worked long hours in a factory.
“We kind of raised ourselves,” Jadene explained. When Jadene told her father she was
pregnant, his comment was, “Well, you made your bed. Is Davy gonna step up?” But
Davy had other plans, telling her that he didn’t think the baby was his anyway. So
Jadene continued to live at home.
Ralphie was in the military and Jadene was glad he was away when she got pregnant
as he would have been really angry with her and more so at Davy. She didn’t tell
Ralphie until he got home. By then she had had Arlis, a cute little baby whom her
brother loved. But Ralphie had decided upon the Army as a career, so he was soon off
on deployment once more.
Alone with baby Arlis most of the time, Jadene felt lonely and started leaving the baby
with her father in the evening and going out to bars to meet people. Her father objected
to her late hours and told Jadene that he would no longer watch Arlis while she “whored
around.” By this time, Jadene had met Dodger, a man 15 years older who said he loved
kids and that Jadene and Arlis could move in with him.
For several years, this arrangement worked out even though Ralphie, home on leave,
took an instant dislike to Dodger, criticizing the fact that he was a heavy drinker and
encouraged Jadene to drink with him. On many nights, both Dodger and Jadene would
pass out after a night of heavy drinking. Jadene adored her older brother and was upset
by his dislike of her boyfriend. She considered leaving Dodger until she realized that
she was pregnant again. Ralphie returned to duty and Jadene tried to cope with her
pregnancy, which was a lot different from being pregnant with Arlis. She experienced
more nausea, and although this curbed her drinking, she found herself sleeping much of
the time. Dodger—although pleased with her pregnancy (“I’ll finally get a kid of my
own!”)—berated Jadene about how quickly she gained weight. “You look like a whale!”
he told her and then, almost as an afterthought, said, “Maybe it’s twins. I’m a twin,” a
fact that Jadene did not know.
Between feeling ill much of the time and wanting to sleep, Jadene found it difficult to
care for Arlis as her pregnancy progressed. Despite his concern over her weight,
Dodger was good about caring for Arlis, which also seemed to limit his drinking. But as
he became more involved with the toddler, he withdrew more and more from Jadene.
When Jadene was 7 months pregnant, she fell down a flight of stairs, sustaining a
compound fracture of her right leg and bringing on the birth of her twin boys. both of
whom were quite small. While the twins struggled for life in the ICU, Jadene underwent
a long recuperation to regain use of her leg. In intense pain, she was put on Vicodin and
later on Percocet. Jadene loved the feeling of euphoria she got from the drugs and
hardly thought about her children. She was transferred to a rehabilitation center while
the twins, now of sufficient weight to go home, were taken home by their father who had
moved in Gabby, another young woman, to care for them. He rarely visited Jadene and
the drugs were all that soothed her irritation.
When Jadene was finally able to go home, it was clear that Dodger and his new lady
were less than enthused about her return. Jadene insisted that she could care for her
children and insisted that Gabby move out. What followed was months when Dodger
would come home from work to find Jadene nodding off while the children were dirty
and unkempt. Disgusted, he would retreat to a local bar and not return home until the
early hours of the morning when he would fall into bed. Arlis, at 4, attempted to care for
her baby brothers but was not equal to the task. It was clear that Jadene was addicted
to the pain killers and now that her doctor refused to renew her prescriptions, she was
getting pills on the street from dealers. The family came to the attention of social
services when Jadene accidentally overdosed. Arlis ran to the neighbors insisting that
she could not “wake Mommy up.” The EMTs responded by transporting Jadene to the
local hospital while child protective services were called for the children. The responding
social workers found three dirty and malnourished children. The severely underweight
twins were hospitalized. Dodger, summoned from work by a neighbor who recognized
the social workers, came home and was furious at the intervention. After calming him,
the intake worker got him to admit that the family needed help and he agreed to
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1. Before you can begin planning for the family, you will need to complete the Child
Neglect Index. Refer to page 86 of your textbook (Figure 4.1). What score would
you give this family after reviewing the information provided? Provide a summary
of the risks you identified in the Child Neglect Index.
2. As the social worker supporting this family, what steps do you think need to be
3. What strengths can you identify in the family?
4. What factors may make it difficult for Jadene to be an effective parent?
5. What factors may make it difficult for Dodger to be an effective parent?
6. What are the potential outcomes you identify for this family?
• Paper should be 2 pages in length, 3 pages max.
• Proper APA format required.
• The only required resource is your textbook.
o Additional resources are suggested but not required.
Be sure to read the criteria below by which your work will be evaluated before
you write and again after you write.
Evaluation Rubric for Unit 4 Assignment
CRITERIA Deficient Needs
0-9 Points 10-13 Points 14 Points 15-17 Points
Index is fairly
is minimally or
is fairly well
CRITERIA Deficient Needs
0 – 5 points 6-7 points 8 points 9-10 points
Page Length Less than 2
N/A N/A At least 2
than 3 pages.
0 – 2 points 3 points 4 points 5 points
errors that do
Few errors that
do not impede
and error free.