Case Studies

Case Study #1

A psychiatrist from Elmhurst Hospital called saying the mother, Andrea overdosed on Zoloft last night and was brought to the hospital at 6:30 A.M. She was accompanied by her 9-year-old son, Vincent. She was admitted to the hospital, but refused to give any information to assist in making a plan for Vincent. Andrea is a 27-year-old White woman who lives with her 9-year-old son, Vincent in a one- bedroom apartment in Queens that is described as spacious and clean. 

She is unemployed and receives $23 daily in food stamps, $68.50 biweekly in cash, and $624 monthly for SSI due to Vincent’s autism/chronic asthma. Vincent’s father, John is 33-years-old, and is unemployed. He received SSI due to an accident that occurred when he was 14 and left him unable to use his arm. John provides Andrea with occasional financial support and is involved with Vincent, visiting him 3 times a month.

 Both Andrea and John report having positive experiences with each other. Andrea has been hospitalized at least 3-4 times according to her sister, Elizabeth. She has been diagnosed at different times with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, major depression, and epilepsy. She currently takes Zoloft and seizure medication.

There have been five prior Child Protective Service reports dating from 2001 to January 2007 against this family, all but one of which was ruled that no abuse was found.

Case Study #2

Family Members: Anne M.- mother, DOB 5/11/75- Peter M.- father, DOB 11/9/69, children- Thomas, DOB 3/15/01 Megan, DOB 2/20/04. The Social worker from the hospital that treated Ms. M. for injuries resulting from the beatings inflicted on her by her husband during their vacation in Jamaica is concerned about the mother’s capacity to care for and protect children.

Children were present during father’s attacks on their mother. Family Background: Anne M. is a 32 years old woman employed for the past year as a secretary, earning about $30,000 a year. She has been married to Peter M. for 7 years. They have two children, Thomas, aged 6, and Megan, aged 3. Peter is an insurance agent who earns approximately $70,000 a year. Peter and the 2 children are all U.S. citizens. Anne, who was born in Jamaica, is a permanent resident of the US. Peter’s family is also from Jamaica, but he was born in the City. 

They are both Episcopalians. Since the DV incident and subsequent return to the States, Mr. M. has been living in an apartment he co-owns with his mother in Brooklyn. There was no prior ACS contact with this family, but a search of Domestic Incident Reports at the Police department revealed two prior domestic violence incidents in which Mr. M. was named as the suspect in 12/2002 and 10/2003.

Case Study #3

Current Allegation: Inadequate Guardianship Adults in home: Mary S., maternal grandmother and legal guardian- Susan, biological mother, children: Jason, 15 y/o Case Details & Allegation: Jason’s mother, Susan, alleged that Mary S., the boy’s maternal grandmother and legal guardian, is physically abusive and intimidating to 15yr old Jason. 

Yesterday, Mary S. reportedly punched the adolescent in the face after she told him to clean his bedroom. This is not the first time Mary S. has used physical force to intimidate Jason. He is afraid of his grandmother, as she has threatened to shoot him if he ever hits her back. Also, the grandmother goes out of town for days at a time and does not leave Jason any money for food. The last time she left was on Saturday and she did not return until Monday. Mary does not make an alternate plan for Jason’s care when she travels out of state.

” Jason’s mother, Susan, says she and her husband gave custody of him to her mother when she was 17 because they did not have any health insurance. Susan says she went to court and filed a petition to revoke her mother’s guardianship and the next court date is next month. However, she has to serve her mother the paperwork first. Susan says her mother is a retired New York State corrections officer, and she may still have her weapon.” Mary S. is a retired corrections officer. 

She receives $6400.00/month in pension benefits and an undisclosed amount from disability. Mary has diabetes and high blood pressure and takes medication for the condition. Mary was granted legal guardianship of Jason in December 2002, when Susan was 17-years old. It was documented that Susan and Jason’s father signed over guardianship to Mary, so that Jason could be covered by her medical insurance. Since that time, Jason has alternated between living with Susan and with Mary.

Case Study #4

Joaquín Olivares, a 38-year-old Mexican immigrant, and his 35-year-old wife presented to a family services agency with the complaint of “family problems.” The Olivares have been married for twelve years and they have two children (a son aged 6 and a daughter aged 8). They have lived in the U.S. for eight years. 

He worked as a machine worker in a factory for five years before being recently “laid off.” He presently works as a day laborer. Mrs. Olivares works as a housekeeper for a family. Mr. Olivares complains that his wife has recently started “to nag” him about his drinking. He admits that during the last few months he has increased his intake of alcohol, but denies that this is a problem for him, as he drinks “only on the weekends, and never during the week.” He drinks every weekend, but is vague about the actual amount.

Mr. Olivares and his wife speak of the difficulties they experience in living in the U.S. Neither speaks much English. Mr. Olivares admits to being quite worried about his previous lay off, adding that he didn’t want to “let the family down” in his responsibilities. As a result, he works long days in order to make ends meet.

 His weekend drinking is, for him, his way of relaxing, which he feels that he deserves. Mr. and Ms. Olivares were born in Mexico. Both came to the US with a Visa however both have overstayed their Visas and are both now without status and therefore treated as “undocumented” or “unauthorized” by the law. Both children however are US native born citizens.