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  • in reply to: Growing up with Mental Illness in the Foster Care System #333

    What can Katie do within the next few months to assist Peter?
    I think it’s important for Katie to sit with Peter and see what his goals are, and using motivational interviewing Katie can help him to see the changes he has the power to make in his own life. While providing support and resources Katie can assist Peter for the next phase of his life.

    What are structural barriers that impact Peter?
    There are many structural issues that Peter is being oppressed by.
    – The healthcare system and its lack of resources specific with Mental Health. As well as caring service providers that understand trauma informed care.
    – Stigma is something that affects people both inside and outside the health care system. Peter has to deal with people stigmatizing him from the general public to housing authority to doctors.
    – While being a child of the system Peter missed out of having a supportive adult teach him living basics like laundry, cooking, and how to live on your own successfully. Whereas many children that grow up in their primary care provider are taught skills from a young age about how to be a successful adult, even from just watching the supportive adults modeling the behaviour.
    – Lack of affordable housing is a large structural issue. Due to the fact that Peter’s record keep following him he will continue to be passed over.

    What are alternative resources that may be helpful to Peter?
    It is really important to know about the community resources that are more in the nonprofit sector. REsources in Halifax could be Laing House, Heartwood Community Youth Development, Phoenix Youth Services.
    Is this more of an individual or systemic challenge (or neither)?
    Peter’s issues are both in the micro and macro levels.
    Should Katie fill out Peter’s rental applications (as he struggles to fill them
    out correctly and apply by the deadlines)? If she does, should she mention Peter’s
    tenancy history?
    There is nothing wrong with Katie sitting with Peter and helping him fill out the rental agreements. This is a why for Katie to model professional behaviours for Peter and teach him how to do it. As for if she should disclose it really is Peter’s decision. Katie should help Peter to understand the consequences of his actions and help him make an informed decision.

    in reply to: Case of Non-Disclosure #331

    This case really made me stop and think. I made think about the lens I am viewing this case through and it made me think about what is the mandate of the social worker in that hospital setting. I me autonomy is very important. I believe that each person has the right to make the choices best for them, but I also acknowledge that is a very western way of viewing things.

    Similar to some of the comments here I would sit down and speak with family in detail, and get the whole context of what is happening. There are many cultures where when a person is very sick, it’s considered best to not tell them and that is how the family shows love and care for that person. Who am I do say how someone should show love and care to their family, just because it’s not in the way I would do it. When viewing this through a trauma informed (a loved one with a terminal illness is a significant trauma) Culturally competent lens the landscape may change.

    As well I want to make sure that I’m enforcing or oppressing this family with my viewpoint, especially if they are from a marginalized population, as they systems already oppressing them are great. I would want to make sure that they family had the full understanding of what they were doing and the ethical implications that govern the system we must abide by in the current culture, and I have the responsibility to find out why they are going this way and hiding the truth from the patient.

    I would inform my supervisor though and let the family know I have done so. If I want to build trust with this family I must be open and honest with them in a supportive and professional manner. If when I come to understand why they are holding back the truth and I can not rationalize it enough to do my job properly and effectively, as my own bias may come into play, then the supervisor knows what is going in and can easily step in and take over with very little interruption to the family or the patient.

    It is a difficult situation and one I would not want to be in or a part of, but does happen.

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