Review the case of the Carter family on pages 89-90 of your textbook. What are the primary advocacy issues with this family? What are the risk and protective factors you see for the Carter family? What specific things would you do to help the Carter family move forward? What kinds of programs or services would you advocate for to help them resolve the stress and/or dysfunction in their family?What do you think is the greatest contributor to family dysfunction in American society? Explain why you chose this issue. Use research from the internet or the Kaplan Library to provide support for your choice.CASE STUDY: The Carter FamilyThe Carter family came to our attention after Jason, a thin, pale, and intense 13-year-old, got into a particularly vicious fight. The other members of this middle-class family are Jason’s parents, Doug and Lois Carter, and his 10-year-old sister, Christie. Jason was referred by his teacher because of fighting and other behavioral difficulties. He frequently disrupted his classes by harassing and fighting with other children and by talking back to teachers. His short attention span and apparent inability to sit still were the focus of a subsequent neurological examination, but no neurological impairment was indicated. Next Jason underwent an evaluation at school, consisting of a standard social history, psychological tests, and an intake interview.The findings suggested that poor family communication and ineffective discipline might be the source of Jason’s problem behavior. On the basis of this information, family therapy was strongly recommended. Referral to the neurological clinic, contact with school personnel, the social history, and the intake interview were all accomplished by a school social worker assigned to the case. She was also responsible for the family casework and referred Jason and his family to a mental health clinic that provided individual and family therapy.Lois Carter, a chronically depressed European American woman, was torn by guilt over her perceived failure to rear a child who could function adequately at home and in school. She also seemed to have considerable unspoken anger, which was frequently directed at Jason. Mr. Carter, an engineer, was also a cauldron of unexpressed anger. Emotionally locked out by his wife’s depression, he seemed to resent Jason and to continually put the child in a double bind by subtly sending the message that his acting out was just a case of “boys will be boys” and at the same time reprimanding him for his behavior. He seemed unwilling or unable to follow through with punishment. In part, this behavior was an acting out of his own angry feelings toward his wife.Mrs. Carter was the second daughter in her family of origin. She described her parents, who live only a mile from the Carters, in ambivalent terms. Her father was a chronic drinker, and he physically and emotionally abused his wife and children. He suffered brain damage as a result of drinking and had mellowed considerably in recent years. Mrs. Carter’s mother was a passive-aggressive woman who turned to religion for comfort in her later years. Lois had an older sister who had twice married and divorced. After repeated attempts, the sister attained a college degree and now worked as an elementary school teacher. Mrs. Carter’s two brothers expressed the family dysfunction more obviously. The youngest brother had committed suicide several years earlier. The other brother continued to live with his parents. At 30 he was unemployed and unmarried and existed on a small payment for service-connected emotional disability.Doug Carter, of English and French descent, was the older of two brothers. His father, a bookkeeper for a small manufacturing firm, was a harsh, critical, and sarcastic parent. His mother was a pleasant though ineffectual woman who “adored” Mr. Carter’s younger brother. A paternal grandmother, now deceased, lived in the home while Mr. Carter was growing up, and she tended to favour him. Mr. Carter and his brother had been very competitive as children and now have no contact. His parents reside in another state and contact with them is infrequent.Christie was described by both parents as a “very good girl” who never caused any problems. She did well in school, was helpful at home when asked, and had a “nice little group” of girlfriends.Both Jason and Christie Carter had been adopted as infants. Jason was considered the identified problem (patient), and Christie was regarded as a perfect little angel.A counselor saw the family weekly for therapy that focused on their style of communication. During the first six sessions, the family discussed setting limits and the need for more direct communication. They reached an impasse, however, because the family members refused to listen to one another. Jason frequently pointed out, for instance, that his sister instigated many situations by teasing him. His parents refused to acknowledge that Christie could possibly do such a thing and reprimanded Jason for not listening to them and for trying to get his sister in trouble. Christie sat quietly and primly, in silent agreement with her parents. At the end of six sessions, the counselor felt that she was making little headway in helping the parents listen to Jason or to each other. Christie indicated little willingness to modify her secure position in the family structure. Jason continued to disrupt his classes and behave outrageously at school, in the neighborhood, and at home.
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