The Jacques family seems to have functioned very well until the husband began abusing drugs and alcohol. This was a problem before, but things have stabilized when the appropriate help was obtained. The relapse occurred directly after the wife and children left for a visit to the wife's family. Hence, it might reasonably be assumed that the presence of the family has a positive effect upon the maintenance of the treatment regime. Because Jean (the husband) functioned at a very high level before his relapse into the cycle of abuse and the abandonment of the treatment regime, it might be assumed that he will once again respond to intervention. Because there is as yet no physical danger to the family, the treatment and intervention program will be administered under strict official supervision, with regular monitoring sessions. However, while the aim is to keep the family together, a contingency plan should be in place to ensure the safety of the wife and children should Jean become physically violent.
The first step in the plan should be assessment. The assessment should focus on the root of the problem, which in this case is Jean and his dual disorders. According to Moore (2005, p. 231), more than half of mental disorder sufferers also have substance abuse disorders. Yet, there has been little social work attention to co-occurring issues. The tendency is to treat these conditions in isolation (Brown, 2010). For Jean's specific situation then, Moore (2005) suggests that an integrated treatment plan might work better than two separate treatment plans designed to handle his substance abuse and mental problems in isolation. In addition, the effect of his family's absence on his relapse should also be assessed. The first phase of the assessment should therefore be focused upon Jean himself, primarily on the occurrence of his mental problems, and secondarily on his substance abuse issues. Finally, there should also be residual focus on Jean's relationship with his family and their influence on his ability to retain the treatment regime.
For this assessment, it is recommended that Jean visit the local outpatient mental health clinic, where a social worker should assess the three components that contributed to his current condition. Recommendations should be made on how his situation will be handled and whether this treatment could viably occur in the home environment. Because Jean's history shows a very high level of functioning when his family was with him, it is recommended that his treatment occur in the home environment, with regular monitoring and a contingency plan.
The second assessment should focus on the rest of the family; Mrs. Jacques and her children. Mrs. Jacques herself has mentioned that the continuous emotional abuse of her and her children has caused her to be worn out to the degree that she is unable to provide adequate care for her children. An assessment of neglect should therefore be conducted, as well as an assessment to determine the effect of the abuse. These services are usually provided by Child Protective Services (CPS). It is recommended that the assessment be done in the Jacques home, to determine the ability of the parents to create a safe and healthy environment for the children. The state of cleanliness, provision of regular meals, and educational situation of the children should be assessed. According to the findings, recommendations should be made.
There are various components that play a role in this assessment. Because one parent has a mental condition and substance abuse problems, the effect of this on the home environment should be assessed. The initial steps of the child care assessment should include the following (De Pfanfilis, 2006, p. 43): First, the relationship between the strengths of the home environment and its risk factors should be considered. In the Jacques situation, the mother is aware that she wants the situation to change for the better. She is aware of the circumstances that created the family's former prosperity and well-being. She is likely willing to recreate these circumstances with the help of professionals. Second, changes must be considered in terms of changes required to keep children safe, protect them from future abuse and neglect, ensure permanency, and enhance their well-being, as well as the well-being of the family as a unit. In order to ensure this, various…