SW: Hello M. Thanks for meeting with me. I brought the intern along with me and I hope you don't mind?
M: That's fine.
SW: I am here to complete an assessment of your home and also to gather some of your information.
M: Hi come on in and have a sit.
SW You have a nice home.
M: Thank you. Would you like something to drink?
SW: No than you. I just had lunch. I understand your grandson has been in our care buy we have been asked to do a complete home study by the Hydepark Area office prior to the next court date in November. I'm not sure how much they explained to you about the home study process, but it is a very intrusive process ad I want to make sure it is still something you want to go forward with.
[M seems like a nice woman. Her house looks and smells clean. She pointed to the kitchen where there was a table with four chairs. I assumed she wanted us to sit there so I did. I hope she will be okay with the home study process. I cannot believe how prepared she really is for this meeting, she has her notebook and wrote down all of her questions.]
[Supervisor: Would you consider asking grandma on the phone first about the intern? I really like the way you are so clear and organized in or initial interaction with her. And that you complemented her. Sounds like she may have been prepared ahead of time for what was in store.]
M: Yes, I do. I love my daughter but in a way I am glad the children are not in her care because they're safer with me. Plus it keeps her from coming to the house. She used to always come by the house [un]announced asking to borrow money. Since I have my grandson she's not allowed to come over because DCF does not want her here.
[She sounds relieved that she does not have to deal with her daughter borrowing money anymore.]
[Supervisor: Common response to feel relieved or DCF making boundaries. Good, respectful, clear. Nice, positive complement to her. I can hear the sincerity in our writing.]
[Wow! She really cares about her family. Well, maybe it is because of her past experience. She had tears in her eyes and her voice sounded emotional as if she was about to cry.]
[Supervisor: Wow? Over her openness so soon or how much she cares about her family.]
SW: That is correct, M. our daughter cannot come to your home and visit the child, all visitation has be at DCF as requested by the ongoing social worker. If you don't mind, I would like to look around to make sure you have enough room and that the home is safe.
M: That's fine. You can look around.
SW: So. This is a three bedroom apartment. Your granddaughter also resides with you so your grandson will have his own bedroom. Right?
M: Yes he does have his own room.
SW Your grandchildren are lucky to have you.
SW: Wow, M. You wrote everything down! That is impressive! I am not used to this!
[Supervisor: Again, great positive feedback on our observation of her. No different in FR adjustment for interns. Ties back to "intrusiveness" remark at the beginning for you, I think.]
[The notebook and the pen seemed unusual for me. For clients I have met with in the past, I never took notes. This is interesting, I thought. She seems very organized. Well, you can tell by her house. It's very neat and organized.]
M: Well, my first question is regarding daycare. I really don't like where he's going.
SW: I'm happy to help in any way I can, but the daycare issue should be addressed with the on-going worker. Try that 1st and then let me know if I can help.
M. Okay. My other question is what can we do about clothes and other stuff that the children will need?
SW: Well, M. DCF will provide you with quarterly clothing allowance for your grandson. The amount is about $280 per child. DCF will also pay you a daily rate of about $20. You will also get reimbursed for mileage to parent/child visits, medical appointments, and other appointments.
[Wow. That does not seem like much money at all to take care of a child, but M. appeared satisfied with that.]
[Supervisor: It's all relative. Again, clear and somewhat directive -- just what is needed from the start.]
M: Wow. That is awesome. I was worried about that.
SW: Another thing, M. You will be responsible to assist with transportation to the parent. Child visits. Also, make sure that anything that has to do with the children, you ask the ongoing social worker. If you have any questions or concerns, always call the worker.
M Okay. I get that.
[I thought the session went well. I was able to engage the client as well as reach the goal which was to gather information to determine if the home was appropriate for placement. Client appeared very appropriate and was satisfied with answers provided by this worker. Once the home is approved, this worker will continue to provide support to the resource.
Introduction: Home visit with Mrs. W for the purposes of gathering assessment information for a home study. Mrs. W presented as very friendly and open. She was drinking a cup of coffee and seemed to be very comfortable.
SW: Hi Mrs. W. How are you this morning?
W: I'm okay. How are you?
SW: I'm doing okay. Glad we have an opportunity to connect and begin this home study.
W: I don't understand why this is being done now when B. has been visiting consistently for over a year, but I will do what I need to do.
SW: I'm really sorry. I don't know all the details or why you were not previously required to do a home study. But anytime children are in DCF custody and someone is interested in becoming a visiting resource, a home study is required. My guess is that the ball was dropped somewhere. What's important is that we go through the process and get our home approved so that B. can continue to visit.
[Acknowledging that things did not go according to plan, but that the focus is to complete the study so that they can continue being a visiting resource for B. Ensuring that I'm clear about the process and that at times I will ask intrusive questions.]
[Supervisor: Excellent! I think you were sincere, responsible, and cut right to the issue. Clearly preparing her and handled so well]
W: I thought someone just needed to come out and look at the house, ask me a few questions, but it seems like it's more than that.
SW: Yes, part of the process is someone coming out and completing what we call a physical requirement and asking some basic questions for the temporary approval. But my role involves a lengthy discussion about or persona and family history as well as getting medical, personal, as well as employer reference.
[I can see how this is confusing for some people when there are several people from the same agency involved in the process.]
[Supervisor: Did this put her more at ease? Reinforced her positive role -- nice job!]
W: It's no problem. B is a good kid and we're prepared to do what's necessary to be a resource for her.
SW: From what I have gathered, you have been a valuable resource for B. And she's lucky to have you in her life.
W: We see B. As an extended member of our family. We seriously consider being her placement resource, but after giving it some thought and came to the conclusion that I would be too much to do with all that we have going on with our own children. I do, however, want to stay involved and provide as much support as I can.
[I'm glad to see that although they want to help B, they also recognize that it is important not to disrupt their own family.]
SW: I think it's great you want to help and consider becoming a placement resource, but it is just as important to acknowledge our limitations and not disrupt our family in the process. If all they can do at this time is continue to be a visiting resource for B, it is still a very nice gesture.
[Supervisor: Great response!]
SW: Does your husband understand that I will also need to meet with him to gather his personal and family history?
W: He does not, but we have talked about it and we're both committed to this and he will do what is required of him. He does work in Boston for the MBTA so his schedule is very tricky.
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I just tend to go down on myself more. I've been very stressed out lately even though stress is not something I generally have a problem with. I don't know what's wrong.
W: Well, fear can make one uneasy and act differently from what one is used to. Do you think that there was something around you, a situation a symbol a person that made you feel even more fearful?