You are a caseworker and you have just received a file with this family’s name on it. This family has needs collectively, as well as individually. As you will see, there is not a lot of initial information, however the information that you have been given is packed with concerns and possible needs.
Luis, 41, and Maria, 40 have immigrated to the US from Paraguay with their seven children and Luis’ parents. Luis and Maria have started a new business. Luis’ father has died, leaving a grieving elderly mother. Maria, who thought she was experiencing menopause, is actually pregnant and Luis has just found out that he has a progressive, debilitating disease.
After reading the file, you must start preparing to meet with this family. You need to start thinking about needs the minute you get this folder. Let’s start there. Do they speak English? What should you do in case they do not? This should cue you to future needs as well. Think about the children. Who may need to know that the children will be enrolling in the school system (school counselor)? Who may need to realize the history of this family and that these children will have needs? (They have moved to a new country.) I wonder what services we could find to help keep the kids busy and interacting outside the home. What about grief? This entire family has gone through many changes. What do you think may be beneficial regarding these changes?
Maria is 40. Does being 40 and pregnant raise any red flags for you? She is caring for a grieving family, 7 children and her ill husband. I am wondering if any churches or any local volunteer services could help her. I wonder what type of healthcare/prenatal care she is receiving or if she realizes the importance of prenatal care. I wonder if she has insurance or if she will need to go to a clinic for care. What about Luis? The same attention needs to be placed on providing care for him as well.
This family is experiencing overwhelming changes. Sometimes when working with clients if they have a visual aid, such as an Ecomap, they can relate to the magnitude of change and they can relate to interventions better as well.
An Ecomap is really for you to use as a tool to help explain to clients what their relationships are to things (you will place these “things/topics” in outlying circles), and then you will use the key to display the relationship between the two.
Example: Maria is a solo circle within the big circle. She will need an outlying “healthcare” circle that has a connection line to her solo inner circle. She should have a thick line going between the circles to display a strong relationship, as well as a dashed line to display stress. Luis, who is represented as a solo square in the large middle circle, will have the same lines representing the relationship of a strong connection and stress to the healthcare circle, because he too will need healthcare. (She will need pre-natal care and he will need medical care for his debilitating disease).
Write Part B of this assignment with the intention of explaining your Ecomap to the client. This means you will need to address everything on your Ecomap with clarity and simplicity.
“The ecomap is a wonderful tool that practitioners use to assess specific troubles and plan interventions for the client. The ecomap is a drawing of the client/family in its social environment. An ecomap is usually drawn jointly by the social worker and the client. It helps both the worker and the client achieve a holistic or ecological view of the client’s family life and the nature of the family’s relationship with groups, associations, organizations, other families, and individuals.
The technique helps users (clients and practitioners), gain insight into clients’ problems and better sort out how to make constructive changes. The technique provides a “snapshot view” of important interactions at a particular point in time” (Pg. 579).
You are to have no less than 10 numbered circles on the ecomap. Each numbered circle will coincide with the same numbered paragraph in Part B. (10 topics = 10 paragraphs)
Part “A” of this assignment is the eco-map drawing.
Part “B” of this assignment are the explanation paragraphs that explain what the ecomap drawing means.
Circle # 1 on the Eco-map “Part A”, will be explained in paragraph #1 in part “Part B”.
Circle #2 on the Eco-map will be explained in paragraph #2 in “Part B”, and so on.
Your outer topic circle may be attached to more than one name inside the center circle. This is fine. This means that you will address each person that you have connected to the outer topic circle.
You will also be providing TWO resources for each person(s) and their topic that you are addressing. You will explain how the resources could be beneficial for the person.
You are to provide the name, address and phone number of each resource. You are to research the area where you live and provide resources from your area. If you need to research the next closest town then do so.
Do not provide a link as a resource. You must open the link that you wish to provide as a resource and provide the client with a name, address and a contact number for service. Do not expect this family to know how to navigate a computer.
If I were writing this assignment, I would start with Luis and address his needs, as well as my intentions as his caseworker. For example, I would make a list for myself and write down everything that is concerning to me regarding Luis. Do not submit your own list in this assignment.
Example of my concerns:
1. I know Luis has a progressive debilitating disease. (What assistance is needed?)
2. I know Luis has just started a new business. (What assistance is needed?)
3. I know his father has recently died. (The stress! The grief!)
4. I know his elderly mother is grieving, and this must be concerning Luis. (Stressful!)
5. I know his wife is pregnant. (The stress!)
You should be able to look at this short example and come up with more than one concern to place in an outer circle. Explain your concern and provide at least two resources for each concern in “Part B”.
I would move to Maria in this same manner and write my concerning notes, then the children, and then the Grandmother. Address everyone please. Their care is placed in your hands.
Do not forget the “key” on your ecomap. Without the key, I will not know how to translate “relationship lines” in your diagram. You are to explain the relationship of the lines that extend to the outlying circles from the person in your inner circle. Ex: If you draw a stress line,
(—————-), explain why you feel that there is a stressful connection. Explain the stressors. You may also draw a thick line (______________), to display a strong relationship to a circle that already has another identifying line as well.
You may construct your own “key”, however, here are a few traditional symbols.
*Triangles are often used to represent children.
*Circles are often used to represent females.
*Squares are often used to represent males.
*An “X” on a representation indicates death.
Case Scenario and Instructions
Luis, 41, and Maria, 40 have immigrated to the US from Paraguay with their seven children and parents. Luis and Maria have started a new business. Luis’ father has died, leaving a grieving elderly mother. Maria, who thought she was experiencing menopause, is actually pregnant and Luis has just found out that he has a progressive, debilitating disease.
A. Draw an ecomap using the provided information. Ecomaps are discussed in Chapter 12. A word template for an ecomap is attached.
B. Discuss each of the 10-outlying circle’s in depth in paragraph form.
You are to address each concern in section B, as well as possible resources regarding assistance for each concern that you place in an outlying circle. You must explain the relationship between the concern and the resource. Explain how the resource can potentially benefit the person(s). 2 resources per person/topic.
You may address the children in groups such as “older and younger”, or as “upper school, middle school, elementary school, preschool, and still at home”. This will enable you to address concerns and needs without being specific to individual children. However, individual needs may surface as you continue to work with this family.
Here is an example that you may use:
I would write in one outlying circle: ESL (English as a Second Language).
I would explain in paragraph from that I would assess if the family speaks English, and if they do not I would have at least two resources for them to select classes/instruction from. I would have a line from my outlying ESL circle to the family members. I would certainly try to locate free English classes as resources as well. (Explore what resources are available in your community and share the contact information.) I would also explain in my paragraph how not speaking English is a concern because it could create unnecessary barriers or boundaries for this family.