You work for your state’s child protection services as a case manager in the foster care division. Often, your days are unpredictable because your clients tend to see you only when in crisis. This particular morning, you arrive at the office to find a Jodi, an African American mother and her five children sitting outside of your office waiting for you. When you ask her how you can help, she tells you that she and the children were evicted from their home. Two of her five children are foster children who she has been taking care of for the past year. Jodi tells you through her tears that she allowed her brother, who was just released from jail to stay with them until he was able to find a job and save some money. He was caught smoking marijuana in his car in the parking lot of the apartment complex four months ago. The landlord decided that he did not want Jodi to live there anymore and notified her that when her lease ran out, she must leave. Jodi said that she did not believe her landlord and thought that he would change his mind, so she did not look for another home. Now she wants to return the foster children and wants you help her to find housing. She cannot stop crying as she tells you all of this and at times, raises her voice. While she is crying, the five children begin to pull things off your desk.
In the scenario for this unit’s discussion, the human service professional faces a client who is in the midst of a crisis. The human service professional has an opportunity to intervene with strategies to lessen the impact and reduce the stress response of the client and help to prevent future crisis.
As you have learned in your studies and experiences, after someone experiences a crisis, he or she usually feels motivated to make changes to prevent further crisis. The problem for most clients is that they will not know how to do this. Some of them might mistakenly assume that they will “just know” what to do next time. However, without planning and even training, clients often experience the same crises repeatedly. Your job as a human service professional is to help your clients stop the cycle of crisis.
With this in mind, respond to the questions below.
1. In the above scenario, identify the crisis event and the main problem leading to the crisis. Describe the problem in detail, thinking about whether the client might have missed cues that the crisis was approaching.
2. Propose culturally appropriate interventions that will stabilize the client’s situation and foster the development of self-sufficiency skills and prevention strategies to help prevent future situations from occurring.
3. How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention plan?