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A referral was made to Children’s Services by the school nurse who has been supporting Charlene Evans. Charlene is 12 years old; she is of African Caribbean/White heritage and has learning disabilities.


Assessment Task

Method of Assessment 

Case Study: 2000-word written assignment contributes to 100% of the final grade for the module.

Assessment Task

Drawing on research, legislation, policy, and academic sources, discuss the level of risk identified in the following case study. You must also balance the risks against any protective factors.

Guidance

Drawing on appropriate literature, you should identify what would be considered in an assessment of risk and why. You are required to draw on two or three themes that have been taught in this module, such as: child neglect, domestic violence, child sexual abuse (including CSE and HSB), criminal exploitation, contextual safeguarding, mental health, working with fathers, parenting capacity etc. You are not required to write an assessment for this task, you are being asked to consider risk and protective factors and to draw on the literature to underpin this discussion. The assignment should be written in the third person.


Case Study

Family members

Charlene Evans, aged 12

Nadia Kahn, aged 3

Dina Williams, aged 35, mother to the children

Ahmed Khan, aged 24, father to Nadia

Samuel Evans, aged 28, father to Charlene

A referral was made to Children’s Services by the school nurse who has been supporting Charlene Evans. Charlene is 12 years old; she is of African Caribbean/White heritage and has learning disabilities. In the referral the school nurse reports that she has had growing concerns about Charlene over the past 6 weeks. Charlene has not been mixing well with other children which is out of character, and her teachers have commented on her behaviour as becoming more disruptive and difficult to manage.

Charlene went to see the nurse this morning complaining of stomach pains. When the nurse examined Charlene, she was concerned about how thin she had become. Charlene was dirty and smelly, her skin was very dry, cracked, and sore, she had severe and extensive new and old bruising and bite marks to her chest, inner thighs, and buttocks. Upon weighing her, the nurse notes that Charlene has lost two stone in weight since starting at the school nine months ago. The nurse adds in the referral that Charlene appeared frightened when asked about the bruising and would not share how these had been caused. The nurse has not informed Charlene’s mother, Dina, of the referral.

Charlene’s father, Samuel (who no longer lives with Charlene and her mother) occasionally collects Charlene from school, but his whereabouts are currently unknown. Samuel and Dina have had a transient relationship since meeting when Samuel was 16. They met at a party where Samuel’s older friends introduced them. Samuel has a history of drug misuse and was known to Children’s Services as he was severely neglected by his parents. Samuel has a dislike of social workers and feels they let him down. There is some suggestion in the case history that Samuel may have been involved in a gang when he was younger, and that this is possibly where his drug abuse stemmed from.

Charlene now lives with her mother, her mother’s partner Ahmed Khan and their daughter Nadia aged 3, who is of African Caribbean/Pakistani heritage. In the referral the nurse reports that school have tried to discuss their concerns in the past many times, and again last week, about Charlene’s behaviour. On this occasion Samuel was present as he had collected Charlene from school, and the nurse had written to Dina after attempting to contact her by telephone several times. The nurse feels she has been met with little or no response/concern from parents.      

When Children’s Services completed initial checks, which included a search of the family’s history, it became evident that Dina had experienced some difficulties in 2019, when she had tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose. At that time, Dina told the hospital staff this was due to feeling overwhelmed by the needs of her family, the practical demands and stress from caring for Charlene. The family received a short intervention from early help when a family support worker was allocated to work with Dina to introduce more structure and routine with the children. Dina accessed a few sessions of counselling and seemed better in herself.

There is some reference made to Ahmed in the case notes, which suggests he helps to look after the children, such as bathing the children and putting them to bed. Dina sometimes goes to the neighbours during the evening and Ahmed stays at home and looks after the children. Although there is mention of Ahmed helping with the children, Ahmed seemed to be out a lot of the time when the support worker visited. Ahmed has a large family and would frequently visit his parents, and brothers and sisters. His sister works in property development and will sometimes take the children out for the day. Both Charlene and Nadia also visit Ahmed’s parents at the weekends.

The case was closed to early help as the family had engaged with the support offered and there had been no further referrals until the recent one from the school nurse.


Submission Date

Submission date 19th November 2020 by 6pm via ‘Turnitin’

  • Students will be fully introduced to the assessment task at the first teaching session. 
  • Please ensure that you include academic sources from the suggested reading list (see Section 4).   However, you may, of course, include other academic source material. 
  • We want to support you to do as well as you can in the assignment, and so there will be discussion about applying the learning to the assessment task in the taught sessions. Individual tutorials will also be available on request.

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