SOWK 601: Reflective Journal 2

Adrienne Brown


University of Southern California

Professor Alexander

Entry One: 10/01/2017-11/07/2017

This entry will encompass the parent support group that Samaritas has developed to help engage parents in their prevention and preservation program. The support group is a group that allows parents and families in the Protect Mifamily program, but it also allows children to create their own support network and develop relationships. The parents are provided with psychoeducation for various skills including parenting and mental health. It also brings in guest speakers that provide information regarding services within the community that the clients are eligible for.
The support group that is hosted monthly at Samaritas has been mainly for parents to learn and acquire different skills to help protect their children from harm. However, the children also meet monthly to do an activity together. They are given the time to be children as many of the children we serve are older siblings who often must help within the family home and help their parents with their siblings. To best serve the families within the community, it would be beneficial for the children's group time be used to provide children with activities that are educational and informative; choosing a topic every month to discuss, but also having an activity that allows the children to learn skills and tools during difficult times or to cope with things that have occurred previously and/or problems that might arise in the future.
The article on psychoeducation groups for children and adolescents provides informative information about how to incorporate activities that are used to develop therapeutic factors (Waack, 2006). Incorporating activities that provide therapeutic techniques allow children and adolescents to develop decision making skills, positive coping skills, to explore feelings and also for reflection on experiences and strengths (Waack, 2006). This article is powerful to child welfare clients as there are often allegations of abuse and/or neglect and their feelings and experiences are often overlooked because the goals focus on parents and what they need to provide their families with stability and safety. The support group for the children is an opportunity for us as the case workers to enhance the children's resiliency and coping skills
Entry Two: 11/02/2017
The agency that I am currently interning at does not provide direct clinical services to clients as it is a case management job, but the agency has room to provide families with interventions to help them be successful in the long-term. One particular family that I have been working with is a single-parent family; the mother who is 24 and has four children ages 8, 5, 3 and 1. The 5 and 3-year-old have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The 8-year-old is diagnosed with ADHD. Both ADHD and ASD diagnoses have increased dramatically over the past 10 years; increased rates of medication for ADHD have also increase by 70% in the past 10 years (Walkup, Stossel & Rendleman, 2014). Medication treatment for ADHD has increased. The article stresses the importance of the under treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents (Walkup, Stossel & Rendleman, 2014).
Initially, I was not sure how to help the family cope with the mental health diagnoses of the children. I have basic child development and understand that Autism was a disorder in which children may not be aligned chronologically with their age. But how could I help this family communicate and care for their children with special needs? After reading the articles, it was clear to me that the children I have been working with that are diagnosed with ADHD could possibly benefit from medication treatment in addition to their individual and family therapy.
At first working with children who have been diagnosed with ASD was intimidating, but reading the articles has provided me with a deeper knowledge and understand of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is also a diagnosis that has drastically increased over the past 10 years; 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with ASD (Schohl, Van Hacker, Carson, Dolan, Karst & Stevens, 2014). The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) approach seemed that it would be a beneficial approach to working with the children diagnosed with ASD as the mother has demonstrated difficulty with understanding