Home Forums Class 6 Considerations for Mental Illness

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  • #5256 Reply

      What considerations would you take when working a case with a child who experiences mental illness?

    #5503 Reply
    Anastasia Warden

    I would collect information regarding the child’s diagnosis (if a diagnosis has been made) and try to get some sense of how best to communicate with the child. This might include becoming aware of potential triggers for the child as well as getting to know the signs that a child has been triggered and/or is suffering. I would do my best to ensure the child receives the services appropriate for their mental illness and that the child’s placement is able to support any needs the child may have – therapeutic, educational, etc ….

    I would also remind myself constantly that this child may act in a way I don’t expect and that it is my job to navigate those differences and to not question the child as to “why would you do something like that?”

    #5515 Reply
    Suzanne Doll

    I would educate myself regarding the child’s mental health diagnosis, (symptoms), and be aware of medication he/she may be taking and potential side effects. For example, if a medication makes a child tired. I would also want to know who is monitoring the child taking the medication or if the child refuses to take medication that was prescribed. I would communicate with professionals who may be providing therapeutic services to the child to ensure the child is attending appointments and taking medication (if warranted). I would also listen to the child when they speak about their mental health to determine if there is anything else that needs to be addressed, or maybe, the child feels overwhelmed. I would not engage in counseling or “offer advice” to the child and would be mindful of my interactions with the child as to not overstep boundaries.

    #5517 Reply
    Cathy Skinner

    I would familiarize myself with the child’s history, family situation and trauma. I’d speak with their doctors and therapists to understand their medical needs and how long (if any) they’ve been on their medications. I’d try to engage with the child respectfully but carefully. I would make sure that whatever environment that child is placed in, the adult in charge is sympathetic and understands that this is an illness and make sure they have patience.

    #5519 Reply
    Judith McGuinness

    I would engage with the psychiatric/therapy team first to be clear on the child’s diagnosis (if there is one) and medications (if applicable). I would make sure to familiarize with symptoms and possible side effects of medications. I would speak with the the resource parent to check on how the child’s behavior and affect has been and to make sure the resource parent is monitoring medication. I would speak to the child, trying to avoid any triggers and ask them how they are feeling and if they feel they are lacking in any way (age appropriateness).

    #5525 Reply
    Peter Manuel

    It would be important to get the opinions and evaluations of all those involved with the child, including relatives, resource or bio parents, physicians, teachers. Side effects of meds, such as fatigue, would also have to be explored. I would of course want to chat with the child as much as possible in order to get my own impressions of his/her behavior.

    #5530 Reply
    Alondra Palacios

    I would familiarize myself with the child’s medical history and diagnosis. I would also make myself knowledgeable in the child’s medications and possible side effects. Many times, the medication can really effect a child in multiple aspects. I would want to make sure that the medications are having little to none of a negative influence in the child’s life.

    #5531 Reply
    mindy felixbrod

    I would want to find out the specific mental illness and how the diagnosis was determined. I would familiarize myself with the medication prescribed and it’s side effects. I would talk to all the relevant adults involved to see how they feel this child is affected by his diagnosis and make sure there are proper resources and support for the child. I would try to see how medication is administered to see if regularity exists -I would want to talk to the child about they feel physically and emotionally about the diagnosis and treatment if they are old enough to have this conversation.

    #5534 Reply
    Amy Aynedjian

    I would review the child’s
    Case history including any medical/psychological input from physicians and familiarize myself with the diagnosis. My interviews with therapists would hopefully reflect intelligent questions that pertain to the diagnosis of the child . For example, In your medical opinion is the child receiving the proper medications at the proper dosages at the proper time of day !
    At times it can be vital to take the medications at a particular time of day in order for the child to feel the full effect of the meds. I know parents with ADHD sometimes take their children off meds on long school vacations and summers so it would be important to make sure the child can function properly with the medications that they are taking . We also discussed how sometimes children are over medicated and need more therapy whether it be trauma or behavioral. We are a society quick to put children on medication when maybe a child can receive help in other perfectly healthy ways. As a CASA of a child with mental illness I would want to see the whole picture before righting up my court recommendations. Definitely visiting the child at different times and checking in with school to see how they react in a school setting.

    #5573 Reply
    Shama Thakkar

    I would familiarize myself with the type of mental illness my child has and read up on it. I would also interview the child’s doctors and therapists to better understand the situation and any medications the child might be taking.

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