Home Forums Class 6 Mental Illness with Parent

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  • #5258 Reply

    How might mental illness in a parent on your case impact how you work the case and the recommendations you make?

    #5504 Reply
    Anastasia Warden

    It would be important that I gain some understanding of the parent’s condition. How does this condition limit the parent? What services / treatments are available to the parent? Are they seeking out / attending those treatments? What are realistic expectations for that parent and is it possible for the parent to both cope with this condition and be a full time caregiver? The answers to those questions would mean a lot in terms of my recommendations for the child’s placement.

    #5514 Reply
    Suzanne Doll

    If I was aware that a bio parent was diagnosed with a mental illness, I would want to know if they are in treatment and if so, are they compliant with treatment and medications if prescribed. I would also want to be aware of symptoms associated with the diagnosis so I will be aware of how the parent may/may not present. Understanding how the parent views his/her mental health would also be helpful to determine if the parent will remain compliant with treatment recommendations and their overall motivation to parent. It is important to remain nonjudgmental when working with parents who may be dealing with a mental illness as to not stigmatize further.

    #5518 Reply
    Cathy Skinner

    I would familiarize myself with the specific condition that this parent suffered from. I’d find out if they are on any medications, and if they are consistently taking those medications. What is their diagnosis from a professional? Can they, if treated, effectively care for this child? Do they have the motivation to work on their illness in order to reunify with their child?

    #5520 Reply
    Judith McGuinness

    I would speak with the treatment team of the parent and inquire about their history, especially if the parent is taking meds. I would familiarize myself with symptoms and side effects of medication and make sure parent is compliant with taking meds and going to scheduled appointments. Are the parent and therapist working on a crisis plan in case something adverse should happen and the parent needs extra support.

    #5521 Reply
    Amy Aynedjian

    If I was made aware that the bio parent on my case has a mental illness I would definitely want to interview someone familiar with the parents Medical/mental history.
    I would recommend a psych evaluation and treatment/counseling and if they were off their medications I would recommend the court to order parent to Disclose daily
    Medications and if they are regularly taken which doesn’t seem like an easy task as people can lie or take medications when they feel the onset of severe symptoms instead of daily maintenance.
    As we read Marky’s case his Mom did suffer from Bipolar disorder and we were made aware that her disorder affected how she parented Marky.
    When she was emotionally high she was a “fun” parent and when she was low she didn’t feel like getting out of bed so Marky was forced to act like a parent and take care of her .
    Mental illness is a complicated situation and can not be treated lightly.

    #5524 Reply
    Peter Manuel

    I would want to know more specifically about the nature of the parent’s illness, the status of his/her medications, and the prognosis for the future. I would certainly take her condition into consideration when talking to her. However, I would also refrain from dismissing her credibility and competence, since ‘mental illness’ is of course a vague category, with many levels of competence etc. Many people with, e.g., bipolar disorder are competent as long as they get their meds. It would be be essential to get commentary from others around her, and her physician.

    #5532 Reply
    mindy felixbrod

    Mental Illness is a disease that needs to be treated. I would try to find out all I can about the parents compliancy with medication and history. I would see if there are services that can help the parent so they can be a better functioning care giver. I would try to assess the motivation of the parent for doing the work and see if there was services to change the motivation if it was not high. I would try to find out the type of meetings the parent had previously and how they went and try to see if I could approach it differently is its not ideal.

    #5533 Reply
    Alondra Palacios

    It is important to be aware and knowledgeable of the parent’s condition. I do agree with what Peter said above. Although the parent has a mental illness, I would not discredit them or have a biased opinion on whether they are fit to take care of a child. There is a huge social stigma when it comes to mental illness and a lot of it comes from a lack of knowledge of the illnesses. At the end of the day though, my main concern is advocating for the child’s needs and what is best for them.

    #5574 Reply
    Shama Thakkar

    As stated by many above, mental illness is a disease that requires treatment. I would observe and take note to see if the parent is actually getting helo, and if so, what changes they made thus far. Mainly, I am concerned that the child is in a safe environment.

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