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Sandra is a 28-year-old mother of two who has struggled with substance use issues for close to 10 years. She has two children: Kayla, age 4, and 9-month-old Joshua. While Sandra and Kayla’s father John are no longer together, he is still active in their lives and has Kayla 3 days a week. Joshua’s father moved away and is not actively involved in their lives. Sandra and John have a strong coparenting relationship, and John often helps Sandra with care for both children. While Sandra's substance use has historically been a source of tension between the two of them, he has also been supportive of her while she has pursued treatment in the past.

Sandra considers herself to be an engaged mom. She sings songs, plays age appropriate games with both Kayla and Joshua, and is in tune to their needs and limits. But, she recognizes that there have been times when drug use has negatively impacted her parenting. When Kayla was two, a child neglect report was filed on Sandra. While no case was opened, Sandra viewed it as a wake-up call and successfully completed a 90-day inpatient treatment program to break her drug habit. Sandra’s mother kept Kayla during the week, and Kayla's father kept her on the weekends while Sandra was in treatment. Kayla had problems expressing herself during this time. Sometimes, she had temper tantrums, while other times she clung to her grandmother and was afraid that she would leave her.

Once Sandra came home, she remained drug free until recently. Sandra was prescribed painkillers as part of her recovery from Joshua’s birth and has been gradually increasing her substance use combining prescription and street drugs. She recognizes the drug use is getting in the way of both parenting and work but doesn’t know exactly how to stop or where to turn for help.

Which Protective Factors Are Present In The Scenario?



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