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 Joshua, age 9 months. Although Sandra is no longer with Kayla's father, John, 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 2 years old, 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?
Select the correct answers below.
Correct. Sandra considers herself an engaged parent. She spends time with them singing and playing games. Also, she was motivated in the past to successfully complete treatment in an effort to keep Kayla.
Correct. Sandra sings songs, plays age-appropriate games, and is in tune to their needs and limits. Sandra also recognizes that drugs are getting in the way of her parenting, which implies that she has a standard for quality parenting and knows she is not currently meeting that standard.
Correct. Sandra’s awareness and acceptance that her substance use is impacting her parenting opens the door to concrete conversations about creating plans to ensure that both children will be cared for if and when she is using. Revisit the conditions and supports that helped Sandra successfully complete treatment and stay off substances in the past.
Incorrect. Although Sandra has a strong coparenting relationship with John, who also often helps with Joshua, her only other connection is her mother. She needs to build up her social connections beyond family.
Correct. Sandra has successfully completed treatment and has an understanding of treatment services and what is required. Sandra also receives support from John, who often helps Sandra out with care for both children.
Correct. Kayla had problems adjusting while her mother was in treatment. How can Sandra and John learn more about how to address the children’s social and emotional needs?
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