A few posts back when I stated that my blogging ways would be declining due to my workload at school, John Dobbs asked me to post tidbits that I picked up in my coursework here and there that might be of interest to readers at large. And really, who can say “no” to John Dobbs? In light of that, I will occasionally drop some info on those who pass through here. The information will be broken up by course and/or topic.
There are a lot more children who meet the criteria for being at-risk than any of us would like to think. What are these children at-risk of?A short list would include: being verbally, physically, or sexually abused; using drugs and engaging in criminal activity (both of these at younger and younger ages), being neglected, pregnancy, and getting lost in the system (perpetually in foster care or juvenile detention).
Most Social service networks are woefully lacking in resources to address this in a meaningful way. One of the more appalling examples of this that I know of is a county that has used up all of their resources for housing children who are removed from their homes. As a result, these kids (who have already been victimized) are being warehoused (there is really no other word for it) in juvenile detention. Shocked yet?
One of the books assigned for this course is the novel America, by E.R. Frank. If you want to see a worst-case scenario of what can happen to a kid in the system, read it. It rattled my cage.
I am preparing a presentation on community outreach efforts for at-risk children. If you want to know more, stay tuned.
Mental, Emotional, & Behavioral Disorders
Having worked with clients with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse issues for over 7 years, some of this is old-hat to me. However, the new stuff is (to me, at least) fascinating. A two-point summary: (1) We still don’t know much about disorders, and (2) it is critical to ask your doctor a lot of questions about any medication that he/she prescribes, especially if it is a psychotropic medication. It is your right and you would be astonished at the side effects of a lot of these drugs.
I am preparing a fun assignment for this class called Diagnosis: Hollywood. We have to select a character from a movie who exhibits behavior indicating a mental health diagnosis, identify the diagnosis, and make a presentation to the class justifying our diagnosis with clips from the film and criteria from volume four of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (a.k.a the DSM IV). I will give you a hint as to my character and movie: He is played by Russell Crowe, but the movie is not A Beautiful Mind. More as it develops.
Research for Social Work Practice
I have learned that I hate statistics. With a passion.
Take care and have a good week.