Stella is a 32-year-old Aboriginal woman who due to mental health issues, lost custody of her three children three years ago. She is now on medication, and her condition has stabilised. She is seeking to have her children re-instated. In the meantime, you have been supporting her to make positive changes in her life situation, including finding suitable accommodation for herself and her children, and securing long-term employment. Then her partner (the father of her children), is released after five years in prison. This is very traumatic for Stella, as he was physically and emotionally abusive to her and her children, and she fears what will happen if he tries to return. She also fears that his presence will have an impact on her regaining custody of her children. In recent weeks you have noticed that her behaviour is not as stable as it has been, and that your focus has shifted from maintenance to crisis.
Provide 4 questions you would ask Stella to assess her current situation. Explain why you would ask each of these questions.
Stella is a 32-year-old aboriginal woman who lost her children due to mental health issues and now after she recovered her illness, wants to take her three children’s custodies. Stella’s partner is released after five years in prison. Thus, Stella is feared about the fact that if her partner interferes with her decision and tries to return to them. In this context, for assessing Stella’s current situation, below 4 questions would be asked. a. Do you think you are able to take care your children?
This is the basic question for which the assessment is done. This question would help to assess the self confidence and perception of Stella about her current situation (Kneisl and Trigoboff 2012). Based on the answer of this question, the level of motivation and support required by Stella would be determined.
a. What are the constrains do you think you would have while taking custody of your children?
This is one of the most vital questions which could be asked to Stella. It would help to understand the background of Stella from which she might have some risk in future. From the answers of this question the care providers would be able to make a risk management plan for her (Townsend 2014).
b. What are the reasons behind a negative relationship with your partner and why do you that your partner would have a negative impact on your children?
From the case scenario, it has been revealed that her partner was in prison and Stella was afraid of his release from prison. Thus, it is necessary to know if there was any past history of negative incidence within Stella and his husband for which Stella do not want to keep her children in his touch (Dossey et al. 2012).
c. Do you know about the community services from which you seek help to support your current situation?
To support Stella’s current situation, there are a number of community services. Thus, it is necessary to assess whether she is aware of these services of not, because, based on her knowledge her case management plan would be prepared Esther Thatcher (MSN and Eunhee Park BSN 2012).
2. Goals set for current crisis
Based on the current status of Stella, her care providers should set some goals for managing the crisis
- Enhancing Stella’s confidence through person-centered counseling
- Ensuring her and her children’s safety and social well being
- Ensuring her entire recovery of mental illness
- Ensuring her financial stability and finding a suitable accommodation for her family
- Ensuring Stella’s partner’s well being
The local community services would assist Stella to manage the crisis situation. The local stakeholders who assist women from domestic violence include:
Penrith Women's Health Centre
The organization gives both medical as well as complementary health care to women, especially who are the victims of domestic abuse. All the services are provided in low cost (Anderson and St Hilaire 2012). The counseling service is provided here which is an important aspect for Stella. Thus, this service would be suitable for her.
Local police service would be helpful for Stella to get back her children’s custody and to reduce the chance of domestic violence from her partner upon her children.
Aboriginal legal services
As Stella has a root from Aboriginal community, the Aboriginal legal services would be helpful for her. It is a community-run organization in NSW, Australia which gives free legal services to the aboriginal people. It is important for Stella because, it will help her to get back her children’s custody and to avoid her partner’s involvement in her family.
NSW Department of Community Services
This service would help Stella to engage with the community with a healthy mental condition. The community service would assist her to get financial support and engage with long term employment.
3. Six Step Model for Crisis respond
According to the six step model for crisis respond, while planning a case management plan for women like Stella, the possible alternatives should be examined. There are three possible alternatives for Stella, a) supporting Stella to assess her situational resources or her family members to take care of her. It would promote seeking help from police and community support centers discussed earlier. Here, Stella’s partner could be assessed and can be asked about his problem. An attempt to make their family could be taken by the social support organization. b) Helping Stella to identify the coping mechanisms, behaviors and the environmental resources, which could be used to go through the present situation and the third alternative is c) assisting her to assess her thinking patterns to alter her perception about the problem, thereby decreasing the anxiety level (Gavin et al. 2014). Here, the person-centered counseling would be applicable where Stella would be assisted to reduce her fear. She would be assured that all the physical and financial resources would be provided to her to cope with this situation.
Anderson, D.R. and St Hilaire, D., 2012. Primary care nursing role and care coordination: An observational study of nursing work in a community health center. Online journal of issues in nursing, 17(2), p.E1.
Dossey, B.M., Certificate, C.D.I.N.C., Keegan, L. and Co-Director International Nurse Coach Association, 2012. Holistic nursing. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Esther Thatcher MSN, R.N. and Eunhee Park BSN, R.N., 2012. Evolving public health nursing roles: focus on community participatory health promotion and prevention. Online journal of issues in nursing, 17(2), p.B1.