Gonzalez Family Case Study:
Jorge and Maria have been married for 20 years and have three children, Jose 19, Hector 16, and Luz 13. Jorge’s parents emigrated from Colombia to Tennessee as young adults, but Jorge was born in the United States. Maria immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico with her parents and grandparents as a young child. Jorge is 40 years old and Maria is 36. Jorge completed high school, but Maria did not. Jorge has had a steady well-paying job with benefits as a prison guard for the past five years. Prior to that, his employment was unstable. Maria works in a local hotel in the housekeeping department. She receives no health or retirement benefits.
Both parents and children are in reasonably good health, although Hector was recently diagnosed with ADHD. During elementary school, Hector needed glasses to correct a vision problem. Luz is doing well academically, but is extremely shy and does not speak up in class. Jose dropped out of school in the 10th grade against his parents’ wishes, and has been engaged in various low wage jobs on and off since then. He used to be a stand out athlete on the school’s soccer team.
Both Hector and Luz are beginning to experience some problems in school. Luz is having academic problems, and Hector is displaying disruptive behaviors in school. Their parents have been asked to meet with their teachers and the school social worker. They are told that over the past few weeks, Hector has failed to complete several assignments, and has been late for school on five separate occasions. Additionally, he is becoming disruptive in class (i.e., talking inappropriately, not paying attention to his teachers’ instructions). Hector abruptly quit the baseball team and failed to keep an appointment with the coach. Luz has become even more withdrawn than usual, and does not interact with his peers. These behaviors represent a change in both children’s established patterns of cooperation and above average school performance. Hector and Luz do not participate in any after school programs because of cost. The older children have always looked after the younger children when the parents are not at home, or they go to their grandparents’ home, which is not far away.
Please respond to the following:
1. Select two of the three children (do not select two from the same age category) and discuss in detail the biological, psychological, social and cultural influences on the developmental stage for each child selected. Identify each child by name and stage of development at the beginning of your response.
2. For each of the two children selected, describe factors that appear to be supportive for healthy development and factors that may potentially hinder healthy development. Base your response on what is given as well as what can be reasonably inferred from the information presented, and previous knowledge from HBSE I and other social work courses.
3. Identify and briefly discuss three factors related to family background or current family functioning (not presented in the case study) that are critical to your understanding of the developmental issues for this family. In other words, what additional information (limit to three categories) do you think are necessary for effective assessment and intervention?
4. Identify the role of formal organizations and communities and state how these systems support or hinder the family’s social functioning.