She has 4 sisters and was in her own words “the last chance for her mother to have a boy”. A year after Laura’s birth her father left the family and they have not heard from him ever since. She feels she was hated by her mother and sisters as they blamed her for her dad leaving the family (“If only she was a boy… life would have been different for everyone.”).
Searching for self-reaffirmation and reciprocation of her sentiments she has had many unhappy relationships and has been physically and sexually abused by 3 of her past partners.
Laura’s first son was taken into care at the age of 2, due to neglect and abuse (abuse was due to her OCD as any sort of disorder in the house is upsetting for her and she used to punish the small boy for “messing around all the time…”). He was subsequently adopted.
Laura gave birth to her second son while she was hospitalised under Mental Health Act (1983). Her son was taken into care after birth and subsequently adopted, as it was judged that Laura was not in a position to care for her son.
Laura is 7 months pregnant and has stopped taking her medication once again. She has become depressed and very anxious and seems to have great difficulty in dealing with her emotions. She is angry most of the time and has told her social worker that all she wants is “a baby to love her….” Her social worker and social services are concerned that her mental health and a combination of different factors may affect Laura’s parental capacity making her unable to care for her child.
The social services is convening a pre-birth conference to discuss possible alternatives and try to establish the best way forward. You are the social worker in the meeting.
- What is your analysis of the situation and its prospects?
- What is your recommendation as a way forward?
- What are the reasons behind your recommendation?
- What services, safeguards and support will you put in place?
- Will you recommend the child should be taken into care?
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