A clinical psychologist
Assume that you are a clinical psychologist, or a mental health counselor, in private practice. You evaluate a sexually-developed twelve-year old girl for the state social service agency. The girl is seriously in need of placement in a residential treatment facility to help her cope with a chronic post-traumatic stress disorder related to early parental abuse, and which appears to be fueling a growing conduct disorder. Without such a treatment regimen you perceive her as being highly at risk for illegal activity, drug-abuse, early pregnancy, and for being manipulated and abused by older males who have already attempted to prostitute her on the streets—an event that, luckily, never transpired. In the last two years she has displayed escalating behavioral difficulties in school and has repeatedly drawn the attention of law enforcement personnel, who are also concerned about her. She has been in foster care since the age of six. The state informs you that there are no services available for your client unless someone in her family of origin can cover the costs of the residential treatment program. Her father is in prison and her mother’s whereabouts are unknown. During a staffing on this client, you discover that there is a list of over thirty such pre-teen girls in need of this same deep-end residential treatment service. Given what you know about your home community, formulate a plan designed to address, or to attempt to address, this service gap for this client and the other girls in need of the same service.
In responding to this case, consider:
What you would or could do.
What are the potential costs or benefits of you taking on this advocacy role?
For you, personally.
For the community.
What are the available resources?
What are the other sources of support within your community that can help?