I’m studying and need help with a Social Science question to help me learn.
Review the Gavin Family Scenario listed below. What indicators suggest there is chronic neglect in the Gavin family? To what extent do you think contracting with a cleaning service to clean the house and/or providing the family with new furniture would have a long-lasting change for the Gavin Family?
Gavin Family Scenario
The Gavin family is not new to the agency. On this occasion, a call was received, alleging that the children were begging for food. The Gavin family home is unkempt and dirty. The sagging couch was piled high with mixed loads of dirty and clean, unfolded laundry. The front window has a large piece of cardboard covering the broken-out pane. The greasy kitchen table holds remnants of food: an open loaf of bread, soggy cereal in bowls, and an opened can of potted meat that looks rancid.
Ms. Gavin is a divorced woman in her mid-30’s and the mother of seven children. She is obese, weighing close to 300 pounds, and by her own admission, she seldom leaves the sofa. From her position on the couch, she talks on the telephone (mostly fending off bill collectors) and yells at the children when they cross her path. Ms. Gavin was the first-born child of a 16-year-old mother who ultimately had four children.
At about the age of 5, Ms. Gavin was placed in care after having been given up by her mother. She stayed institutionalized until the age of 10, when she was placed in a number of successive foster care homes. At the age of 16, she returned home to her mother for one year until she became pregnant with her oldest daughter, Joy, and moved out on her own. Joy is currently being raised by Ms. Gavin‘s mother, and Ms. Gavin has had no contact with either Joy or her mother in over two years. At the age of 18, Ms. Gavin began working in a poultry processing plant where she met “John,” whom she had a relationship with for 12 years but never married because “he had a wife someplace else.” John is the father of the her six children, but seldom comes around anymore, according to Ms. Gavin.
Ms. Gavin expects the 11-year-old daughter, Jennie, to take care of all of the other children. Jennie is older and larger than any of the other fourth-graders in her school and is frequently absent. Her mother allows this and expects Jennie to cook and clean when Ms. Gavin is not present. Lately, Jennie has been leaving the house pretending to go to school and has been found wandering the city on two occasions.
The 7-year-old, Jimmy, also often stays home from school, but Ms. Gavin says she does not mind because he is her “little man around the house.” However, she also says that she is concerned because he is failing in school and has no friends. Both Jennie and Jimmy have a speech impairment that makes it difficult to understand them and for which they are receiving special services at school.
The four preschoolers spend most of their day watching TV and squabbling. They seldom go outside. The children all bear the scars of a woman who cannot communicate joy, interest, or love. Yet, she clings to them tightly and says, “They are my whole life.”
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