Hard Choices: You've chosen to support Kelly and keep Carla at home with her
Although your choice would have allowed Kelly and Carla to stay together living independently in the flat, providing space at a nursery or with a childminder wouldn't guarantee Carla's safety: without round-the-clock protection, conflict could erupt while Carla was at home. It couldn't be guaranteed that Danny would stay away from the family home - he hadn't been given a custodial sentence, and both he and Kelly have previously disregarded the terms of his bail that he kept away. Reluctantly, your only option is to move Kelly and Carla into a supervised mother and baby home.
Kelly and Carla are moved to an emergency placement at a mother and baby home. This is only possible as Carla is considered to be at considerable risk. Although Kelly is able to provide basic care under stable conditions, she is not thought to be able to protect herself or Carla from Danny or to manage parenting and running a home safely when under extreme stress. It was decided that the household was not suitable for a young child and that Carla was at risk because of the potential violence and use of alcohol and drugs.
Kelly is upset about losing her home and independence, but at least she still has Carla with her. She knows that if she does not co-operate with the full residential assessment she may lose Carla.
Kelly is also sad about losing her relationship with Danny, although she accepts that without help she is not able to keep him away from Carla or change his behaviour.
Kelly and Carla have a long road ahead of them, but social services will be keen to provide as much support as possible now, to give Carla the best chance of staying with her mother and avoiding the care system. Kelly will have to make some difficult decisions about both her commitment to Carla and her relationship with Danny. Kelly's ability to be a safe parent will be judged as much on her ability to protect her daughter from others as on her ability to provide the love, care and secure environment needed for a growing child.
If helping Kelly through this fictional scenario has given you an interest in social work, why not explore The Open University's range of social work courses?
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 26th October 2004
Last updated on: Tuesday, 26th October 2004
- Body text - Copyright: The Open University
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