All students are required to read the following case study which has a number of identifiable issues that relate to content covered in the module. Please address the questions below, making reference to relevant theory, legislation, policy and practice.
Eve, aged 9 lived with her mother (26 year old Gemma) her mother’s partner (25 year old Nathaniel) and her younger sister (nine month old Sasha) in a one bedroom high rise flat provided through social housing. Eve slept on the sofa in the flat because she did not have her own room. Gemma did not work and was a full time carer for Eve and Sasha. Gemma was suffering from depression and was in contact with a social worker because she was struggling to take care of both Eve and Sasha. Eve occasionally spent nights at her grandmother’s home and was now spending an extended period of time there after a serious domestic violence incident occurred in her home. The police had been called out to Eve’s home on a number of occasions to deal with disruptive behaviour in and outside of her home.
At school, teachers had observed that Eve was often absent or late for school and on occasion, had been left waiting with a teacher for her mother to collect her at the end of the school day. Eve rarely had sufficient food in her lunch box (usually a sandwich and a biscuit). She had also started to get in trouble at school; she had become confrontational with other children and was failing to complete her homework. When the teacher asked Eve about this, she reported that she could not find a peaceful time or space to do her homework and was struggling to get any sleep at home because at night, Eve shared the living room with her dog and he often woke her.
The family had recently been defined as one of the government’s ‘troubled families’, under the Troubled Families programme and assigned a key worker, who was working with them on a number of issues. The family have mixed feelings about receiving help and working with the key worker.
Why is the state intervening in this family? Is this legitimate? Consider the tripartite relationship between the family, child and the state and whether the issues this family face are public or private concerns.
What might the family gain from being the recipients of state intervention?
In what ways might being defined as ‘troubled’ and experiencing intervention in the family be considered as troubling for this family?