Eric P’s mother passed away when he was 10 years old. His parents had been divorced and in legal battles for years. When she passed away at 36 years old, Eric was shipped off to a military academy, against his will and his older brother, who was 15 years old went to live with his grandparents in Florida. They could not care for both children as they were elderly, infirm, and had financial problems of their own. Eric is now 15 years old and he left the military academy where he claims that he was mistreated and abused His brother, who is 20 years old, has his own apartment and a job and agreed for Eric to live with him while he finished high school. Eric rarely sees his father, who is wealthy, but gives just enough for food and clothing to his sons from his first marriage. There are now two children from his current marriage and he does not want the boys to come to his home. His brother is a frequent user of drugs and alcohol, has girlfriends that sleep over and Eric is forced to either sleep on the floor or on the couch.
The social worker from the school Eric now attends has been seeing Eric for a few months, trying to help him feel more settled, make some friends, and start a new life, but he has been falling deeper into a depression and the social worker is concerned for his safety and well-being. She asks Eric for permission to call his father and Eric agrees. When his father is called, he refuses to come to a meeting, even when he is told that Eric may need to be hospitalized for a severe depressive mood disorder. His response is that ‘he is just like his mother’. Eric’s mother did suffer from depression, but it was managed with medications, and she died of breast cancer, having nothing to do with her psychiatric state of mind.
Feeling very concerned, the social worker turns to the principal of the school to see what interventions they could take to convince the father to participate in Eric’s illness and well-being. The principal states that ‘the school does not have jurisdiction of a parent who lives out of state and does not want to participate on their own. The only other choice would be to take the father to court. The social worker would like to pursue this path, but the principal is not on board.
- What is the value conflict? Who is the conflict between?
- State the Preferred Conceptions of People for each of the parties.
- State the Preferred Outcomes for People for each of the parties.
- State the Preferred Instrumentalities for each of the parties.
- If the parties are somewhat aligned in their desired outcome for the client, where did the conflict arise?
- What would you do, if you could, to resolve this conflict?
- What questions remain for you in this case?