Discussion Post 2

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Miranda: Social isolation and parenting

Miranda is a 28-year-old married, heterosexual woman who comes to this family service agency seeking support following the recent death of her mother. Miranda complains of feeling sad every day, having difficulty sleeping, and parenting her three children, Marta, age 8, Jose, age 5, and Teresa, age 3. Miranda and her family moved here from South America six years ago. Her husband found employment with a trucking company that paid significantly more money than he could earn in South America. Miranda’s mother moved with them and lived with Miranda, her husband, and her children when she died. Miranda’s mother was diagnosed with stage 4 metastasized lung cancer eight months ago. One month before Miranda’s initial appointment, her death was surprising to Miranda as she hoped that the treatment would work and result in remission. Miranda reports with pride that her elder daughter Marta is doing well in second grade. She describes her as a “good girl” who helps around the house and helps Miranda care for the younger children. Jose is currently attending pre-school. Miranda reports some concerns about his behavior as preschool teachers have expressed concern that he may have ADHD. He is often in trouble at school, has difficulty following directions and focusing on simple tasks such as drawing pictures and listening during story circles. She reports that her relationship with her husband is good and a “good man,” but he is frequently away from home due to his job, which sometimes requires that he transport materials across the state. He is sometimes away from home for 2 or 3 nights in a row. Miranda presents as very sad and tearful. She is seeking some relief from her sadness and coping with the general stress of her current life circumstances.

Questions: ● Considering the context of Miranda’s life and recent stressors, what specific factors might place her at risk for social isolation? ● In what ways might Miranda’s social isolation compromise her parenting? ● What questions might the social worker ask Miranda to assess the extent of her isolation fully? ● In what ways might the social worker intervene to help decrease Miranda’s isolation?

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