Going Further to Reach Women Facing Pregnancy & Postpartum Depression

Six-year-old Lola and four-year-old Peanut were in an out of home placement with their grandmother after having been severely neglected and physically abused by their parents. The courts granted custody of the children to their grandmother. While the grandmother was able to care for Lola and Peanut, she was struggling with their behaviors. One afternoon, in a state of sheer frustration, the grandmother contacted me and stated that she didn’t think she could care for the children any longer. In response to her concerns, I immediately set up an emergency evaluation for Lola and Peanut and requested therapy services and any other support services that would aid in keeping this family intact. During this process I walked the grandmother through the steps she needed to understand the importance of mental health services and how to continue to access the services for the children. I also reinforced the importance of using the skills introduced in therapy while at home.

For two years, I continued working with this family. The grandmother would call to ask direction on services for Lola and Peanut: including speech therapy and a developmental delay clinic. She always kept me informed on how the family was doing and was very receptive to my regular telephone check-ins and recommendations. At the end of that second year, the grandmother decided to adopt her two grandchildren and asked me to assist with the process. I was able to give her resources through BCDSS as well as advise her on what questions she should ask the attorneys and her social workers. I was also able to educate her further regarding the children’s health insurance, covered benefits and how to navigate the Medicaid system.

I was elated when I received the phone call from the grandmother stating that Lola and Peanut’s adoption was finalized this year. She currently has all of the needed services in place to be able to provide for her grandchildren. In our last conversation she stated that my encouragement and knowledge of resources was a huge help along the way to thus allowing her to feel competent and confident to raise her grandchildren.

Rebecca Spare, LMSW Social Work Medical Case Manager

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