Read the case and answer all the questions.
Chong (48 years old) and his 69-year-old homemaker mother, Mdm Tan stay in a 3-room Housing and Development Board (HDB) rental flat. His father passed away 10 years ago.
Chong, a hawker assistant, married Lian (41 years old), against the wishes of his mother. When Chong got to know Lian about 6 months ago, his mother objected to their relationship for a few reasons.
Mdm Tan was against Chong’s decision because this was Lian’s second marriage and that Lian was from China. She felt that all women from China are difficulty to get along. She did not like that this would be Lian’s second marriage. Mdm Tan also wanted Chong to marry a much younger and “pure” woman so that he could continue with the family lineage since he is the family’s only son.
Mdm Tan was very angry when Chong registered his marriage with Lian without her blessings. Lian moved in with them a day after their wedding solemnisation. A few days after Lian moved in, Chong met with an accident and broke his leg, and would need multiple operations and about 6 months to recover from his injury. Chong had to resign from his job at the hawker stall as his employer who needed help at the stall, could not keep the job for him.
Chong’s injury worsened the relationship between his mother and Lian. Mdm Tan blamed the accident on Lian who was with Chong but who was not hurt at all. She felt that it was Lian who caused Chong to have the accident. When Lian tried to explain the accident to her, Mdm Tan would ignore and then scold her for bringing bad luck to the family. The more Lian tried to explain that it was an accident, the more it antagonised Mdm Tan. The conflict only stopped when Lian left the scene in tears.
As Chong was still hospitalised, Lian decided to manage the family’s finances on her parttime pay as a hawker assistant. However, Lian did not have enough money to pay for the flat’s monthly rental and electricity bills, service and conversancy charges as well as Chong’s huge hospital bills due to his multiple operations. Lian was also still supporting her elderly parents in China with her pay. Chong requested his mother to draw on their family savings to pay for the various expenses. Mdm Tan refused to give any money to Lian because she felt that Lian was trying to cheat her and Chong of their savings.
Mdm Tan’s complaint about the situation had led to her friends in the neighbourhood sympathizing with her, and bringing her to Merah Family Service Centre for help, to “find a solution to the complicated situation”. Mdm Tan was not sure how and if she could get along with this new daughter- in- law.
Answer all the questions
1) Using SIX (6) key assumptions of family systems theory (Collins et. al, 2007), discuss the family’s needs in the light of their conflicts (36 marks). In your conclusion, analyse the multiple needs and strengths of this family (9 marks).
2) Apply culturally sensitive practices using the following principles of Saleebey’s (2013) Strengths Perspective: (1) Assume that you do not know the upper limits of the capacity to grow and change and take individual, group, and community aspirations seriously, (2) we best serve clients by collaborating with them, and (3) every environment is full of resources. Cite examples from the case study.
3) Use the Transtheoretical Model (15 marks) to formulate an intervention plan based on your assessment of Mdm Tan’s issues and readiness.
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