Trauma Informed Practice
Assignment due date: Sunday, 21 May 2023, 11:59 PM
Assessment 2 Case Study: – assessment and intervention
Judy has been referred to you by the Department of Correctional Services as part of her parole conditions and the following information has been provided by Judy’s parole officer.
Judy is a 54-year-old Aboriginal woman who has recently been released from prison after a 20-year sentence for the murder of her husband William. She is the mother of 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
Judy grew up in a household where family violence was prevalent. She experienced physical, emotional, and psychological abuse from multiple family members throughout her childhood and adolescence.
Despite her difficult upbringing, she completed year 12 at high school and eventually started her own family with William.
Throughout Judy’s 15-year marriage, William was a perpetrator of domestic and family violence. This happened most nights after William had been drinking heavily and in front of their children.
One night during an argument with William, Judy took a sharp knife from the kitchen sink and stabbed William in the chest. William collapsed on the floor and died. This was witnessed by Judy’s 3 daughters and son Billy who was 5 years of age.
During the judicial process Judy was found guilty of murder despite her defense team providing intimate details of the violence that occurred during her marriage to William.
Her youngest daughter Melissa now aged 29 is a heavy drug user and has had her 2 children removed by the Department of Child Protection. This is very distressing for Judy due to the shame she feels about her own children being placed in the “welfare system” when she was incarcerated. Although they are on talking terms the relationship is strained due to Judy being made aware of the violence Melissa’s partner inflicts upon her
Judy’s other children do not live locally and did not support Judy during her incarceration. Judy’s son Billy now aged 25 blames Judy for the death of his father and refuses to speak with her or acknowledge the violence that occurred in the home. Judy has reported on several occasions that not being involved in the lives of her children and grand children causes her great distress.
Whilst incarcerated Judy did receive visits from a member of her local community “Aunty Annie” who kept her updated about her children and ensured that they were provided with cultural support. Judy was able to live with Aunty Annie upon her release however just last week Aunty Annie died in hospital after contracting Covid 19.
Judy has been asked by the Housing SA to vacate the premises in 14 days as there is a family in need of accommodation.
Since Annie’s death Judy has begun drinking heavily due to feelings of great sadness as well as various trauma symptoms relating to the domestic violence and her time in prison where she was targeted by other prisoners and was also sexually assaulted by a female prison officer. Judy also blames herself for her children not wanting to see her.
The day you first meet Judy
You are a social worker in a small Non-Government Organisation that supports women who have recently been released from prison.
While finishing up with an appointment that has gone longer than expected you hear a woman shouting at the receptionist stating that she has been kept waiting for too long in this “dump”.
You walk into the reception room and see a woman who is clearly upset walking toward the exit door. You also notice that your receptionist is on the phone to the police regarding Judy’s threatening behaviour.
You realise that the woman is your next client Judy, and has been kept waiting for 25 minutes
Case study instructions
The purpose of the case study task is for you to explain what your trauma informed assessment of the client’s presentation would be and your rationale for this assessment and an intervention plan. Remember, trauma theory needs to inform your response.
Initial contact with Judy
How do you immediately respond to the situation occurring in the reception area?
What physical features of the room where you will work with Judy reflects a trauma informed approach?
Part 1 – Assessment
You will need to include the following:
A biopsychosocial assessment and case formulation. This involves an identification of the trauma/s in Judy’s life and situation.
What are the factors impacting Judy’s mental health and well-being?
An analysis of the influence of contextual factors in Judy’s life and her reported psychosocial functioning
You will also need to demonstrate your understanding and management of risk faced by Judy.
Part 2 – Treatment/Intervention planning
To demonstrate your trauma informed practice skills, you will need to develop an intervention plan highlighting the following elements:
• What are Judy’s needs?
• Establish the influence and priority of factors affecting Judy’s mental health and wellbeing
• Establish the goals of treatment/intervention with Judy and preferred strategies to achieve them
• Identify and mitigate potential risk factors
Important reminder. In your responses you will need to demonstrate your understanding of trauma theory and how it has informed your practice while completing your assessment and intervention plan.
Approximate word count for each section
The weighting of each section should indicate how much time and words you should be using to answer the question however below is an approximate word count linked to the weightings on the feedback sheet
Management of the initial situation in the reception area – 150 words
Description of your counselling room in relation to trauma informed practice – 150 words
Assessment – 900 words
Risks – 250 words
Intervention – 700 words
Final summary – 150 words
All references must be written in Harvard referencing style.
An introduction is not required, however please conclude your paper with a brief summary of how you have used trauma informed theory.
Management of the initial situation in the reception area:
As a trauma-informed practitioner, I understand that Judy’s behavior in the reception area is likely a result of her distress and trauma history. My immediate response would be to approach her calmly and respectfully, acknowledging her frustration and thanking her for waiting. I would introduce myself as her social worker and invite her to a private room where we can talk. I would also ensure the receptionist is safe and thank her for calling the police.
Description of your counseling room in relation to trauma-informed practice:
My counseling room would reflect a trauma-informed approach by providing a safe and comfortable environment that is free from triggers. It would be well-lit and have comfortable seating that allows for eye contact. There would be calming and grounding sensory elements such as plants, soft music, and art. Additionally, the room would be private, soundproofed, and free from interruptions.
In conducting a biopsychosocial assessment of Judy, I would explore the following areas:
Trauma history: Judy has experienced trauma throughout her life, including family violence, domestic violence, and her time in prison. She has also recently experienced the death of her support person, Aunty Annie.
Mental health and wellbeing: Judy is displaying symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma-related stress. She is also using alcohol to cope with her distress.
Social support: Judy’s relationships with her children are strained, and she has lost her main support person, Aunty Annie. She is also facing homelessness.
Cultural considerations: Judy is an Aboriginal woman who may have experienced intergenerational trauma and may benefit