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Rachel is now three years old. She lived with her mother and father until she was two and a half years old. Then her parents separated, and her father moved out. Rachel was their first and only child. Her mother suffered from post-natal depression, and so was largely unresponsive to Rachel’s cries or Rachel’s attempts to communicate. Rachel gets very distressed when her mother leaves her alone but then refuses to go near her when the mother returns. Rachel’s mother rarely shows any emotion and could be described as being flat; she also rarely picks up Rachel or touches her.
She insists on a quiet house and doesn’t allow Rachel to make much noise or play at home. Her father takes Rachel on weekends now. The father is a quiet man but often picks up Rachel and gives her cuddles and tells her she is special and that he loves her. When Rachel is at her father’s house he plays simple word games with her and helps her make jigsaws.
However, Rachel still only speaks in two-word sentences and often sits for long periods of time seeming to stare off into space. Rachel’s father began to get worried when he saw that his sister’s children were running around talking and laughing a lot more than Rachel. However, Rachel seems to really enjoy playing with his sister’s children when they occasionally visit him at the weekends. He asked his GP for advice.
The GP examined Rachel and found that she was in good physical health and didn’t show any signs of neglect or abuse. The GP referred Rachel to the local Social Worker. Rachel is assessed with the father in attendance (the mother did not arrive, despite telling the father that she would), and then the father is spoken to in private while Rachel plays in a nearby play area under supervision.
You are part of the group meeting with the Social Worker, perhaps working as a case keyworker [you aim to support the case and liaise with other professionals], to try and offer support to Rachel and her family.
You need to address the following questions, which should form headings in your final Needs Assessment Report. (Include the bold/highlighted text as headings in bold; you can also use subheadings beneath each main heading, but the main headings are required. These are marked independently, and so their inclusion as distinct sections in a report is important for the overall report structure.)