Social Science and professional Practice
Human Growth and Development.
In this assignment I will explore psychological theories and how they assist in social work to better understand and work positively with clients. In accordance with the GSCC codes of practice, (2.3) names have been used to protect the identity of the family.
Robert describes his upbringing being very happy and largely contributory to him developing into a well-adjusted responsible young man. Howe (1995) believes when viewing parent–child interactions, the quality of this relationship can assist in determining the ‘level of social competence and developmental pathway through life. Robert reports he was raised feeling loved, secure and trusting of his mother throughout his childhood.
As Robert is hoping to become a relative carer for his siblings Camilla and Daley, it is important to acknowledge the grief they may all experience from being separated from their mother. Separation and loss can be seen in the simplest form of ‘...young children who are separated from their prime caregiver’ (Bowlby 1973, p56). Attachment is not the same as dependency and although the intensity of attachment between parent and child decreases with age, it is still significant throughout the life cycle particularly during times of distress and uncertainty and needs to be acknowledged and supported for Robert to maintain an independent relationship with his mother (Howe1995).
Change in the family relationships may disrupt and endanger the developing child’s personality (Fahlberg 1991, p143). This could also include Robert becoming a primary carer as his relationship with his mother would change significantly from being largely dependent on Lucy whilst currently living with her to living apart from her with his siblings independently. Additionally, as Robert’s siblings’ personalities are still developing they risk forming a disrupted attachment with him as their new carer. However, should he be successful in caring for Camilla and Daley, the positive experiences they might gain would be helpful in reversing the effects of their earlier experiences in life and sustain their transition into adulthood (Clarke & Clarke, 2000).