analyzing the dynamics and risk factors in a family that led to child abuse. discussing the strengths and protective factors of the Sloan family, considering how one might feel if they were friends with the parents and the influence of socioeconomic status in the case. Additionally, providing feedback on peers’ responses and identifying similarities and

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analyzing the dynamics and risk factors in a family that led to child abuse. discussing the strengths and protective factors of the Sloan family, considering how one might feel if they were friends with the parents and the influence of socioeconomic status in the case. Additionally, providing feedback on peers’ responses and identifying similarities and

 Lucia and Francis Sloan came to the attention of protective services after 6-year-old Dominic was rushed to the local hospital by his frantic mother. The child was severely battered and it was suspected that he had a fractured arm. This was the third time in the last 6 months that he had been taken to the ER and the hospital staff had concerns about possible abuse. Throughout the investigation that followed, a picture of the family emerged.Lucia Sloan was a rather large woman with dark hair and eyes. Francis was small boned, very fair, and a stark contrast to his rather robust-looking wife. Lucia worked as an editor in a large publishing company while Francis, an accountant, worked out of a home office. Early in their marriage, they discovered that Francis was unable to father children so they agreed to adopt. Their first adopted child, Karyn, dark haired and dark eyed, was a year at placement. Karyn could well have been Lucia’s biological child, so striking was the resemblance. After several years, they adopted an infant boy whom they named Francis Jr. or Frankie. Frankie grew into a frail, blond-haired child who had frequent illnesses.By the time that Frankie was 4, Lucia’s career had flourished, often taking her on trips to meet with authors and speak at conferences. Although the accounting business was doing fairly well, Francis found that he was consumed with his parenting duties as Frankie was often ill. He complained of this to Lucia and, although she was sympathetic, she resented the fact that he expected her to cut back on her thriving business.Francis also developed severe back problems, remnants of a childhood injury. It had prevented him from playing sports as his father had wanted him to and his father criticized him for “not being much of a man.” Now in adulthood, Francis remembered his father with bitterness and was determined that his injury would not be obvious to others. He did not even admit the degree of his pain to Lucia, although it became clear to her eventually and she suggested that Francis see their doctor. He was prescribed painkillers by his physician with the recommendation that he seek surgery, which he did not want to do. Nor did he feel that he could take the time away from the children. Since the painkillers were effective, Francis concluded that he could remain on them and continue his activities. When his prescriptions ran out and the doctor would not renew them, one of Francis’s customers suggested that he could get them from a “private source,” although they might be a “bit more expensive.” Francis felt desperate and started buying his opioids from a man who would meet him in the park regularly each week.Francis’s drug taking began to impact his child care. Karyn was a busy 10-year-old who spent much of her time at friends’ houses, so Francis was alone with Frankie most of the time. Lucia, busy with her own pursuits, saw Francis’s frequent naps and growing disinterest in his son and complained that Francis was getting lazy. Francis also became moody and unpredictable and began losing clients. He blamed this on Frankie’s illnesses and began to berate the child much as his own father had berated him. Frankie had grown up to favor Francis physically with his light complexion and frail body. Frankie had recently begun wetting the bed and this sent Francis into a rage, resulting in the first beating. Subsequent beatings resulted whenever Frankie’s behavior angered his father. When the child accidentally knocked Francis’s pills into the sink one afternoon, it was the last straw for the overwrought father. He beat Frankie to unconsciousness. Lucia returned home soon after and, horrified, rushed her son to the nearest hospital.
What are the dynamics in this family that put them at risk for abuse? What are the causal factors?
What are the risk factors in this father’s background and how did these play out in this family?
What are the current risk factors for abuse? Why was this child targeted?
What are the family’s strengths or protective factors?
How would you feel if these parents were friends of yours? What might you have done?
What influence does socioeconomic status have in this case?
In response to your peers, provide thoughtful feedback on responses to the questions about the Sloan family. Draw connections to similar thoughts and plans you may have identified and discuss differences in your responses and perspectives. Crosson-Tower, C. (2021). Understanding child abuse and neglect 10th ed. Pearson.  Reprinted by permission of Pearson Education, Inc.   

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