Family Systems Theory: The Jarvis Family Case

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This case came to Child Welfare Services upon referral from Ms. Partridge, elementary school nurse, and Ms. Caprilano, school principal. After a home visit, a psychological assessment, a follow up interview, and finally a thorough police investigation, it had been determined that the two young Jarvis girls, Marie, age eight, and Joanne, age seven, were sexually abused by their father. Furthermore, Marie reported abuse began around three years of age and was repeatedly told by her father that it was “their secret,” not to be discussed with the mother, Jean Jarvis. Since then, Mr. Jarvis has been sentenced to two years in jail. Thyer (2012), in HBSE, expresses the importance in applying theories to cases, such as in the Jarvis Family. Some of the many reasons include: giving the social worker a starting point in explaining and predicting the clients’ behaviors and giving a perspective of the clients’ situation in order to apply an appropriate intervention. One of the many theories that can be apply to the Jarvis Family case is the Systems Theory.
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(Thyer 2012) He applied ideas of individual systems, parts, and processes to understanding the entirety of an organism. Applying this to systems as a family, we can see that a family operates as a unit with interrelated systems that affect the unit either as a whole or within the individuals. Referring clients to specialists and connecting clients to resources, allows the social work to help the client navigate between each of the systems and ultimately help the client’s situation. In reference to the Jarvis family, the social worker recommended the intervention is to seek specialized help to help the children better get over their traumatic experience. Furthermore, she recognized that Mrs. Jarvis too would benefit from speaking with someone to address how it had affected her and her future

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