Peter who is Caucasian, age 35, and his partner of 10 years, Joe, who is African American, age 40, have decided they would like to adopt children. They are seeking the assistance of their local child welfare agency because they have learned that it may be easier for them to adopt a special needs child through a foster care-to adoption plan. As the foster care/adoption casework team at the child welfare agency, you have been assigned the case. Peter has filed to be the primary foster parent and has been open about his relationship with Joe.

During your first visit to their home, Peter, an experienced teacher in the Wilmington public school system, welcomes you. He is very outgoing and has a great sense of humor. His desire to become a foster parent is genuine and you find the home environment to be more than adequate for at least one child. Later in the interview, you meet Joe.  A successful physician, Joe is more reserved than Peter but is very sincere about his desire to be a parent. Both Peter and Joe have completed the foster parenting course required by the state. Peter and Joe appear to have a stable relationship and are supported in their efforts to adopt by Peter’s parents. Joe has had difficulty coming out to his parents who believes that Peter is only Joe’s housemate.

After the first home visit, you leave the home feeling that foster children would receive good care and that the environment is safe and stable. You present your findings to your supervisor so that you may proceed with the necessary background checks on the couple. After presenting the case, you are surprised to find that your supervisor does not support the couple becoming foster parents, stating that foster children “have already been through too much trauma” and further expressing her real misgivings about a gay couple raising children. Knowing that there are over 300 children in the Delaware foster care system in need of placement, you believe that finding a good foster care-to-adoption home, while critically important, has become increasingly difficult.

Describe how you as social workers will competently handle this case by addressing 5 of the 8 questions below.

  1. Briefly discuss homophobia. What type of research will you conduct and/or present to your supervisor to support your assessment       and intervention plans?
  2. Provide a brief assessment of the family focusing on the sociological aspects of the family? (Competency 7)
  3. Discuss one micro, one mezzo, and one macro-level treatment plan or intervention strategies that you would use with Peter and Joe. (Competency 8)
  4. Are there any ethical or value conflicts that need addressing? If so, explain how you would address them. 
  5. Identify stereotypes commonly attributed to gay and lesbian individuals, including those who are parents or wish to become parents. Explain how you will engage in diversity and difference during your work with the clients (Competency 2).
  6. What are some of Peter and Joe’s struggles for social justice (Competency 3)? Include both traditional and alternative perspectives and theorists such as Kinsley, Storm, and Cass.
  7. Discuss NASW’s position on working with populations at risks such as Peter and Joe? (Competency 3)
  8. Describe how you plan to evaluate the success of your intervention strategies with Peter and Joe. Discuss some of the potential barriers (micro, mezzo or macro) to your success.

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