Case Study 16

Please see the attached case study and related discussion question

Before and After: The Case for Primary and Secondary Prevention

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Jimmie 15, from what one would call a typical family. His parents worked,

owned a smallish but well-tended home, did their best with three children, and

participated in their children’s lives as much as they were able. Jimmie, as the

oldest, was responsible for managing his younger sisters after school until his

parents came home. His chores included getting them snacks, playing with them

or helping them with homework, and keeping them “within sight.”

Jimmie, now 16, began to resent the responsibility, believing he was missing out

on being with his friends. Their texts and Facebook posts were ever-present

reminders of being left out.

Rebelling, Jimmie began to self-medicate; it eased the pain and resentment. His

slow decline was missed by his working parents. They didn’t notice the change in

friends and Jimmie went from argumentative to listless, which they mistook as

acquiescence, until the accident.

Driving a friend’s car, leaving the sisters at home unattended, high on something a

friend said was great, Jimmie went off the road. Damage to the car and to a

neighbor’s property was moderate; no one was hurt beyond a few bumps and

bruises. Jimmie and his friends were arrested. Jimmie was charged with driving

without a license, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and possession of drugs.

The parents, running a gamut of emotions, were referred to the town’s community

youth services where they could meet with a social worker as well as with a police

officer prior to court. They were offered a one-time diversion because this was

Jimmie’s first offense.

Diversion, if followed, would keep Jimmie out of court, away from drugs, and leave

him with a clean record.

The social worker and police officer, versed in prevention for at-risk youth,

discussed the following questions with Jimmie, his sisters, and his parents:

· What risk factors, in retrospect and for future consideration (thinking of the

sisters), could be addressed through primary prevention? How could the

family’s environment be employed to prevent a recurrence?

· What responsibilities might Jimmie assume as secondary prevention to

restore his standing in the community?

Several meetings later, Jimmie went before the diversion board to outline with his

family, the social worker, and police officer the plan for primary and secondary

prevention. This was a contract signed by all.

One year later, Jimmie, now 17, and his family had fulfilled the contract. Jimmie’s

case was released without prosecution.

Discuss the following questions:

1. What risk factors, in retrospect and for future consideration (thinking of the sisters), could be addressed through primary prevention? How could the family’s environment be employed to prevent a recurrence?

2. In your response posts, discuss what responsibilities Jimmie might assume as secondary prevention to restore his standing in the community.

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