EDF4533-Counselling Children And Adoelscents Essay


Discuss the current state of the client’s well-being mental health and risk factors are critically discussed and the risk factors past and current.


In today’s scenario everyone faces challenges and problems through all the stages in their life. Challenges in life may develop gradually with the passage of time or occur suddenly or may appear and finish repeatedly during a child’s life. The case study mentioned represents the journey of the life of a 10-year old girl Jenni, who spent about most of her life living in childcare community, i.e. under foster care, the time she was a young baby. She also experienced trauma, in her younger years. Therefore, the case study states the effect of the risk and the protective factors on the mental health of a child. Wellbeing is term used to define the state or condition of an individual or group (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2018).

A higher level of wellbeing states the positive condition of the individual. Wellness refers to not only mental health but also, the diverse dimensions of health that includes physical and mental well-being. It also includes activities and actions of an individual focused at attaining wellness in terms of physical endurance, mental alacrity, satisfaction, and a sense of personal accomplishment. Hence, it is essential especially during the younger age, to maintain the state of wellbeing to enhance future development (Font, 2014).

The represented case study brings out the concern for the client, Jenni’s wellbeing, and the associated risk factors during her past and the current years of age. These factors negatively affect children in their younger years ranging from depression, anxiety to the persistent or the long-term impact that results in isolation, separation, and insecurities in their behaviour. One in ten children needs a support or the treatment for their mental health problems. Child’s wellbeing refers to the physical health, development, and safety; also, it includes the factors psychological and emotional development, cognitive development, and educational achievement of the child. Mental health is particularly as the state of wellbeing in which a child or an individual realizes his/her potential and the ability to cope up and overcome stress of life (Healthy Suffolk, 2018).

The concern for the client's wellbeing reports to the issues she faced during her younger years. This condition led to the trauma and disturbed her mental health. In addition, she lived in the foster care and has been associated with number of different families during those years. Foster care refers to the system or mechanism in which a minor is placed into a ward, group home i.e. residential childcare community and others. The community care also includes the private home of a caregiver that refers to foster parents or a family member approved by the state authorities (Child trends, 2018).

At the age of 7years, a foster carer with whom the girl had close relationship passed away, that affected her behaviour and emotional health. She lived a family permanently after some time, where both the parents genuinely cared for her. There were few signs of her mental distress, such as the schoolteacher noticed her taking her lunch in the library, unable to make friends in school. Therefore, these issues were the major concerns for her wellbeing (Victoria State government, 2018). The concerns were the safety-related issues for Jenni, her emotional peace living with the new family. Mental health difficulties affected the behaviour that made her isolated and developing a negative attitude towards people and the girls in her school. The ten-year-old child is on the verge of a number of changes in almost every aspect of their life therefore, Jenni faces the same situation. Moreover, she was physically mature for her age and conscious regarding her appearance. The risk factors to the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of a child fall into main groups such as the child itself, family, environment, and the impact of the life events. The current risk factors of the client include the developmental delay, depression, conflicts in the relationship with the peers and the groups (Better health, 2018).

The researches have shown if this condition continues to prevail in the later years; after the age of 16, the child may become addictive to drug, alcohol, and cigarettes. She performed well at her school previously. Moreover, over the 6 months she started withdrawing herself from the school activities, also neglected the homework given to her. These were the current factors, but experiences in the past years represented a well-improved condition (Child trends, 2013).

Mental health and wellbeing of a child impacts on the future development and growth. Therefore, these issues should be resolved on time, to bring better results. As children in the foster care, unlike other children faces higher emotional and mental problems because they lack the family care, belongingness, and the mental peace. In addition, they exhibit low levels of school engagement and avoid participation in the extra-curricular activities (Science Direct, 2018).

(Source: Visually, 2018)

The above diagram depicts the children’s mental illness and wellbeing condition at the age of 11 years, which is the result or impact of the number of factors. These factors may differ from one child to another depending on their upbringing and growth over time.

The other vulnerable group in foster care is the teen parents, in which the teen mothers are unable to maintain stable and a healthy home environment. The case study depicted the issues that could hamper the future development of the Jenni. Thus, it can further disturb her mental peace, and lead to more problems in the future.

The stress and anxiety of Jenni in her younger years create disorders affecting their physical and emotional wellbeing. The hamper or negative impact on future development may be observed in the form of Autism, which states the neurological disorders, characterized by the severe impairment in the social interaction and the communication skills. Future development of a child refers to the gradual changes that occur as the child grows and develops with respect to the state of being physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally sound, and socially competent for the future opportunities and goals (Scott, Mihalopoulos, Erskine, Roberts, & Rahman, 2018).

Along with the lack of communication and belongingness with the peers, the child may also indicate the restricted and the stereotypical behaviour. The client may face problems such as disturbed anatomic brain structures, which govern the personality traits of a person, learning processes, and the ability to cope with the stress. Jenni may become mentally unstable and unhappy. Inability to make friends, involve socially, and engage in school activities may result in long-term avoidance (Mental health foundation, 2018). Development of child in the future also relates to the capacity and the ability to accept things and the changes in the external environment as well as in their lives. As the client in the case of Jenni, lived with the new parents, both the father and her mother genuinely cared for Jenni. Nevertheless, there were still signs of anxiety, stress, and unhappy behaviour. Concisely, the long-lasting consequences on the aspects of the child development include poor attachment formation, under simulation, development delay poor physical development and the anti-social behaviour towards peers and the other social groups (Cherry, 2017).

Many children today face several problems and challenges during the phase of younger years. They face stressful situations at school, home and with their peers. At the time, when they are learning, growing and forming the impression of how the world is, it is necessary to work out and resolve their problems. This will help prevent the long-term emotional and behavioural difficulties. Therefore, there is an increasing role of counselling practices and therapies to improve the condition. Child counselling helps to provide these children at the younger age a positive environment that helps them to assess the difficulties faced by using child-friendly approaches. The approach of child counselling primarily involves the ‘play-therapy', along with the talk therapy. As per the given case study, Jenni was unable to communicate properly the problems and the mental chaos to her parents. Therefore, there is a need for counselling and the development skills to be enhanced so that she can express herself with the people around at ease (Facts for life, 2018).

Creativity in resolving their issues may relate to the symbols, such as those found in stories, picture books, and the sketches and drawings. There can be some other ways to improve the client, Jenni’s mental health, and emotional wellbeing. The parents or the people around Jenni can make her involved in playing games, sports activities, art, and dance, giving her acting or role-playing situations. In addition, these activities energize them and help creatively to cope with the difficult feelings and conflicts in relationships. Involving her in the art activities may boost up her confidence and enthusiasm. This is a way to open up the dialogue about the situations, which are hard for them to deal with. To understand their emotions out in such a creative manner can be therapeutic (Lee, 2018).

The expressive art therapies not only focus on the mental benefits to a child but also enhance the physical condition of the child. These changes account for the improved motor skills and control, and others. For instance, the engagement of the child in the dance not only sparks the creativity but also gets their body moving. Counselling for children in a younger age in the foster care or private homes especially includes the application of art therapies (George town, 2016).

Art therapies, defined by the American Art therapy Association allows to express creatively how to overcome the problem of language. Family sculpture exercise is a popular art therapy exercise that enlightens the minds of the children at younger age. As the art, therapy helps to identify and represent the family members in a creative manner using simple modelling clay that will help to understand the dynamics of the family environment. Represented in the case, the girl highlights her consciousness regarding her appearance and health and the inability to make friends; this remarks the tendency to grow as an isolated and socially withdrawn child in the later years (UCI News, 2016). The study of Jenni’s behavioural patterns indicates shyness, isolation, feeling of rejection, social reticence, peer neglect and the passivity of mind. The most commonly used therapy is the ‘Play therapy' for kids and the children at the younger age, which states that the play therapy and the activities in the school-setting that fulfil wide range of development needs of children including social and emotional needs. Hence, counselling, or the art therapies and activities, serve as an aid or support towards improvising the present condition, of the client of the case (Positive psychology program, 2017).

To conclude the above analysis of the case study it can be stated that the children faces some challenges and issues at every stage of life, which affects their wellbeing. Wellbeing is a state of being positive in every aspect of life. With reference to the case study, it has been described that many children are placed in foster care and the privately established homes, for their nurturing and developing them. In addition, repeated moves from one home to other also results in negative results during later years of the life of the child. These issues and problems slowly and gradually hamper the social, psychological, and emotional health. As the child in the case faces problems in expressing her feelings and emotions, therefore a number of therapies and methods are suggested.

The issues in the different dimensions of health exert a negative influence on the future development of the child. Moreover, every possible effort must be made to create foster care a positive experience and a healing process for every child. Interactive sessions and developmental programmes can be organized to assess the cause of their problems and stress. Hence, taking innovative measures towards these issues may lead to the betterment of the client in future years.


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