Assessment of Gilbert Grape

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I.Identifying Information

1.Client's Name:Arnie Grape


3.Date of Birth:July 16, 1987


5.Address:300 Hugh Hunter Rd., Endora, Iowa 42262

6.Phone Number:(931) 555-1212


8.Family Members:MotherBonnie Grape54unemployed
FatherAlbert Grapedeceased
SisterEllen Grape16works at ice cream shop
SisterAmy Grape34unemployed
SisterLarry Grape32flight attendant
BrotherGilbert Grape24works at a grocery store

II.Reason for Social Work Involvement

Arnie Grape was referred to this agency by Sheriff Jerry Farrell of the Endora Police Department. He was concerned about Arnie's continued lack of supervision. Sheriff Farrell stated that Arnie was taken into custody for climbing the water tower in Endora, but later released to his mother, Bonnie Grape. This was not Arnie's first time climbing the tower, and Sheriff Farrell informed me that he had given previous warnings to Bonnie Grape about the incidents. I was informed that Arnie is mentally challenged, and that the police department was afraid of Arnie's safety and the safety of those that try to retrieve him from the tower. Bonnie Grape was informed of the referral by the police department.

III.Presenting Problem

The presenting problem I noticed upon first meeting the Grape family was the lack of adequate supervision concerning Arnie. When I arrived, Arnie was playing by himself in the yard. I learned that during the daytime Arnie is normally supervised by his brother, Gilbert Grape, while Gilbert works at a local grocery store. During many occasions, Arnie has been able to leave the store without notice and climb the water tower. I also learned that Arnie frequently climbs the trees in his yard and climbs on the roof, which shows me that either the climbing is tolerated or encouraged by his family or there is just an overall lack of supervision.

Upon meeting Bonnie Grape, I noticed that she seemed to think that there was nothing wrong and that the family could handle the situation by themselves. She may be in a state of denial about her son's lack of supervision and mental condition. I noticed that Bonnie was extremely obese, and this may be a major concern for the family. Although Bonnie seems somewhat domineering, it appears that the children run the household.

IV.Client's View of Problem

None of the family members thought there was a major ongoing problem within the family or with Arnie. I felt hesitation from the two daughters, Amy and Ellen. I felt that they wanted to open up, but felt that it was forbidden to do so. Bonnie informs Gilbert, in my presence, that he should more adequately supervise Arnie while at work. She made it seem as if he was totally at fault. Bonnie explained to me that Arnie was mentally challenged and had autism. She mentioned that Arnie could pass any day now, and that he was not expected to live as long as he did. She stated that she felt as though the community thought that she did not take care of Arnie, and that she was angry when Arnie was arrested because Sheriff Farrell knows the condition that Arnie and the family is in. Amy also feels as if Gilbert should take more responsibility in watching Arnie, since she takes control of the housework. Everyone agreed that Arnie was sometimes hard to control. During this time, Ellen did not seem too eager to participate. Overall, the family blames the problem on Gilbert and his lack of supervising Arnie while at work. No other family member will take part in the blame.

V.Family and Interpersonal Functioning

a)Family Background

Bonnie was an only child who lost her mother at an early age. Bonnie's father passed away 17 years ago. The whole town knows Bonnie, because she was popular in high school. Back then, she was envied by her peers, and was even proposed to by Sheriff Farrell the same year that Albert, her deceased husband, did....
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