What's Eating Gilbert Grape

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I received a call from a Deputy Sherriff in Endora reporting the repeated dangerous activities involving the minor child, Arnie Grape. In my role, I must assess not only the actions of the minor, but I must also assess the living conditions (i.e. family , home, siblings, etc.) and make a recommendation for the child’s future supervision and appropriate sustained support for the family in-residence with the minor. Client: Arnie Grape (Primary) – Caucasian, 17 years old soon to be 18 years old and developmentally delayed. Sub-Client: Bonnie Grape - Mother/Widow, 47years old (approx), Caucasian, morbidly obese, severely depressed, unknown spiritual identification (assumed Christian), SES – low to lower-middle class, heterosexual, rural dwelling, head of household (all children live in residence), there was a total of seven members in the Grape family. A. Grape - Father, Caucasian, deceased 17 years ago.

Larry Grape - Brother/sibling, Caucasian, location unknown; subject does not live in the family dwelling. Larry left the family home immediately after graduating from high school. Amy Grape - Sister/sibling, 23 years old (approx), Caucasian, high-school graduate, unmarried, unknown spiritual identification (assumed Christian), SES – low to lower middle class, heterosexual, rural dwelling, currently unemployed outside the home, lives with Mother and siblings in family home, Amy has taken over the majority of the family’s responsibilities especially domestic chores. Gilbert Grape - Brother/sibling, 21 years old (approx), Caucasian, high-school graduate, unmarried, unknown spiritual identification (assumed Christian), SES – low to lower middle class, heterosexual, rural dwelling, primary breadwinner (has job outside of home), lives with Mother and siblings in family home, Gilbert is also responsible for fixing his family home, and the primary caretaker of Arnie his younger brother, Ellen Grape - Sister/sibling, 16 years old (approx), Caucasian, high-school graduate, unmarried, unknown spiritual identification (assumed Christian), SES – low to lower middle class, heterosexual, rural dwelling, has job outside of home, lives with Mother and siblings in family home. Ellen helps Amy out with some of the family’s house chores (Please see Appendix A). Presenting problem(s)

The Grape family system lacks major resources and support. Even though their main client system is within each other, the family roles have changed dramatically due to their father committing suicide. Bonnie’s morbid obesity and Arnie’s mental health condition has left Amy and Gilbert as the primary caretakers of the whole family. The current conditions in the family structure are causing major parenting and disciplining issues for the children in the family. When Mr. Grape suddenly took his own life, it really affected every family member. In addition, no one in the family has ever received any form of counseling or given any type of outlet to mourn the death of their father’s death. Lastly, the condition of the family home that they all reside in is extremely destitute and in need of major repairs and maintenance. Assessment and Dynamic Formulation

In reviewing the evidence and current circumstances, we can assume that the Grape family’s support system is very limited. Luckily, they are a very close-knit family and will support one another. However, Bonnie has continually gained weight at an unhealthy rate since the father's death. Bonnie's current obesity interferes with her role as primary caretaker of Arnie and many of her would be duties as a parent to her other children. Because of this, Amy and Gilbert have had to fill in as surrogate parents. In return, neither of them had much time for themselves, opportunity of pursuing an higher education, meaningful relationships, or acquiring good paying jobs. While Amy and Gilbert are the two primary caretakers, Bonnie established a serious codependency that is not necessarily...
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