Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 6 (2271 words) Published: August 20, 2015

This assignment will include an outline of the Baby P case linked with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how those needs could have been met if things were different. A description of the process of initiating, maintaining, developing and concluding a ‘helping’ relationship’ will also be included. Peter Connely (Baby P) was an infant who was found dead in his cot on the 3rd August 2007 wearing only a nappy. Over a seven month period Baby Peter suffered more than 50 injuries ranging from bruises and scratches to a broken spine and mutilated fingertips. Baby peter was known to Haringey Councils children’s services and his mother Tracey Connely, his step-father Steven Barker and his step-fathers brother Jason Owen were all convicted of ‘causing or allowing a child’s death’ (Cross-referenced from Unit 10, task 1). Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) was a humanistic psychologist who (1954) developed a hierarchy of complex human needs (1954) that an individual must satisfy in a process called self-fulfilment- satisfaction of all needs results in self-actualisation. The hierarchy was divided into seven tiers and when each set of needs were satisfied, the individual would move up another level to fulfil more needs. Physiological needs like food and water are essential for survival. If those most basic needs are being neglected, the individual will instinctively focus everything on meeting those needs first. Once satisfied, safety needs like warmth and shelter also become important. After the safety needs have been met, social needs including love and a sense of belonging become important. When those have been satisfied, esteem needs must be satisfied. Cognitive needs must be satisfied before aesthetic needs including beauty and symmetry can be satisfied. Only when all of the needs in the hierarchy have been satisfied, can an individual finally realise and reach their full potential through the process of self-actualisation (Hayes, 2000) (cross-referenced from Unit 7, task 1).

Maslow’s first stage refers to basic biological and physiological needs, it includes thing like food, drink, shelter, warmth, and sleep and it can be argued that Baby P didn’t even have those needs met. The reason that it was imperative for Baby P’s needs to be met at this stage was that without food, drink and warmth, people can only act instinctively. There were reports of Baby P being malnourished although it is difficult to determine. Baby P did have shelter in the most simple of terms, although I disagree with this because a shelter is meant to be a place of safety where no harm will come; that wasn’t the case for Baby Peter. Baby Peter couldn’t move onto the safety needs stage, but if he would have had a constant supply of food, sleep, warmth and shelter he would have been able to move up a stage. Baby Peter didn’t move onto the stage of safety needs where protection, security, law, and freedom from fear. This was because he wasn’t protected from his abusers by his family or society. A doctor didn’t notice a broken spine, or bruised, social worker did notice bruises but no action was taken to protect him, and all attempts to question his mother proved futile. Baby Peter could have met those needs in a number of ways with or without abuse, this is because if he was taken into care by social services he would have been protected and in turn all the needs from Maslow’s first stage would have been met by the Local Authority. Maslow’s third stage refers to social needs and the instinct to crave love, attention and have a sense of belongingness from family and later in like colleagues. Baby Peter did have a family but there was no mention of weather she showed him low and affection, although it can be argued that without protection and shelter, he couldn’t have felt a sense of love and affection. To meet the third stage, Baby Peter would have had to have felt loved and a sense of belonging. It is difficult to determine how in his situation he would have met...
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