The Franklins’ Story

February 18, 2011

News and Stories

A family of four, the Franklins have recently moved in with family members to make ends meet. Their living conditions are crowded and deplorable – six adults and six children are crammed together in a tiny mobile home. A hotline investigator visited the home because of reports of abuse to eleven-year-old Corey.

After the hotline investigator’s first visit, the Franklins were referred to the Intensive In-Home Services program at Family Resource Center.  Even though the father vehemently denied hitting Corey, there were definite issues and neglect occurring. Quite a few of the family’s problems stemmed from one issue: Corey’s insatiable appetite for food.

Weighing 182 pounds at age eleven was obviously not healthy. But beyond that, Corey’s constant snacking caused friction in the family. There were constant arguments because Corey could not stop eating other people’s food. Both parents felt like they were always screaming at Corey to stop eating.

FRC case worker Mary Acton-El Behiri, came up with several goals for the family. Corey was taken to a pediatrician to rule out underlying issues for the overeating. The parents developed a behavior chart for both children, and Corey was given a special snack box that contained all the snacks he would get for a day. If Corey ate snacks other than what was in his box he would not receive stickers for his chart.

After the acute problems were addressed, Mary tackled the bigger problems facing the family. Much of the family stress was a result of living in an overcrowded home, so Mary assisted the family with finding a home. She continued to work with the parents to manage behaviors without spanking. By the sixth week of the intervention, the family was able to move into their own place, and Mr. and Mrs. Franklin had learned some valuable parenting skills.

During the last session with the family, Mrs. Franklin stated that IIS had changed her life. “Spanking doesn’t work. It just makes the kids more angry,” she said. “Thanks to the Mary and the IIS program, I can enjoy my child again.”