Woman with GrandkidsMrs. Jenks was a 79-year-old woman who lived in her private home. Mrs. Jenks had been widowed for several years. Her son, William, had returned to live with her three years ago, after being divorced. During the three years that William lived with Mrs. Jenks, he was angry and full of rage. William would yell at his mother, calling her names and swearing at her. His behavior escalated when he would drink, which he did quite frequently.

When Mrs. Jenks would defend herself and try to stop William’s behavior, he would retreat to his room, not leaving his room or speaking to Mrs. Jenks for days. When Mrs. Jenks would return to her home after shopping or socialization, she would find important items of hers broken. William would frequently cause Mrs. Jenks pain by destroying her belongings. One of Mrs. Jenks’ most difficult experiences was when William killed her cat.

Mrs. Jenks confided in a VNA social worker one day, expressing great upset that her children would no longer allow her grandchildren to visit her due to William’s behavior. The VNA social worker reported Mrs. Jenks to Protective Services. Mrs. Jenks was receptive to assistance and allowed her caseworker to conduct an investigation and assist her in obtaining a restraining order.

Mrs. Jenks continued to work with Protective Services for several months to develop safety plans and other resources which would ensure her safety and provide support in coping with the effects William’s behavior had on her. When Mrs. Jenks’ case with Protective Services closed after four months of casework, Mrs. Jenks had a counselor, restraining order, routine police patrols in her neighborhood, and most important to her, re-established visits with her grandchildren.