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Baby Kim Assessment

Betsy Tuitavuki

Salt Lake Community College



This essay will delve into the infancy case study of Baby Kim. I have researched and answered a

complete biophysical, psychological, and social assessment. Baby Kim was born prematurely

and tested positive for crystal meth thus getting taken away from her birth mother. She suffered

intracranial bleeding and was put into NICU. She was never at a single home for too long until

transferred to another, therefore her individual care was severely lacking. To assess her

biophysically, I will answer how baby Kim’s problems stemmed from her prenatal drug

exposure, her premature birth, and environmental deprivation. I will also include what effect her

intracranial bleeding and one month stay in the NICU had on her. As well as possible reasons for

why she will not eat or gain weight. Regarding Baby Kim’s psychological assessment, I will

provide what factors have caused a developmental delay which was noticed at 11 months.

Between the baby and the parents, I will explain how fit they are for her and also how her

attachment has been impacted due to the constant change of care and foster cares placement.

Supporting all of this by the evidence, I will cite and therefore conclude what needs and

interventions baby Kim and her family should take in order to reach a healthy level.


Baby Kim was born prematurely. She tested positive for crystal meth, later revealing the

mother had drug problems. She had also suffered intracranial bleeding and was taken into the

NICU. Baby Kim’s problems had already begun within minutes of entering into this world. Her

prenatal drug exposure to crystal meth is just one of the factors to what may turn out to be long

term issues for her. The use of meth gives the child a higher chance to have neurodevelopmental

issues (NIDA, 2013). Her cognitive and behavioral problems may arise. Babies who are exposed

to meth are much smaller and later have a stunt in growth because it changes their maternal and

fetal circulation (Osterweil, 2006). With her being born prematurely, her interior systems may be

underdeveloped. Things such as their lungs, immune system, and stomach and weight issues can

occur. They can have breathing, feeding such as sucking, digesting and swallowing., and

increased bleeding from the brain. (Birth Injury Guide, n.d). In Kim’s case, she endured

intracranial bleeding. At 11 months, she was using a feeding tube. This all can be supported and

caused due to her having being exposed to meth and having a premature birth. Baby Kim’s

environmental deprivation also affected her continuing problems. Due to her hemorrhage, she

was rushed into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Being separated from her mother and derived

of a home environment can play a huge role on Baby Kim’s sense of security and intimacy. This

eventually will worsen since Baby Kim is now being constantly changed in and out of foster


The effects that intracranial bleeding may have on Baby Kim is her difficulty to intake

food and milk. Because her organs are still developing, she will have a hard time sucking when

feeding. It may in turn be hard for her to digest and gain weight. Her stay in the NICU can also

give her delays in development. It may affect her sense of familiarity and good understanding.

The fact that Baby Kim was positive for meth and born early are possibles reason for why she

may not gain weight nor eat. Less oxygen is an effect that the baby will have to deal with which

can cause low birth weight (American Pregnancy Associations, 2016).


As Baby Kim was in a constant change of home environment and care, she was derived

from that intimacy and security that a baby needs in early development. Dr. Ruth Feldman

conducted a study about the significance of physical interaction on premature infants. They

concluded that this kind of contact enhances children’s functioning (Elsevier, 2014). Baby Kim

lacked that sense of maternal bonding that comes with a newborn and her mother. She never had

that stable, permanent place to call home. For that reason, it is definitely possible that she will

develop trust issues, feelings of withdrawal and many more.

It is definitely possible that Baby Kim could have been well taken care of in her birth

family's care. According to the case study, social worker Owen McCallister noted that the

mother had 2 other sons. They both seemed to be well cared for and the older son thrived in

school. With this in mind, there is a probability that Kim would have a fighting chance to be

well. However, it’s also not unheard of for her to prosper in another home. With several outside

support and stability within the home, it’s possible (Mark, 2013). Considering all the mother’s

test’s coming back negative and the other children are fine, I believe the mother would be a good

fit. Regarding the father and how he had only one clean urine test, he may not be on the same

standing but if he takes the necessary interventions to help him, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be a

good fit as well.

Baby Kim’s attachment has been critically affected due to that constant changing of

setting. The fact that she didn't have that consistent care from a single family and home can “lead

to lack of trust in adults, disrupted education, loss of friends, disturbed behavior, attachment

disorders, etc” (Therapeutic Care Journal, 2008).


Aside from my concern with the father, I believe that the environment with her biological

family to be a safe one. As long as the family as a whole takes intervention programs and family

therapy sessions to become more unified and develop great methods and coping skills, baby Kim

can prosper. “Structure, predictability, and nurturing are key to helping a baby or toddler who

has been traumatised” (Better Health, 2011). It’s that consistency that is a major factor in the

success for the unification of this family. The overall health of a family mentally and physically

should be a priority additionally. It would be very helpful to consider how the 2 older boys are

dealing and progressing with this entire situation. Though they may seem happy, it may be best

to talk with them individually and make sure they understand the situation and what their roles

are and/or may be and what they can do to take part in this process of healing.

The environmental stresses that can impact the parents may be their new exposure to

having a baby like Kim. From being born prematurely to having gone through various foster care

placements, the steps they need to take to ensure Kim’s well-being will differ from when they

were raising the older 2 sons. They will be going to many intervention programs and sessions

that are there to help and guide but it can also be a huge burden mentally and physically.


Using all the research I came upon investigating baby Kim’s case, and including my best

judgement, baby Kim is in need of stability. Both in an environmental state as well as intimately.

She needs that sense of security that may have never shown up in her early development. It is

important that her family must become more unified in order to help Kim flourish. They should

all be on the same page and help each other out. The lack of attention and love is evident.

Intervention programs will be a useful resource for the baby and family. Specific intervention for

baby Kim will be beneficial especially if she has continued aid, within the family and outside

within the community. Both mother and father should partake in drug rehabilitation programs

and support groups. Especially support groups that have people with similar circumstances as

them. We should consider the 2 other children and determine what they may need in regards of

development. The mother should learn to be more open to resources for all her children as well

as herself. Monthly family groups sessions, even just discussions among the family in the home,

are also recommended. They can discuss the concerns and needs of every member and be aware

of the feelings that are occurring inside of them. Taking these steps are necessary for healthy

growth in the family especially in baby Kim.


Attachment During a Foster Care Placement. (2008, October 02).

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Elsevier. (2014, January 6).

Loving touch critical for premature infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September

27, 2017 from

Mark, H. (2013, August 5).

Drug-exposed kids thrive in adoptive homes. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from


NIDA. (2013, September 19).

Methamphetamine. Retrieved from on

2017, September 24

Osterweil, N. (2006, September 07).

Methamphetamine Stunts Fetal Growth. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from

Infant Difficulty Sucking, Eating, or Swallowing. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27,

2017, from


Understanding Your Child’s Development: What Are Milestones? (n.d.).

Retrieved September 24, 2017, from


Using Illegal Drugs During Pregnancy. (2016, January 27).


Retrieved September 28, 2017, from