Parents who find themselves abandoned by partners are supported by social care and children, who will learn to react to the circumstances and environments, will find difficulties in dealing with social and psychological problems.
According to the case study, Michael and Kate were having problems during her third pregnancy because of Michael's attitude towards his family. He has taken to drinking and was physically assaulting Kate, to the extent that she had to live with Social Care. Michael, in spite of recent behaviour, continues to be fond of their children, visits them often, buys presents, but does not want to shoulder day-today responsibilities bringing them up. Kate, being pregnant and financially dependent on Michael, was finding the situation difficult. Michael moved out of the family home and Kate moved into Grimesbar from Social Care, as it was easy to find accommodation in Grimesbar. She now lives in a four storey tenement with common entrance that is not particularly secure, and the building is scheduled for demolition. That being the case, many of the flats are empty, and Kate lives in an insecure and isolated building.
Kate, being a non-practising Roman Catholic, considers other Church going single mothers as 'holy.' She does not particularly keep in touch with social workers and in the meantime, becomes friendly with local community activist Frances Kane, who helps Kate in looking after children. She has two teenage children of her own, a daughter training for a career and the boy in armed forces. Her husband Bill, a Lorry driver, stays away from home a lot due to his work schedule. Frances likes to look after Jade and Scott, and Kate leaves them more and more in her care, because Kate has started working and finds it almost impossible to keep a balance between work, children and home. Frances, though very understanding towards Kate's problems and predicament, resents that Kate does not keep up with the time schedule, and collects children much later than the agreed time. Children were getting closer to Frances and moving away from Kate, who is neither patient nor present. When she was confronted by Frances, who feels that Kate should take her responsibilities seriously, the harassed and depressed Kate jumps into the conclusion that Frances should adopt her children. It is also possible that children might look for parent-figures elsewhere. Socially, children might find it difficult to cope without effectual parent guidance, due to having one parent, who is also the breadwinner of the family and hence, will hardly have any time for the individual needs of children.
According to Attachment Theory of Bowlby, children separated from parents have a developmental impact of emotional adversity in childhood and even later they had mental health problems connected to their earlier losses, because children form a strong bond with their caregivers, especially parents.
"Attachment theory, then, is a theory of personality development. It is a theory that demands great interest be taken in the interaction between the growing child and his or her social environment, between infants and their caregivers, between children and their families and between individuals and other people," Howe et al (1999, p.14).
As Kate's children are