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Case Study - Mr. Sam Wilson

Ruby made a visit to Sam to see how he was doing and to review whether he was getting the services outlined in his service plan.  David, Sam’s new support worker, has been on the job for 3 months and reports progress in Sam’s skills training, including managing his own money. As an important step to independence, Sam is now able to directly access his savings account without needing his mother’s co-signature. 

Sam also is doing well at his job. Sam’s friend, Ed, frequently gives him a ride home after work.  Twice last week Sam asked Ed to stop at the bank on the way home from work. Two days ago Sam received an overdraft notice from the bank. Sam confided in Ed that he did not know what he was supposed to do and asked if Ed could go with him to straighten things out at the bank.  Ed was glad to help.  The bank clerk was pleasant and showed Sam the history of his withdrawals.  Ed knew that Sam had withdrawn more money lately and wondered where this money was going.

Prior to Ruby’s visit, Sam’s mother called her after she found a copy of the overdraft notice on the kitchen table.  Ruby knew that Sam’s mom was not in favor of him having direct access to his bank account. This was an unfortunate setback and Ruby wanted to hear what happened from Sam directly.

Sam was with Ed when Ruby arrived.  Sam nodded for Ed to stay. When Ruby asked Sam how things were going he seemed reluctant to talk. With some prompting, Sam eventually told Ruby about the overdraft notice. He knew his mother was upset. And he thought David, his support worker, would be upset too when he heard about the overdraft.  Ruby reassured Sam that David would continue to help him with skills training and the overdraft could be taken care of. “But how will I pay David when he comes to help me?” Sam asked.  At first Ruby was confused by this question. Then she became increasingly concerned when Ed asked Sam “what are you paying him for?  Is that why we’ve been stopping at the bank?”  Sam said yes.  “David told me that I have to pay him out of my weekly check.  That’s how he gets paid for helping me.  If I don’t pay him, he will stop coming to help.    


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