NRS 420 Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

Sample Answer for NRS 420 Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

In the field of child and adolescent development, understanding the unique needs of each individual is crucial. This is particularly true for those who have experienced significant life events that may impact their development, such as the loss of a parent or exposure to violence. One such individual is Cheyenne, a 15-year-old Native American/Caucasian female living in a small, rural town. Cheyenne’s life has been marked by several challenging circumstances. She lost her mother to suicide at the age of 14, a traumatic event that has undoubtedly had a profound impact on her emotional well-being. In addition to this loss, Cheyenne has recently experienced domestic violence, further complicating her situation. Living with her father, who works long hours as a logger, and two younger sisters, Cheyenne has been thrust into a caretaker role at a young age. This responsibility, coupled with the lack of social connections in her community and the absence of religious beliefs in her family, has left Cheyenne isolated and without a support network. Academically, Cheyenne is struggling. She is not active in extracurricular activities, has no future career aspirations, and is making low Cs in most of her classes. Physically, she is overweight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 32 and has struggled with acne since puberty. This essay will present a comprehensive plan of care for Cheyenne, considering her unique circumstances and needs. The plan will be guided by the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets framework, which provides a holistic approach to promoting positive youth development.  

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The Search Institute’s Developmental Assets framework is a research-based approach that identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults. This framework is particularly useful in addressing Cheyenne’s needs, as it provides a holistic view of youth development and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting young people. Two components of this framework, Support and Empowerment, are particularly relevant to Cheyenne’s situation. The Support component emphasizes the importance of family, school, and community environments that provide a sense of safety, love, and belonging. This includes the need for children to feel loved, cared for, and supported. In Cheyenne’s case, this could involve strengthening her relationship with her father and sisters, as well as building connections with other supportive adults in her community. The Empowerment component, on the other hand, focuses on the need for children to feel valued and safe. It involves providing young people with opportunities to contribute to their communities and to feel that they are valued members of society. For Cheyenne, this could mean finding ways for her to contribute positively to her community, such as through volunteering or participating in local events. This would not only help her feel more valued but also build her confidence and social skills. 

Cheyenne’s plan of care should be comprehensive and tailored to her unique needs. This includes regular counseling sessions with a professional who is not only equipped to provide grief counseling but also understands her cultural background. This cultural sensitivity is crucial in ensuring that Cheyenne feels understood and comfortable during these sessions. In addition to individual counseling, family therapy sessions could be beneficial. These sessions could serve as a platform for open communication between Cheyenne and her father, fostering understanding and empathy. This could help improve their relationship and create a more supportive home environment for Cheyenne. Empowerment is another critical aspect of Cheyenne’s care. Encouraging her to participate in community activities can help her build confidence and social skills. These activities could range from volunteering at a local charity to joining a club or sports team. By participating in these activities, Cheyenne could feel more connected to her community and gain a sense of belonging. The effectiveness of this plan of care can be evaluated through regular assessments of various aspects of Cheyenne’s life. This includes her academic performance, which could improve as her mental and emotional health stabilizes. Her social interactions could also serve as an indicator of her progress. As Cheyenne builds confidence and social skills, she may become more comfortable interacting with her peers. Regular assessments of her self-esteem and overall well-being will also be crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of the plan. This plan of care aligns with the four metaparadigm concepts of nursing: person, environment, health, and nursing. Cheyenne, as a person, is at the center of the plan. Her needs, experiences, and aspirations guide the development and implementation of the plan. The environment, in this case, a small rural town, is taken into account, recognizing the impact it has on Cheyenne’s experiences and opportunities. Health is addressed holistically, considering Cheyenne’s physical, mental, and social health. Finally, nursing is the discipline that provides a comprehensive plan of care. It brings together knowledge from various fields to provide a holistic and person-centered approach to care. This approach not only addresses Cheyenne’s immediate needs but also aims to equip her with the skills and resources she needs to thrive in the future. 

In conclusion, the case of Cheyenne underscores the importance of a comprehensive, culturally sensitive, and individualized plan of care. The challenges she faces—loss of a parent, domestic violence, academic struggles, and social isolation—are complex and intertwined. They cannot be addressed in isolation but require a holistic approach that considers all aspects of her life. The Developmental Assets framework by the Search Institute provides a valuable guide for developing such a comprehensive plan of care. By focusing on the components of Support and Empowerment, we can address Cheyenne’s immediate needs while also equipping her with the skills and resources she needs to thrive in the future. Support, in the form of counseling and family therapy, can help Cheyenne process her grief and improve her relationship with her father. Empowerment, through participation in community activities, can help her build confidence, social skills, and a sense of belonging. However, the implementation of this plan is just the beginning. Regular assessments of Cheyenne’s academic performance, social interactions, self-esteem, and overall well-being are crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and make necessary adjustments. Moreover, this plan of care aligns with the four metaparadigm concepts of nursing: person, environment, health, and nursing. It places Cheyenne, as a person, at the center, takes into account her environment, addresses her health holistically, and utilizes the discipline of nursing to provide a comprehensive plan of care. 


Search Institute. (n.d.). The Developmental Assets Framework.  

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Child Development: Developmental Milestones, Stages & Delays.  

Brenner, G. H. (2022, February 22). How Losing a Parent Affects Young Children. Psychology Today.  

Pediatrics Nationwide. (2020, September 28). How Domestic Violence Affects Child Development. 

World Health Organization. (2022, November 29). Violence against children.  

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