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Lecture 7

Lecture 7.1 I listened to the lecture and took down as much as I could and what I felt was important to know.

Social Work (Social Development Studies)
Course Code
Dale Payne

of 3
LECTURE 7.1 Social Work With Families
Definition and Purpose of Family
-difficult question to answer
-everyone has their own personal definition
-how family is defined is important to know who should be involved in the intervention/sessions
-nuclear family – more than one person in the same household, related by marriage, blood, society or
self sanction. (traditional family) -mother, father, 2.2 children – now only 7% of families
-looking past the structure is important to understand the needs of the family and what is occurring.
-USA and Canada has extreme diverse relationships (ex gay, different races, ect.)
-those not white or middle class are ridiculed by others saying they grew up in “damaged family” even
though this may not be true
-60% of all children will have spend time in single parent house hold before 16
-single parent households higher chance of becoming poor
-50% divorce rate- 50% will re marry
Types of Families:
-family of origin- born into
-extended family- cousins, aunts ,ect
-blended family- mix of divorced families
-adopted family-raising children not of their own
-foster family-temp watching and nurturing children not of their own
-single family – 1 parent with children
-cultures differ on how they define a family (ex African Americans on extended family)
Basic Family Beliefs:
-foundation of workers values
-negative attitudes are not good for worker/client relationship
1Families want to be healthy
2Families want to stay together and overcome their differences
3Parents need understanding and support for the challenge of attaining relationships (no judgement,
support provides opportunities for change)
4Parents can learn positive effective ways to respond to children if provided with support, knowledge
and skill (from friends,community or professionals)- all ppl want to be the best
5Parents basic needs must be met before they can respond effectively to their parents
6Every family member needs nurturing- all need to feel loved and needed
7Family members deserve respect from each other (no mater what age, race of ethnicity)
8A child's emotional/behavioural difficulties cant be viewed outside of the family
9All people need a family- feel connected
10Problems mostly do not develop over night
11A difference exists between thoughts and actions in parenting -may have fantasies but not become an
12A difference exists between being a perfect parents and a good enough parent- must not only meet
13Families require a fair and equal treatment from society
Principles That Guide Family Social Work
1Family social work empowers families to guide their own problems and issues -participation
2Intervention should be individualized and based upon assessment of the social, psychological,
cultural, economic, emotional and physical state of the family
3Family social workers must respond to the immediate needs (ex food, shelter, before following other
needs)- hierarchy of needs (Maslow)- physical,safety,belonging needs,esteem needs,self actualization
4Family is a system- each are linked to another, must constantly evaluate what is occurring to each
member (who will suffer/benefit)
5Collaborative helping relationship should be between the family and the social worker- define
problems and solutions to set goals
6Goal of family social work is to provide social justice of all groups- bias, prejudice, age, cultural
norms and expectations, must be fixed
Family Systems Theory
-adapted from bio
-common organizing and operating principles govern living organisms
-helps understand how a family functions and how it relates to its environment
1. Problems occur as a result of ongoing patterns of communication within the family
2. Family crisis allow for change and instability
3. Family operate according to rules which must be changed before anything is resolved
Criteria for Assessing Family Functioning
Family Category Schema
-after initial first meeting with families
-60 item self report questionnaire
based on:
problem solving- how family copes with threats (economic, physical, health)
effective responsiveness- express variety of emotions. Can be welfare emotions(happiness,tenderness)
or emergency emotions (rage, fear, depression)
affective involvement- emotionally and fully involved. Parents need to be actively involved
communication- must express true feelings. Communicate content and listening carefully (clear,direct
and honest) instrumental communicating- just to get job done, no true emotion
role behaviour- tasks and obligations are there and individuals try to meet within a family. Can be
typical (ex mother, father, daughter) or those that deviate-known as idiosyncratic roles (outside
normals, ex mother being main financial provider)
autonomy- independently and see themselves as an individual not just extension of the family
Types of Parenting/Behavioural Control
ridged- in tolerate – ex children never aloud to have sleep over
flexible- clearly defined but flexible to go out (rules bent in special cases on birthday)
chaotic- complete inconsistent- jump back and forth depending on mood
leseffair-not pattern of behavioural rules (inconsistent when child pleads)
-how families function and is used in family social work
Stages of Family Life Cycle:
Marriage- committing to a relationship, roles and rules, differentiating as a couple.
Families with young children- establishing the marriage, integrate the child, working relationship
Families with school aged children- allowing greater independence, understanding role changes
Families with teenagers- adjustments, rule changes and negotiating
Families with individuals leaving home- prep for independent living, accepting them as independent
Middle age parents- adjusting to empty nest with not children
Families with ageing family members- involvement with grandchildren and dealing with ageing
Origins and Growth of Family Social Work
-After WW2 roughly when the role of a family was important to reunite a family and being together
-Baby boom
-Changing sexual identities and divorce
-1950's when family social work became well known and vital to social work
-feminism was important point in family social work as well