Course Number: 
40800

This course provides a systems-based conceptual and technical foundation for social work practice with families, considering multigenerational family life-cycle development, sociocultural context, and family diversity. We examine social constructions of the "normal family" with particular attention to changing family forms and gender roles, addressing the challenges facing diverse couples and families in a changing world. An overview of foundational models of family practice and recent developments in strength-based collaborative approaches highlights core concepts and methods in brief problem-solving, post-modern, and intergenerational, growth-oriented models. Discussion focuses on: (1) assessment of family strengths and vulnerabilities; (2) intervention objectives; and (3) the process of change. A research-informed, integrative Family Resilience Framework is presented, identifying key family processes and intervention/prevention guidelines to foster resilience of at-risk children and distressed families by strengthening family functioning as presenting problems are resolved. Special topics include: working with child and adolescent concerns, family diversity, the role of culture and spirituality/belief systems in families, and disenfranchised/multi-stressed families. A broad range of practice issues and guidelines are illustrated with videotape and case examples.