Social Work in Practice

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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When dealing with families we have to realize that the definition of family is forever changing. Families are influenced by culture, race, their lifestyle and how it shapes the family unit. These factors are important to a social worker because the family needs to be assessed by its own cultural and family values. We can say that their can be various definitions of a family. It can also be defined as a social system in which each member and their environment interact with one another in a predictable way that can affect other members.

While reading Chapter 10 I wanted to focus on the section about family stressors. I found it relevant to the case in which we are discussing in class because we need to see what other things might affect the boy?s return to normalcy. Family stressors can be a factor when assessing families. While coming up with a plan to implement change a social worker has to understand that some clients may come in contact with hostile environments on a daily basis and it can cause conflict within the family unit.

Families who do not fit into society?s view of a traditional family are often at the center of these stressors. When families experience things like stress at work, insufficient income and lack of safety in their communities it tends to spill over into their relationship with the family. Most of the time it is minority or culturally diverse families that are the ones that exhibit outside stressors.

Systems Framework for assessing Family Functioning can include larger systems influence on family. We need to keep in mind that everyone and everything can influence a family unit.

Basically a family assessment is similar to an individual assessment but with the family a social worker has to focus on...