SOCW 2161 Week two
Week two: Assessment of Families
Understanding a client’s family history and background is one of the first steps in assessment. Having a thorough knowledge of the assessment tools and strategies available enhances a clinical social worker’s practice. Using theory to assess all levels of a situation enables the clinical social worker to develop the most effective and appropriate intervention, one that takes advantage of a social work principle that states that all clients have strengths. Identifying and creating a strategy that is strength-based is one of the cornerstones of good social work practice.
Apply micro-, mezzo-, and macro-levels of strengths-based assessments to a family case study
Apply the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems to a case study
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Holosko, M. J., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter 9, “Assessment of Families” (pp. 237–264)
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. (Eds.). (2013). Sessions case histories. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing.
“The Cortez Family” (pp. 23–25)
Smokowski, P. R., Rose, R., & Bacallao, M. L. (2008). Acculturation and Latino family processes: How cultural involvement, biculturalism, and acculturation gaps influence family dynamics. Family Relations, 57(3), 295–308.
Olson, D. H. (2000). Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. Journal of Family Therapy, 22(2), 144–167.
Discussion 1: Family Assessment
The first step in helping a client is conducting a thorough assessment. The clinical social worker must explore multiple perspectives in order to develop a complete understanding of the situation. From this understanding, the social worker is able to recognize the client’s strengths and develop effective strategies for change.
For this Discussion, review the “Cortez Family” case history.
By Day 3
Post your description of how micro-, mezzo-, or macro-levels of practice aid social workers in assessing families. Assess Paula Cortez’s situation using all three of these levels of practice, and identify two strengths and/or solutions in each of these levels.
Describe the value in strength-based solutions.
By Day 5
Respond to two colleagues who presented a different strength and/or solution in analyzing one of the levels of practice.
Submission and Grading Information
To access your rubric:
Week 2 Discussion 1 Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion 1
Discussion 2: Circumplex Model
Understanding the level of cohesion of a family system is important in order to determine an effective treatment plan. Olson (2000) developed the Circumplex Model, which has been used in the areas of marital therapy and with families dealing with terminal illness.
For this Discussion, you again draw on the “Cortez Family” case history.
By Day 4
Post your description of the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems and how it serves as a framework to assess family systems. Apply this framework in assessing the Cortez family. Use the three dimensions (cohesion, flexibility, and communication) of this model to assess and analyze. Describe how assessing these dimensions assists the social worker in treatment planning.
By Day 6
Respond to two colleagues whose assessments of family cohesion differ from yours. Resolve the differences or explain how each viewpoint is valid.
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