In this week’s Discussion, you focused on how a specific barrier or set of barriers might affect a family system. Now, you turn to a more holistic view of a family system. Consider your experience both within your own family of origin and when interacting with other families. What is different between these examples of families?
In the field of social work, it is imperative that you know how to assess families. When trying to identify what is happening within a family, a social worker must learn about the family’s structure, identify their strengths, review their communication style, and understand the family’s dynamics. Families are influenced by the unique individuals within the family, as well as by the larger cultural context in which the family exists. Families vary in how they define who is a member of the family unit, what role each family should play, and what the family dynamics are based on an individual member’s contributions to the family system. Often, the social worker’s role is to help identify trouble spots and help the family re-adjust to healthy system dynamics.
In this week’s Assignment, you provide an assessment of a family and provide an analysis of the family using a social work perspective with consideration to strengths, cultural values, and social work theory.
DISCUSSION POST –
The diverse family I have chosen is a nuclear family consisting of an African American mother and father.
This couple shares six children consisting of one Caucasian child, two Asian, and three African American children. Of the six children, three are biological African American and the other are adopted from birth. This family is very diverse, and it does not conform to what is considered normal or traditional. Family is defined as “a primary group whose members assume certain obligations for each other and
generally, share common residences” (Barker, 2014). Based on this definition, my chosen family meets the definition of family
irrespective of not sharing the same race and or blood. Some challenges that this
diverse family may experience is prejudice and racial discrimination targeted at the children from their peers and classmates. The parents could also receive negative reactions. When we encounter families in public, we naturally look for physical attributes that could indicate the relationship between the family members. The most common features are
the shared race, skin color, and physical characteristics like the same noise, color eyes, etc. The mother in this family could be traveling internationally with her adopted children and naturally draw attention and speculations that she has no relation to them. While
this type of family is becoming more popular, the challenges do not get more
comfortable. Another challenge this family might encounter is racial identification,
particularly for the children of diverse ethnicity.
Identities are based on the degrees to
which individuals (1) have knowledge of, awareness of, competence within, and comfort with their own racial group’s culture, their parents’ racial group’s culture, and multiple
cultures” (Baden, 2002). The diversity in the family could contribute to the self-esteem
issues in the children who do not share their parent’s ethnicity. There is also the issue of racial identity for all the children in this family. What race should these children identify? This could pose a problem for the children, especially in the adolescence phase. The
parents would have to start explaining to all of them children the diversity that makes of their family, and regardless of their skin color, they are one family.
A social worker, assisting this family, would address the diverse background of this family by first viewing the
family as a unit and observing the family dynamic. Establishing the areas that need a
ddressing would require interacting with and observing the family. Every member of
this family contributes to the diversity of this family unit and should be involved in the
change process. The generalist intervention method would best be approached using
the micro/mezzo system (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018).
• Consider a family system in a holistic manner. You can use the same family system as
in the Discussion. However, in the Discussion you focused on a specific set of
challenges. In this Assignment, think about all other aspects of the family system.
Submit a 2- to 3-page paper in which you further analyze a family system. Support your analysis by using the Kirst-Ashman and Hull text to do the following:
• Describe the structure of a family.
• Identify the strengths in the family.
• Explain where in the life cycle this family is located and how that may influence family dynamics.
• Describe the specific roles of two family members and explain if the various roles work well together for the benefit of this family.
• Explain how understanding the family’s challenges will help a social worker working
with this family.
• Analyze this family using systems theory or the ecological perspective.