Spring 2021 SOWK 487 Class 04 Weekly Email

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Unit Introduction and What You Will Learn

Week four, we move away from talking about groups in general and discussing a specific type of group, that of working with families. Students are expected to read Chovil (2009). We will also be talking about the dimensions of family assessment. These include (1) Homeostasis, (2) Boundaries and Boundary Maintenance, (3) Family Decision Making, Hierarchy, and Power, (4) Family Roles, (5) Communication Styles of Family Members (6) Family Life Cycle, (7) Family Rules, (8) Social Environment, and (9) Family Adaptive Capacity (Stressors and Strengths).

The agenda for this week is as follows:

  • Strengths perspective and families
  • Engagement and assessment with families


Chovil, N. (2009). Engaging families in child & youth mental health: A review of best, emerging and promising practices. The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids’ Mental Health, 44 pages. Available at https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/resource-guide/cac_engaging_families_in_child_and_youth_mental_health.pdf

Unit Resources

You need to read Chovil (2009).

During this class session you will need the following:

  • Different colored construction paper cut into shapes of various sizes and shapes (any shapes/sizes that you want). We will be creating a simple genogram out of the construction paper and so you will need enough pieces to symbolize the different members of your family (consider immediate or extended and however you define your family). If you are not able to do this, students could also draw the genogram on paper, but the cutout shapes are preferable.

I created an 11-minute video to go with this material. It discusses Strengths-Based Engagement with Families. It provides some specifics for how we can think about strengths perspective and working with families and groups.

The presentation slides can be viewed through Notist on my website, where you can download them and follow along during class. Spring 2021 SOWK 487 Working with Families Part I: Strengths and Assessments with Families

View SOWK 487 Week 04 - Working with Families Part I: Strengths and Assessments with Families.

Unit Assignments

A-01: Synchronous Class Engagement

Attend Class

A-02: Asynchronous Class Engagement

Meta: Points 5 points (1.25% of your final grade); Deadline initial post due Friday 02/05/21 at 11:55 PM and two replies due Sunday 02/07/21 at 11:55 PM; Completion via My Heritage Course Forum at W-04 “Introspective of family systems” forum

Purpose: This forum is to give students an opportunity to consider the dynamics of their family in relationship dimensions of the family systems framework assessment.

Task: During class on 02/03/21, we will be discussing various aspects of the family systems framework assessment. Students will break out into groups to talk about roles, norms, rules, and values that they might have in their family. Students are to write about this topic related to their family in a paragraph or two. Students can consider their family in any way that they desire.

Criterion for Success: Students will talk about some of their family’s roles, norms, rules, and values. They will post about this on-time and reply to at least two peers.

To Do Lists