Spring 2022 SOWK 487 Class 05 Weekly Email

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I hope that everybody is doing well. I’m assuming that the University has also shared this with you, but they have extended the online only for classes another week (and a day). This means that Monday (02/14/22) is both valentines day (happy valentines day everybody!), but will also feature class via zoom verses in person. The following week, 02/21/22 is a holiday and we won’t have class that week. Your other class might be able to return to in-person as of the 22nd and after (unless it changes again), but for us it will be the week after. Make sure to look below to see the activity we will be and what you need.

Unit Introduction and What You Will Learn

Week five, 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) report, Engaging Families in Child & Youth Mental Health: A Review of Best, Emerging and Promising Practices

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.

Teaser Image for Strengths-Based Engagement with Families [YouTube Video]]

The presentation slides can be viewed through Notist on my website, where you can download them and follow along during class. Spring 2022 SOWK 487 Week 05 - Working with Families Part I

View Spring 2022 SOWK 487 Week 05 - Working with Families Part I.

Unit Assignments

  • Complete the readings
  • Attend Class

To Do Lists