Change and Development Families: Working From a Family Perspective

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CFCS 2333
Change and Development Families: Working From a Family Perspective
Child, Family & Community Studies
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours: Lecture
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction


Group work

Experiential classroom activities

Student presentations

Guest speakers

Audio-visual presentations

Course Description
In this course students examine families from a systems perspective. Starting with students’ own families, participants are offered several tools to use in understanding and reflecting on their own family experience and its impact on professional practice. The concepts of family strengths, diversity, natural support networks, community, social context and culture are examined. Emphasis is placed on collaboration with families as students explore the variety of roles workers fill and the multitude of ways in which workers engage supportively with families.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. Ability to reflect on one’s own family experience is central to understanding the potential impact of one’s values, beliefs, and attitudes on practice.
  2. Each family has strengths.
  3. Each family is unique within a sociocultural context.
  4. Diversity exists between individuals and between and within families, communities and cultures.
  5. Supporting families is only possible through collaboration.  The professional role of CYCC and CSSW practitioners is generally one of support.
  6. Each family develops through life transitions which present opportunities for change.
  7. Stress has a significant impact on family development.  Understanding the relationship between stress and family dynamics and crisis is essential to practice.
  8. Reflective practice is an essential goal of competent practitioners.  Encouraging and engaging in a process of reciprocal feedback is central to achieving this goal.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Conduct primary, personal research on own family experience
    • collects own family history
    • examines family history for themes and patterns
    • constructs own multigenerational family genogram
    • presents written analysis of learning
  2. Develop an understanding of the relationship between individual development and family dynamics
    • studies theoretical perspectives
    • pplies theoretical frameworks (e.g., family life cycle and family systems theory) to personal history
    • examines personal history from several perspectives
  3. Think critically about families in context
    • examines family from macro and micro perspectives
    • articulates impact of gender, culture, socio economics and stress on families
    • identifies potential impact of abuse issues within families
    • recognizes the impact of social networks on families
    • applies elements of systems theory to own and others’ families
    • respects diversity
  4. Reflect on professional role with client families
    • approaches family work respectfully and collaboratively
    • articulates several interpretations of professional role
    • identifies relationship between family level of need and worker’s role
    • examines own values and attitudes towards family
    • shows a willingness to accept and work with apparent differences
    • appreciates limitations of self and role
    • explores importance of relationships with other professionals
    • identifies community resources for families
    • explores workers’ advocacy role with families
  5. Examine the nature of crisis from a family systems perspective
    • critically analyses theoretical models of crisis in families
    • applies a crisis model to a known crisis situation
    • interprets the connection between crisis and change
    • explains worker’s role with families in crisis
    • shows a willingness to accept and work with diversity in families
  6. Examine importance of self-awareness in reflective practice
    • increases awareness of the ways in which one’s own family background shapes both personal life and approach to working with others
    • considers use of self as part of one’s own professional practice model
    • attempts changes based on observations of self and feedback
    • assesses on-going participation in course
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

Written research papers

Group presentations

Self assessment

Field research

Classroom activity participation

These assignments will be graded in accordance with the CFCS Grading Standards and Douglas College Policy

Textbook Materials



CFCS 130 or CFCS 1130