Families in Community Context

Applied Community Studies
Community Social Service Work
Course Code
CSSW 2433
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Building on the course content in CSSW 2333, Families: Change and Development, students will examine critical issues families and communities may encounter, including child abuse and partner violence, legalities involved in separation and divorce, child custody, fostering, addictions, illness, multiculturalism and First Nations’ families. Students will explore the role of the social service worker in providing support, assessment and referrals to families requiring services.
Course Content

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

  • Violence and abuse occur in the context of family, community and culture.  Opportunities for change and adaptation occur throughout the lifespan.  Transitions represent critical periods during which maladaptive response are most likely.   
  • The role of social service workers in abuse situations is to support, report, advocate and refer and to refrain from investigations, as this is the responsibility of child protection social workers and police/Crown Counsel. 
  • Family violence and abuse intervention can be disturbing for workers.  Practitioner self-care is an essential component of effective work.
  • Events such as partner and child abuse, removal of a child, separation and divorce often may be accompanied by legal procedures.  It is essential that the worker has a basic understanding of separation agreements, custody arrangements, restraining orders and supervised access.
  • Many families are dealing with the impact of immigration, the refugee experience, the legacy of residential schools and systemic discrimination, disabilities, major illnesses and addictions.
  • There are many agencies providing services to families.  The worker must acquire a comprehensive understanding of the services available to families and make appropriate referrals.
Methods Of Instruction

·         Lecture

·         Collaborative learning

·         Use of multimedia resources

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.  Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of the following:

  • Examinations
  • Research papers
  • Attendance
  • Participation

 This is a letter graded course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, within the following content areas, the student will be able to:

  1. Child abuse and neglect:
    • define the types and impact of child abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual
    • describe underlying causes of child abuse in society
    • identify indicators of child abuse
    • demonstrate understanding of personal and professional responsibility to report child abuse
  2. Partner violence and violence towards women:
    • define types of partner violence, including physical, emotional and sexual
    • demonstrate understanding of underlying causes of violence
    • explain the “cycle of abuse” model for understanding partner violence
    • identify services and support for those experiencing relationship violence, including transition and second stage housing
    • describe ways in which social service workers may provide support to those who are involved in legal processes related to partner violence
    • describe the impact of family violence on children who witness abuse
  3. Legal processes as they relate to CSSW role with families:
    • describe the essential components of child protection legislation
    • demonstrate basic understanding of separation agreements, restraining orders, divorce and custody agreements.
  4. Specialized issues in the family:
    • demonstrate basic understanding of the foster care system
    • describe the unique history of First Nations’ families in Canada, including the legacy of residential school and the over-representation of First Nations’ children in government care
    • demonstrate an understanding of families in a multicultural context
    • demonstrate an understanding of the impact of addictions, mental illness and major illnesses such as HIV/AIDS in families
    • demonstrate an understanding of non-traditional families
  5. Intervention strategies and resources
    • identify effective intervention strategies for families affected by abuse
    • identify resources/treatment available for both victims and perpetrators of abuse
    • demonstrate knowledge of case management approach to working with families
    • identify appropriate community resources for families to assist in meeting their needs
    • provide supportive counselling, including assessment and referrals
    • describe culturally appropriate services and resources
    • describe how agency policy, procedure, community resources, and the families own support network  can be mobilized
Textbook Materials





No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

This course is not required for any other course.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Fall 2020

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.