Article

Families

Heather Coleman

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0106
Families

Preview

This entry identifies family resources pertaining to social work family theories. Given the multidisciplinary work in family therapy, this entry also includes classical works from related disciplines. Social work’s involvement with families has taken two paths, spawning the need to present resources from both categories. The first category falls under what is known as family casework, family social work, or home-based family services, which unfold in the home and community of families facing ecological challenges. The second path is family therapy that occurs in offices and focuses on internal family dynamics. Social workers in both streams draw from similar family theory; however, family social work also integrates ecosystems theory. The origins of family social work can be traced to Mary E. Richmond, who advocated for a family approach. In the late 1950s allied disciplines took an interest in families of schizophrenics and developed family therapy as a method of intervention. Since then family therapy has evolved, and ideas have been cumulative. Social workers have also worked alongside allied disciplines, often making it difficult to delineate social works’ stand-alone contributions. Nichols and Schwartz 2009 (cited under Textbooks) acknowledged the contributions of early social workers to family theory.

Article.  10822 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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