Family Strengths Literature Review

Family Strengthening – Assignment 1
A review of family strengthening literature

This literature review compares six articles: DeFrain, Cook and Gonzalez-Kruger (2005); Madsen (1999); Munford and Sanders (2005); Sousa, Ribeiro and Rodrigues (2006); Ungar (2010), and Walsh (1998), related to the key theme of “What is a strengths-based approach to working with families?”   This review will find what their definitions of a strengths based approach are, and will highlight their views corresponding to four different questions   - How can a strengths-based approach be incorporated into client work?; What are some effective ways to engage with clients?; How is family resilience/resiliency conceptualised?; and What obstacles to a strengths-based approach are identified? The review will then finish with a brief conclusion and useful questions which can be used in a family therapy session.

What is a strengths-based approach to working with families?
DeFrain et al. (2005) highlights the benefits that a strengths-based approach offers clients by utilising an inquiry-based inventory to actively search for positive skills that exist within the family. The authors state that this enables the family to work as a collaborative team for finding their own solutions.   Munford and Sanders (2005) suggest this approach “allows families to explore their own natural coping abilities and problem solving styles” (p.13), while Sousa et al. (2006) identify that “every individual, family and community has strengths” (p.189).   Madsen (1999) notes the benefits this approach holds for practitioners as it “provides direction to our work” (p.27), while Ungar (2010) describes it as a “...dual process of navigation and negotiation” (p.14). Munford and Sanders (2005) provide insight into how social workers and practitioners can work together as part of an integrated collaborative team within a strengths-based framework, while Madsen (1999) states that as practitioners “interact with clients, their...