Introduction: The dynamics that we found in families are individual worth, communication, rules, and system that link the family with outside system. These dynamics are developed after birth and so changeable and correctable.
Research on resilience in families has shed light on family protective factors and family recovery factors that appear to play a critical role in promoting the family’s ability to maintain its established patterns of functioning after being challenged by risk factors and in fostering the family’s ability to recover or bounce back quickly from misfortune and family crisis.
Definition of resilience: Resilience is the ability of a individual or a family to use its strengths in order to positively need life’s challenges. It involves the family’s ability to return to previous levels of functioning following a challenge or crises. ( Luthar et al 2000).
Central Concepts in Family Resilience: Within the Family Resiliency framework ( Mccubbin et al 1993) resilience is viewed as involving two distinguishable but related family processes: (1) adjustment, which involves the influence of protective factors in facilitating the family’s ability ad efforts to maintain its integrity, functioning, and fulfill developmental tasks in the face of risk factors, and (2) adaptation, which involves the function of recovery factors in promoting the family’s ability to “bounce back” and adapt in family crisis situation.
Resiliency and the Family: families help the children learn resilient behavior, when the family teach problem-solving skills and provide positive, non critical support and a sense of togetherness. The values and skills learned at home give individuals the power to shape their lives. Families that learn how to cope with challenges and meet individual needs are more resilient to stress and crisis. Healthy families solve problems with cooperation, creative brainstorming, and openness to others.
Resiliency and the Community: Like individuals and families, communities have strengths and vulnerabilities that influence life and foster resiliency. Neighborhoods, schools, churches, businesses, and government organizations are all part of this multifaceted influence. Melaville et al 1993 found that education and human service providers strengthen family resiliency when they provide programming that is comprehensive, preventative, family center integrated, flexible, diversity sensitive, and outcome oriented.
Resiliency and Role of social Worker to Implement the Effective Family Programs:
Community Based: Community-based programs need to recognize that children are part of a family and community. Programs that encourage neighborhood and school involvement help communities respond to the needs of individuals and families.
Comprehensive: Programs that provide continuous intense interaction with competent, caring adults and peers are more effective than programs designed solely for crisis situations. Effective programs focus on services that address the educational, health, social, and emotional needs of individuals, parents, and children.
Empowering: Programs that provide nurturing connections with others help individuals and families learn about community resources and link them to the world of work. Successful programs involve clients in shaping their own interventions.
Complex: Programs must focus on causes; addressing immediate symptoms is not enough. Early Intervention and crisis prevention should be emphasized. Addressing barriers to change empowers individuals and families to become part of the decision-making process.
Culturally Relevant: Programs that respect individual and cultural differences build strengths in the clients they serve. Addressing barriers and accommodating different learning styles helps build a broad resource base for problem solving.
Collaborative: Programs need to involve multiple agencies, organizations, and citizens to be effective. Co-ordination with existing services helps integrate programs into communities.
Respectful: Interactions between programs and clients that focus on equality and respect solidify relationships and provide opportunities for one-on-one interaction. Voluntary programs that are accessible and easy to use encourage participation. Using mentors to share their experiences helps clients address their own goals.
Intergenerational: Programs that value resiliency use an encouragement model that takes an intergenerational approach to build on family strengths. Programs that provide parent education can help families acquire basic skills and promote informal support among peers.
Accountable: Programs need regular assessment to make services more responsive to families and to justify financial investment.
Conclusion: Social workers have long advocated the importance of interventions with families. Practitioners typically work with families who have experienced adverse events or risks and attempt to identify family processes that ameliorate those risks.
PhD scholar & Senior Research Fellow, Dept of Psychiatric Social work, NIMHANS, Bangalore: 560029
Additional professor, Dept of Psychiatric social work, Dr.MV.Govindaswamy centre, NIMHANS, Bangalore: 560029
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