Family Assessment Model

Improved Essays
People may have an idealistic view of family in contemporary society; however, the reality is that families are diverse and decades of social change have resulted in numerus definitions of family (Barnes & Rowe 2013). There is an increasing need to recognise families using a family strengths perspective in order to detect where families are thriving, how they succeed and what they can do to improve positive outcomes (Smith and Ford 2013). Nurses, when working with families, need to adopt a family strengths framework approach so they are better able to undertake a complete family assessment (Smith and Ford 2013).
Barnes and Rowe (2013) define family as a couple living with or without children, or lone parents and their child or children, all
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All families have strengths and nurses can assist families to draw on these qualities when needed; however, all families have different strengths and the way in which families demonstrate these strengths will also vary (Smith and Ford 2013). Several frameworks or models for nursing have been utilised in recent years to assist nurses to assess families (Lewis & Foley 2014). One of these tools is the Australian Family Strengths Nursing Assessment Guide (Smith & Ford 2013). This guide has eight qualities: ‘communication, togetherness, sharing activities, affection, support, acceptance, commitment, resilience’ (Smith & Ford 2013, p.100). When family strengths are encouraged, they demonstrate an understanding of expectations and contribute to strengthening the nurse-family relationship (Smith & Ford 2013). A family’s ability to cope with stress relies heavily on strengths, such as communication (Langtree 2015). When families have good communication skills, they are more equipped to discuss feelings about an illness and its effect on family life (Langtree 2015). Nurses, who work with families, are required to understand the importance of assessing strengths in order to determine the way families cope with stress (Langtree 2015). Nurses need to acknowledge individual family strengths and work with families to build on those strengths, as well as empowering families through additional education and support (Mokgothu, Du Plessis & Koen 2015). Lewis and Foley (2014) contend it is imperative that nurses recognise the strengths of the family at every interaction with them. Health professionals can work with families to develop their strengths, which can assist families to acquire the necessary skills to adapt to changing circumstances (Coyne, Wollin & Creedy 2012). Once family strengths have been

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