Family Assessment Development Evaluation

Family Cycle

As per the Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM), developmental assessment has got to do with the evaluation of not only the stage a specified family is in, but also familial tasks and attachments. In this development evaluation task, I will concern myself with the family life cycle of the selected family, its emotional processes, and the various tasks and issues taking place at present. The relevance of developmental assessment cannot be overstated. This is more so the case given that in seeking to enhance the standard of care advanced to families, there is need to have sound understanding of not only the functions and roles in families, but also the stressors experienced. In essence, the family being assessed in this case happens to be in the third stage of the CFAM, i.e. families with young children. The family has three children – Marissa, aged 2; Maddie, aged 3; and Drake, aged 8. The family possibly wants an additional child. A few years from now, the family will be transitioning to the other CFAM stage, i.e. families with adolescents.

Emotional Process

In general terms, the emotional processes the family experiences at present have got to do with accepting new members into the system. Already, the family is past emotional processes relating to committing to the new union. This is more so the case given that the couple has already formed a marital system. At this stage, the parents are experiencing the emotional process of change at the individual, parental, and partner levels. At the individual level, it is important to note that with new members in the system, mum and dad have had to constantly adjust the way they relate amongst themselves and with outsiders. Huge adjustments have had to be made. For instance, dad used to be a staunch football fan and enthusiast and would occasionally travel to watch matches with friends. That has had to change especially with the entry of Maddie and Marissa. At the parental level, balancing work and parenting responsibilities does sometimes invite stress and anxiety for mum and dad. It should be noted that if not properly managed, anxiety at this front could spill over to the partner level and trigger disagreements. Mom and dad have been able to keep such disagreements at the minimum – aided largely by their long-term association. Having been high school sweethearts, and with their marriage in its 9th year, they have come a long way and they tend to resolve conflicts swiftly. Skills learned during coupling, i.e. compromise, have served them well.

The decision making scope for both mum and dad is also wide at this point than it has been at any point in the past. Decisions in this case have to take into consideration a greater number of persons, with individual decisions having greater ramifications. Towards this end, with the two parents aware of the need to provide not only an organized, but also a loving environment, decision making requires greater mental capital. In essence, at this point, the family is yet to encounter issues relating to flexing of family boundaries so as to accommodate the autonomy of children and related demands for independence. Further, both sets of grandparents are still strong and able to fend for themselves. Later on, the family will have to grapple with the frailties of the said grandparents. At present, the family has also had to accommodate families at the same stage of its family life cycle, i.e. families having both pre-school and school-age children. This is part of the social support system this particular family interacts with and closely relates with from time to time. Making and keeping new friendships has been a challenge, especially for dad who is more of an introvert.

Issues and Tasks Occurring

With regard to issues and tasks taking place, it is important to note that at this point, the family is actively creating space for their three children within the marital setup and is even contemplating having a fourth child. More specifically, the family is coming to terms with the challenges of childrearing and developing the most valid approaches and strategies in the said endeavor. Added responsibilities means that the two parents have had to appropriately allocate tasks amongst themselves – with the most prominent ones being household, financial, and general childrearing duties and tasks (such as helping with homework, participating in exploration and playtime, etc.). It should be noted that both parents in this case have demanding roles in their professional roles. While dad is an electrician, mom is a high school science teacher. Both have had to find ways of participating and joining in the roles, duties and tasks highlighted above.

The family is also primarily occupied with the health and wellbeing of the children. Responsibilities towards this end include, but they are not limited to, ensuring proper nutrition and suitable clothing. Later on, mum and dad will be more preoccupied with the further promotion of the emotional as well as social development of theirs three children, most specifically via the provision of the relevant opportunities for social contact. At present, dad’s electrician job is contractual, meaning that at times he is around for a couple of days, and at other times he is gone for a number of days as well. In accordance with general gender roles, mum performs most of the chores in the household whenever she is not at work. The children’s grandmother, who lives just 20 minutes away, takes over the caregiver role every day before mum leaves for work. Dad takes over house chores whenever he is around and mum is at work. The children’s grandmother takes a well-deserved rest during such periods.

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