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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

The Genogram: A Tool for Assessment and Intervention in Child Welfare

Author: Walton, Elaine; Smith, Carole
Author Background:
Date 1/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Family-Social-Work
Volume/Pages 1999, 3, 3, 3-20.
Subject Matter Pedagogical Articulations
Abstract Presents a rationale & practice guidelines for using the genogram as a tool in assessment & service delivery in the context of family-centered services in the child welfare arena. A model for using genograms is described, & a case example illustrates how the model affected a family inflicted by child sex abuse. Genograms have typically been used in the development of theories for diagnostic purposes or applied in long-term, office-based clinical settings. By contrast, intensive family preservation services were developed in response to crises that threatened the separation of the family. The services are short term, delivered in the home, & are practical in focus on basic concrete needs & life management skills. The conceptual merging of genograms & intensive, in-home, family preservation services is an example of the application of family systems theory from the clinical perspective as well as the person-in-environment social work perspective. Used in this way, the genogram is a dynamic process - not just a product - & offers hope to caseworkers dedicated to preserving families in the child welfare system as well as providing a broader framework in which to view clinical interventions. 1 Figure, 53 References. Adapted from the source document