Family or Origin Paper

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• Please Note: Inevitably, professionals bring their own family experiences to family social work practice. This can be a great asset; yet, it can also manifest itself as counter-transference and contribute to inappropriate assessment and ineffective interventions. Knowing and understanding oneself is critical to effective practice; this assignment will allow students to reflect upon their family of origin in preparation for professional family social work. This assignment can be painful and difficult, as it asks you to revisit parts of your childhood and family history that may be uncomfortable for you. Part of this assignment also means feeling vulnerable, as you are being asked to discuss your family history in a paper that is being given to your Professor. Any feeling that you have is okay. Remember that every family has functional aspects and dysfunctional aspects; you are not alone. Please know that I read all of these papers from a place of deep empathy; I will hold your history is in the highest confidence and this content will not be shared with anyone. One of the purposes for this assignment is for you to visit these issues while you are still in school so that if any of them are triggering for you, then you have an understanding of what you may need to work on personally in order to be successful professionally. The MSW degree is training you to work with clients. In order to do that work, you must understand what issues are triggering for you first, and those issues should be worked out before working with clients. In my experience, some of the best social workers are the ones who have conquered their own issues first.
• Expectations include an APA Manuscript Style Cover Page and Reference Page along with double spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, with 1 inch margins, and all other APA formatting. Do not exceed 8 pages of written material (not including cover page and reference page).
• Each of the headings bolded in the Assignment Outline will act as APA format level 1 headings; this is required for your paper.
• Submit to ‘Family of Origin Paper’ Assignments/Dropbox.
• Carefully follow the directions that follow to successfully complete this assignment.
Assignment Outline:
READ THIS: Sections 1 and 8 in their entirety are REQUIRED. From sections 2- 7, PICK THREE sections in their entirety to complete.
1. Family Assessment (Required) For your own use only, sketch out a three-generation family
genogram including depiction of the culture and ethnicity of your family and/or other characteristics that you find important. Feel free to define ‘family’ how you see fit. Not everyone will have informationre: 3 generations, just include what you do know IF this is the case. Students will not include their genogram in this assignment, it is only used as a point of reference to help students address the following:
a) Write a brief family assessment addressing these three focused areas:
• gender roles
• culture (as you wish to define it) • ethnicity
2. Family Messages (Optional)
a) What messages did your family express about people who are different from your family in re: to
race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and/ or other characteristics as applicable to your
b) What messages did your family express about the roles of women and men?
c) What messages did your family express about place of children (roles, expectations, how they
are to behave, etc.)
d) What messages did your family express about who is labeled an outsider and insider, and how
are they treated?
e) What impact have these messages had on how you view yourself?
3. Family Rituals, Traditions, and Transitions (Optional)
a) Identify a tradition or ritual in your family and explain how it evolved.
b) How does this tradition or ritual affect you?
c) Identify a tradition or ritual that needs to be changed in your family. How would that help your
d) How would you initiate or assist a family in developing this new tradition or ritual? e) How would your family be different without rituals and traditions?
f) Identify a transition and how it was handled in your family.
4. Parenting Practices (Optional)
a) What rules and expectations were present for boys and girls? What form of discipline was used in
your family most often? Was the discipline the same for girls and boys?
b) Who participated in the decision-making process?
c) What types of rewards were given for family and individual successes?
5. Family Support Systems and Strengths (Optional)
a) How was stress handled in your family?
b) Can you identify patterns or attitudes associated with stress and were they apparent in more than
one generation?
c) What kinds of supports were there for stressors? d) How do you handle stress?
e) Describe family strengths.
6. Significant Event (Optional)
a) Did any significant event in your family give you a sense of purpose that you carry with you
7. Similarities and Differences (Optional)
a) Describe what you hope may be the same or different in your current/future family compared to your family of origin.
8. Impact on Your Work (Required)
a) How do you feel the responses you provided to the above items may impact your work with
families? Use at least three academic journal articles to reference (not the textbook) support your response to #8.