SWL227 - Community Studies: Families in Change

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:55:18.262
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:55:32.747

Subject Title
Community Studies: Families in Change

Subject Description
This course will examine the multiple variations in family structure and the changing role of the family in today's society. Various styles and problems of modern family living will be explored. In addition, changing family structure, gender role expectations and ethnicity and the family will be studied. The implications for both service delivery and social policy and planning will be considered.

Credit Status
One credit in the Social Service Worker Diploma program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
1. Trace the evolution of the family over the last century
2. Identify the different family structures operating in Canadian society today
3. Consider his/her own life experience in the context of patterns and trends in his/her family
4. Identify the stages of the family life cycle
5. Identify the theoretical frameworks used to understand and assess family functioning
6. Apply theories of family functioning to family situations for assessment purposes
7. Recognize pressures and problems faced by the modern Canadian family as a result of structural systemic issues

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

All Module 1 subjects

Topic Outline
1.   Definition of a family
2.   Reviewing Family Systems Theory and applying the concepts
3.   Developing Eco-maps and Geno-maps
4.   Reviewing other theories related to the family (Structural-Functional, Developmental,Conflict and Exchange Theories)
5.   Applying the theoretical concepts
6.   Overview of the family over the past 100 years - focus will beon the 1800's, 1950's and the present - Topics to include: roles throughout the family life cycle; family composition; marriage and mortality.
7.   Overview of poverty in Canada throughout the past 100 years - Topics to include: causes; those at risk; Government involvement; what can be done to eradicate the problem.
8.   Overview of ethnicity in Canada - Topics to include: definition of ethnicity; the importance of studying ethnicity; racism in Canada; what can be done about it?
9.   Overview of the Family Life Cycle.  Milestones to be accomplished at each stage will be reviewed along with challenges individuals may face.
10. An overview of the changing family form. Topics to include: single parenting; same sex partners; childless couples; couples opting not to marry and changing gender roles.
11. An overview of the changing work force and its impact on the family.

Mode of Instruction
The course will consist of assigned readings, lectures, group discussions, and experiential exercises.

Prescribed Texts
Continuity and Innovation: Canadian Families in the New Millennium, 1st Edition, 2017
By Amber Gazso and Karen Kobayashi; Nelson Education, ISBN-10: 0176593497 ISBN-13: 978-0176593490

Reference Material
A Writer's Resource, 3rd edition
by Maimon, Peritz, Rubens, McGraw Hill, ISBN#9780070685840

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA – and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy http://www.senecac.on.ca/academic-policy/acpol-08.html.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Test 20%
Essay 30%
Group Presentation 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble