Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery




Not offered in 2016


This unit introduces the concept of working with families from a strengths-based framework. The concept of family strengths has been studied for several decades and describes a family that functions optimally in support of the individual members. When nurses and other professionals use a family strengths theoretical framework in their daily practice, they contribute to providing health care that focuses on the whole rather than only the individual and begin to support families when accessing health care. A healthy family may be stronger in one area than another, and strengths may overlap with each other. It is well known that the family environment may have a positive or a negative effect on individuals in the family, depending on the family's values, beliefs, and ability to manage change. The composition and structure of contemporary families are wide-ranging, and include families from varying cultures, with composition including single and extended families, and families at differing socioeconomic levels. This unit aims to bridge the gap in theoretical content related to family care across the lifespan so that nurses and other professionals can explore the factors that shape their capacity to develop caring relationships with individuals, families, groups, populations, and communities.


Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast strengths, supports, protective factors and vulnerabilities within differing families
  2. Discuss the impact of contemporary issues on the health and wellbeing of the family in the context of multicultural families and communities living in Australia
  3. Explore how a strengths-based approach to working with families is developed and defined within the nursing context and the broader health care system
  4. Critically appraise the concept of building trusting relationship with individuals, families and communities to facilitate health and wellbeing
  5. Describe the nurses' and other professionals role and responsibilities when working with at risk families
  6. Discuss the role of the health professional in promoting health and wellbeing within families across the life span.


Simulation based learning (1,000 words) (30%)
Written assignment (3,000 words) (40%)
Group assignment (3,000 words) (30%)

Workload requirements

This is a flexible unit with compulsory on campus simulation based tutorial sessions. Two hour lecture per week (Podcast): 24 hours, One hour tutorial / simulation based learning activities per week: 12 hours, Self-directed learning: 120 hours.

Total: 156 hours.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


This unit applies to the following area(s) of study