Handbook of Family Resilience

pp 65-82


Community-Based Practice Applications of a Family Resilience Framework

  • Froma WalshAffiliated withChicago Center for Family HealthSchool of Social Service Administration and Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago Email author 

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A family resilience practice framework is especially valuable in community-based intervention and prevention with families facing serious life challenges. How families approach and respond to their stressful conditions can foster positive adaptation, with potential for personal and relational growth for all members. In this chapter I first summarize the core practice principles of my research-informed Family Resilience Framework and identify key processes that practitioners can facilitate to strengthen family resilience. I then describe several community-based training and practice applications developed through the Chicago Center for Family Health (CCFH) to demonstrate the utility of a family resilience-oriented framework in a wide range of adverse situations: healing and recovery from crisis, trauma, and loss; navigating disruptive transitions or dislocations; thriving despite multistress, chronic conditions; and positive development of at-risk youth in vulnerable communities. Using varied formats, including brief consultation, family counseling/therapy, and multifamily groups, workshops, and forums, this collaborative resilience-oriented approach strengthens family functioning, relational bonds, vital community connections, and resources to meet future life challenges.