UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effectiveness of family case work : an evaluation of the case work treatment of family relationships problems by the Family Welfare Bureau of Greater Vancouver, B.C. Calnan, Wilfrid Michael


The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate family case work particularly as seen in the work performance of the Family Welfare Bureau of Greater Vancouver, British Columbia. The research sample comprises fifty-eight cases featured by problems in the areas of marital relationships and parent-child relationships, known to the agency during the five-year period ending April 1, 1948. Selection is exclusive of extreme examples and includes only "whole" families, that is, units in which both parents were living, although not necessarily together. Childless marriages are considered only when there are no contra-indications to fecundity. Age is a further delimiting factor in selection of these cases. The maximum ages for men being forty years, for women thirty-five years. The total research load is subdivided into five groups, basis of grouping being the particular problem most troubling the family. Groupings are; Early Years of Marriage (Ten cases), Advanced Marital Conflict (Thirteen cases), Dissolution of Marriage (Eleven cases), Reconciliation (Ten cases), and Child Development and Parent-Child Relationships Problems (Fourteen cases). None of the several evaluation methods examined proved suitable for the cases in this study. The criteria and method of evaluation used in the project are derived from basic case work principles and the concept of social case work as a dynamic process. For want of a better descriptive term the instrument devised is variously called the case-o-graph, case-gram and case-chart. It is a dissecting facility intended to show the dynamics of the case work process as they operate in a given situation. The activity of client, worker, agency and community are proportionately shown in this case-chart which illustrates what takes place in case work as seen in the case record. Results, of case work are subjectively graded. The case work services of the Family Welfare Bureau are assessed as generally effective. Visiting homemaker service is particularly of good quality. Difficulty in helping people with serious personality conflicts and advanced marital problems underlines the necessity for improvement of case work personnel, increased psychiatric orientation of staff, and revision of community psychiatric services. The role of the family agency in promoting family life education and in supporting all efforts for further family life in the community is emphasized by findings of the project which indicate the general need of people for better preparation for life.

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