Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
274 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
April 2020
Print ISBN: 9781773381848


In its second edition, this accessible health and human services manual offers a critical overview of the issues and challenges that families face and provides practical strategies for promoting resilience and positive family functioning. Through clinical and sociological perspectives and employing a strengths-based approach, this revised edition provides a broad overview of factors affecting Canadian families such as diverse family structures, healthy and unhealthy forms of communication, family culture and beliefs, couple dynamics, addiction, and developmental and psychiatric disabilities. Covering a wide range of topics, the author draws special attention to LGBTQ and military families, the effects of violence and trauma, and professional ethics and self-care.

An indispensable resource for students and practitioners of social services, child and youth work, and early childhood education, the revised edition of Working with Families, Second Edition reflects current research and practices in the field and features updated statistics and accessible language.


  • includes updated questions for reflection and new suggested further readings, case study scenarios, and classroom-specific resources and activities
  • provides student resources with strategies and approaches for working with families

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Changing Structure of Families

Chapter 2: Building on Family Strengths and Promoting Resilience

Chapter 3: Developmental Stages in Families

Chapter 4: Family Communication Styles and Couple Dynamics

Chapter 5: Family Roles, Diversity, and Gender Issues

Chapter 6: Family Scripts, Myths, Beliefs, Secrets, and Legacies

Chapter 7: Family Functioning, Scapegoating, and Attachment Issues

Chapter 8: Couple Relationships

Chapter 9: Families and Disability

Chapter 10: Family Violence

Chapter 11: Addiction and the Family

Chapter 12: Family Assessment

Chapter 13: Positive Strategies for Working with Families

Chapter 14: Working with Parents with Complex Needs

Chapter 15: Working with Military Families

Chapter 16: Grieving Families

Chapter 17: Common Pitfalls in Working with Families

Patricia Spindel

Dr. Patricia Spindel has worked with children, adolescents, and families for over thirty-five years. She taught at both the University of Guelph-Humber and the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, where she also coordinated the Social Services Worker Program and was an Associate Dean of Health Sciences.

Working with Families, Working with Families, Second Edition, Case Management from an Empowerment Perspective, Fourth Edition


“Dr. Spindel has created a text that is strengths-based and resiliency-focused, while also addressing the intersections of oppression that diverse Canadian families face. Working with Families, Second Edition brings contemporary and family systems concepts to life with relevant and practical activities, case examples, and questions.”

Working with Families, Second Edition is an incredible teaching and learning tool for health providers and all of us alike. The author seeks the potential in all of us to engage … in mutually beneficial experiences that will foster a social connectedness, that reflects demographic trends and intergenerational practice. A must publication for all to read and appreciate the diverseness of our rich country.”

Instructor Resources

Adopt the second edition of Working with Families, and you will benefit from supplementary materials including PowerPoint slides and an Instructor's Manual containing suggested activities, suggested assignments, and additional resources for every chapter.

See sample

Student Resources

General Student Resource - Download

Purchase Options