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Interested in CSW Training? Here Are the 5 Stages of Family Development

November 7, 2018

community services worker careers

A career as a community services worker (CSW) involves working closely with others. You could be helping those with an addiction reach recovery, or perhaps you might work in an emergency shelter helping families recuperate during a difficult time. Wherever your career takes you, communicating with others and helping them overcome challenges will be an important part of your career. It’s for this reason that aspiring CSWs learn all about the stages of family development.

This important information helps students gain a deeper understanding of what their future clients may be going through, and how different services can help them. Continue reading to learn more about the five stages of family development.

1. What Students in CSW Training Need to Know About Independence and Early Adulthood

The first stage of family development is independence. This is the time when an individual will place a great deal of focus on who they are and what they want. They may focus on launching their career, moving out, and learning more about their priorities and identity. Who they are outside of their family structure is an important thing to establish during this time.

For many, it can be a fun and freeing time of exploration and discovery. However, it may also be a time of healing from past difficulties.

2. Marriage and Becoming Part of a Couple

Typically, the next stage in a family’s development is the stage in which an individual chooses a long-term partner. Sometimes this can include getting married. However, the important goals related to this stage have more to do with emotional milestones than with a particular ceremony.

Choosing a long-term partner is an important milestone

Choosing a long-term partner is an important milestone

This is a time of adjustment, as an individual learns about the habits, goals, and priorities of their partner. Both parties learn to work together and respect each other as they build and grow their relationship. Because each stage of family development builds on skills learned in earlier stages, this stage is often easier to tackle if someone has engaged in the self-discovery that is a part of the independence stage. However, professionals with a community services worker diploma are quick to note that it’s possible to learn lessons of earlier stages later in life.

3. Raising Babies, Kids, and Teens

Raising children can be a challenging stage of family development. For many, this can be a time of great stress. Traditional family structures are also different now than they once were. Some parents may choose to divorce and eventually remarry, creating new family dynamics that bring adjustment as well as fulfillment.

Past difficulties or insecurities can surface during this time, and those who didn’t focus on their relationship or on themselves during earlier stages may feel especially challenged. However, this can also be a time of great joy. For many, while this stage can come with plenty of challenges, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Having children can be very rewarding

Having children can be very rewarding

4. The Empty Nest

As children grow and become more independent, they themselves will begin the cycle anew and launch into their own adult lives. This transition comes with its own rewards and considerations. For some couples, this can be a time to reconnect. Others may discover that without their children, they have less of a connection than they once initially thought. During this time, many may also begin to face their own declining health, or the declining health of a parent. For these reasons, professionals with community services worker careers may encounter individuals in this stage of life who feel overwhelmed or isolated.

5. Retirement and Becoming a Senior

Finally, as an individual retires and their children become parents themselves, they enter the final stage of family development. This is a stage when an individual will likely retire from working, and reflect back on their life and accomplishments. They may connect with grandchildren and spend time enjoying interests and hobbies. However, as with all stages, this one comes with challenges as well as joys. This can also be a time of sadness, as friends and siblings grow older and even pass away. Some may even experience the death of a partner.

Fortunately, by understanding the challenges and rewards of each family development stage, community service workers can help people of all ages.

Would you like to begin CSW training?

Find out how you can prepare for this rewarding career with the help of the National Academy of Health and Business!

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