• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : NRS311
  • University : Charles Sturt University
  • Subject Name : Nursing

Life Stage Considerations: Child, Adolescent & Family Health


Strength-based approach has been considered to be effective as it focusses on the strengths of the individuals rather on their deficiencies. This approach puts emphasis on the self-determination of the people and aims to build them with their own capabilities and strengths. A registered nurse in practising this approach considers the person, families and communities as resourceful and having an inherent capacity to recover from adverse situations. Registered nurse works in a partnership with the patients and their families to overcome the difficult situations. With the technical and professional knowledge, a registered nurse imparts care to the patients and their families and takes their feedbacks so that their strengths are developed. The strength based nursing allows the nurses to seek for the skills, competencies and capacities possessed by the patients and their families to be used for recovery, growth, survival or even thriving according to Gottlieb, (2014).

Strength Based Approach for Families

The strength-based nursing model gives an alternative to the earlier deficit-based model used in health care when working with patients. But the strength-based nursing is focussed on the understanding of the deficits within a broad context. The nurses using a strength-based approach aim to identify the capacities, skills and competencies which the patients and their families have. A nurse recognize and mobilize the strengths, resources and assets of a person and his or her family and further provide guidance to the families and the patients for recovery while also facilitating resiliency. Therefore, the healthcare becomes more responsive and apt to the unique family’s needs who are empowered to fulfil their health needs according to Swartz, (2017).

With this philosophy the nurses assumes that all the families have an inherent strength which they can build on and then use these to fulfil their own needs, for accomplishing their own goals and for promoting the well-being of their family members. A registered nurse therefore, assists the family and the patients in identifying their strengths and then using these as building blocks to improve the wellbeing of patient and his or her family.

This philosophy focuses on the unique resources, knowledge, capabilities and competencies, capabilities of the individual members of the family and the family as a whole as suggested by Pollock, Kazman, and Deuster, (2015). Strengths within a family may encompass the relationships and the connections amongst the immediate family members, the extended members of the family, community members, civic groups, or other recreational groups and members of community. These strengths may be embedded in the unique cultural beliefs, religious practices and ethnic heritage or their socio-economic background.

The strength-based approach can be used for supporting the families that are facing many risks according to Swartz, (2017).

The strength-based clinical approach can be used by the registered nurse in this case study. According to Swartz, (2017) this approach resonates with the patient and family theories of resilience and family-centred care. This approach is based on a partnership which is mutually beneficial for the families and the providers. In such a care, the patients and their families are active participants in the identifications of the concerns or problems and take part in decision-making and planning for restoring and promoting health.

Following three-step model can be adopted by a registered nurse to help this family overcome from adverse situations

Representation of three-step strength-based model

Figure- three-step strength-based model

Source- Alemayehu, (2019).

The registered nurse in this case can identify the strengths of Susanna and her family. Further, the registered nurse can establish goals which can be achieved by their potential strengths. The registered nurse has to render support to them so that they are able to use their strengths to deal with their adverse life conditions. In the given case study, Susanna has gained some education although she left school before completing year 12. She does not drive and has no employment and thereby she is facing financial difficulties. Therefore, the registered nurse can ask her to complete her education or to get some vocational skills to get employment.

A collaborative approach has to be taken by a registered nurse to work in partnership with the family at high risk as suggested by Gottlieb, (2014). With this collaborative partnership, the registered nurse can help this family to give their opinions about the care received by them. Further, the registered nurse can collaborate with Susanna to establish goals which can be achieved by her as well as her family.

The nurse in this case can provide the support to her reach her goals. Additionally, she and her family can help the nurse in identifying their unique needs and requirements so that they are able to overcome the adversaries of their lives. The surrounding environment of the family comprising of the extended family members, immediate family members, community members and other people from the acquaintance circle are identified as pointed out by Masten, and Monn, (2015). The registered nurse in this case can use them for supporting this family at risk for getting the resources which its needs for accomplishing its goals. It is the role of the nurses to link the resources for the family members so that resources can be availed for the family.

Key Issues and Risks in The Case Study and Their Impact on The Children and The Family

Susanna is 22 years old and has three children while her partner Aaron has been in prison. All the three children are small and the age of eldest child is only 4 years. There are many issues and risks which the family faces and these can have adverse impacts on the family members and their wellbeing.

The family has not been supported economically as Aaron, the partner of Susanna has been in prison. Susanne has no employment and has only access to payments from the Centrelink which she gets fortnightly. Further, the needs of the family have grown as the children are growing. She needs to pay the bills, buy groceries and incur healthcare expenses.

The family had no extended family members as parents of Susanna left her as she is an unmarried mother and they are very religious. This deprived her of any family support. In addition to this, there are no friends who could help her deal with her situation.

Fiona got burnt and therefore, she needed more care from Susanna. This led to an extra burden on Susanna as now she has to look after for a sick person. Further, she was worried as she might be pregnant again. She has attained some education however she did not complete her Year 12 owing to her pregnancy and as such had little employment opportunities. Her relation with her immediate family member, the mother-in-law Maria has not been cordial. She also consumes illicit drugs which led her partner in prison and this caused negative impact on her entire family. Families have been negatively impacted when the adult member exhibit substance dependency as also pointed out by Choate, (2015).

The above mentioned issues can potentially impact the family members particularly the health and wellbeing of the children. The children can suffer from hunger or remain malnourished as the financial means of the family is limited. The children do not have support of their father and hence this may impact their psychological wellbeing. Further, with meagre financial means the future needs of the family may not be met and this will leave adverse impacts on the children during their growth stage.

Health Promotion Activity and Health Education Topic

The registered nurse can use the strength-based approach to tackle her situation. The resources can be derived from the immediate family members. In this case, the nurse can be counsel the mother-in-law to support her son’s family in his absence so that the children are protected from any adverse impact. Further, Susanna has to be educated to quit consumption of drugs and pay attention to her children’s health and wellbeing. Additionally, some vocational education can be given to Susanna so that she is able to support her family.

Health promotion activity in this case therefore, is related to drug addiction in particular. Susanna will have to quit consuming drugs so that she is able to provide better care to her children and look after their wellbeing. The registered nurse has to undertake the health promotion activity by informing her of what are the steps for quitting drug abuse. The individuals can stop taking drugs by taking some meditation to quit drug consumption as suggested by Tang, Tang, and Posner, (2016). With this she will be able to live a healthier live and will be able provide better care to her children in the absence of her partner. The health promotion activity is geared for promoting the health of the family as a whole and wellbeing at the most so that they are supported. She has to take care of herself, her mother-in-law as well as her own children.

With the health promotion activity she will be able to increase control over her family’s health and her own health and this will lead to improvement in the health of the whole family. In addition to it, she would be able to establish better relationships with her children and her mother-in-law where they can act as a unit to support each other.

Health education topic to be discussed with the family particularly with Susanna is the harmful impacts of drug addiction and how it adversely impacts the health and wellbeing of the persons and the individuals living with them. The drug addiction has not only health consequences but also leads to conflict within families and destroys the interpersonal relationships according to Choate, (2015). The habit of drug consumption also hurts the person financially as the persons consuming it does not remain fit to be employed. There are social consequences for drug addiction as well as the person is not able to become a part of the communities as such habits are not welcomed in the society. Susanna therefore, must be educated on the harmful impacts of drug consumption and she must be encouraged to quit it so that she can give more time and attention to her family members and their health and also take care of her own health.

There has to be effective communication between the registered nurse and Susanna so that she is able to understand the main reason for her major problems which is drug consumption. The registered nurse must communicate effectively as it allows for better outcomes from the nursing care according to Kourkouta, and Papathanasiou, (2014). The registered nurse has to empower her by suggesting her ways in which she can stop using drugs entirely so that her health is optimum. As health improves the ability of an individual to deal with life challenges according to Gottlieb, (2014). The registered nurse has to make her realize her strengths which are her children and her family members that is her partner and mother-in-law. She needs to take care of them so that there can be improvement in their life conditions. This will enable to focus on her strengths and then use these strengths to deal with her life problems. Hence, she can attain her life goals for the health and wellbeing of the family members.


The strength-based approach focuses on the positive aspects of a person so that these can be used for tackling the difficult life situations. In this case, Susanna has been suffering in her life because of her drug consumption which has been destroying her relations with her mother-in-law and her partner and also made her weak in taking care of her children. Therefore, with a health promotion activity she had to be educated so as to help her stop consuming drugs and give more time to her family. In this way the adverse impacts from the risks faced by the family can be reduced and they can enjoy a healthy and a prosperous life.


Alemayehu, Y. H. (2019). Enhancing Patient and Family-Centered Care: A Three-Step Strengths-Based Model. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 12(1), 584-590. Retrieved from https://www.internationaljournalofcaringsciences.org/docs/65_kiwanuka12_1.pdf

Choate, P. W. (2015). Adolescent alcoholism and drug addiction: The experience of parents. Behavioral sciences, 5(4), 461-476. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/2076-328X/5/4/461/pdf

Gottlieb, L. N. (2014). CE: strengths-based nursing. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 114(8), 24-32.

Kourkouta, L., & Papathanasiou, I. V. (2014). Communication in nursing practice. Materia socio-medica, 26(1), 65. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990376/

Masten, A. S., & Monn, A. R. (2015). Child and family resilience: A call for integrated science, practice, and professional training. Family Relations, 64(1), 5-21. Retrieved from http://healthpolicy.unm.edu/sites/default/files/Masten%20and%20Monn%202015.pdf

Pollock, E. D., Kazman, J. B., & Deuster, P. (2015). Family functioning and stress in African American families: A strength-based approach. Journal of Black Psychology, 41(2), 144-169. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Swartz, M. K. (2017). A strength-based approach to care. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 31(1), 1. Retrieved from https://www.jpedhc.org/article/S0891-5245(16)30281-4/pdf

Tang, Y. Y., Tang, R., & Posner, M. I. (2016). Mindfulness meditation improves emotion regulation and reduces drug abuse. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 163, S13-S18.

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