Family health: An emerging paradigm for social workers


The profession of social work has, since its inception, stressed the importance of the family system in social treatment. Even though the family has always been central to effective social work intervention, the framing of the family system from a family health perspective is new to the field. The goal of this paper is to present the empirical grounding of family health and the implications of this emerging paradigm for social policy. Family health is built on the biopsychosocial model and emphasizes the importance of the role of the family system in the social functioning of individuals. Family health is defined (Pardeck and Yuen, 1999, p. 1) “as a state of holistic well-being of the family system. Family health is manifested by the development of, and continuous interaction among, the physical, mental, emotional, social, economic, cultural and spiritual dimensions of the family which results in the holistic well-being of the family and its members.” © 2001 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Document Type





Family health perspectives, Family system, Social functioning

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Health and Social Policy