Read the following scenarios.
The Alvarez Family
Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez recently immigrated to the United States from a Central American country with four-year-old Jose and five-year-old Maria. Mrs. Alvarez is pregnant and excited that her baby will be born as a U.S. citizen. She will have to quit her job soon, as standing on her feet all day is becoming a challenge for her pregnancy. Mr. Alvarez is worried about the financial burdens they will have when the baby arrives. His part-time job brings in a small income. He does not want his wife to seek prenatal care at the local hospital for fear they will find out the family entered the U.S. illegally and will be deported. He wants her to go to his cousin who was a midwife in their country.
Both children are enrolled in a Head Start program. Maria’s teacher is concerned that Maria may not be ready for kindergarten as she scored low on a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. She wants to schedule a conference with the parents, but they have not responded to her calls. She has a take-home kit of activities she wants Maria’s parents to use with her at home. Both parents want their children to learn English, so they encourage them to watch English channels on TV and be friendly with children in the neighborhood to improve their English.
The Johnson Family
Miss Johnson is a single mother of a 5-month-old boy. Her former boyfriend was recently incarcerated for possession of controlled substances. Miss. Johnson is upset, as she began the court process of getting child support from him before he was incarcerated. After her son Tyrone was born, she decided to leave the drug scene and to turn around her life by going to school. Her boyfriend did not agree with her decisions, and that brought the relationship to an end.
Miss Johnson is taking classes at night to earn her GED and this enables her to volunteer at her child’s Head Start center. She is so intrigued by what she is learning about how children grow and develop that she decided she wants to be a preschool teacher. Her child’s teacher tells her about the wonderful Early Childhood Education program at Rasmussen, but Miss Johnson is worried that she does not have a computer to take courses online.
Compare and contrast the two families in the scenarios. Use the bold section headings below for your analysis. Use complete sentences and paragraphs to answer the following questions or prompts.
Your complete analysis should be between 1-2 pages in length. Be sure to address the following:
Similarities: Describe the similarities in the two families you chose regarding structure, functions, successes, dreams, and stressors. Examples from each family are included.
Differences: Describe the differences between the two families you chose regarding structure, functions, successes, dreams, and stressors. Examples from each family are included.
Strengths: Define the strength-based perspective. Explain how looking at these families from a strength-based perspective creates a different relationship than if you focus on the deficits or weaknesses. Give examples of each familys strengths.
Use of Knowledge: Create a paragraph that connects the concept of strength-based perspectives to working with young children and their families. In other words, explain how the concept of focusing on strengths can relate to working with children and families. Include examples of how you would use your knowledge of the strength-based perspective as an early childhood educator.