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This course is delivered from a strengths-based and resiliency-focused perspective. Students will learn a critical overview of the issues and challenges which today's fami-lies face. The family will be viewed as a highly complex group of individuals who live together and attempt to function as a unit. Some families are sanctuaries while some are dangerous places. Either way, the student will experience how essential the family is in launching new generations of youth to become adults, who'll either function well in society, or endure difficulty and hardships in their lives because of the early impact of the family in which they originally grew up. The course introduces the student to a broad range of topics affecting youth and the family structure surrounding them. The course examines diverse family structures, traditional cultural roles, youth and family dynamics, developmental and mental health challenges, high risk youth and gang be-haviour, addiction, grief, resilience and the pitfalls that professionals working with youth and families must avoid. Emphasis is placed on the most recent information, strategies and research practices in the health and social service professions.