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Student’s Guide to Social Group Work Where there is a little common interest and activity, kindness grows like weeds by the roadside. Compiled by S.Rengasamy Second Draft 2 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work The material for this compilation is taken from several sources -Dr. Vera Mehta’s “Social Group Work” in Encyclopedia of Social Work in India (I968) -Social Work with groups -Wikipedia -Dr.H Y Siddique, “ Group Work: Theories and Practices: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka” Rawat Publications, 2008. -The Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups, Inc. (AASWG) and several other web sources -P.D. Sharma, “Social Work –Philosophy and Methods, Inter-India Publications, New Delhi, 1995 Dr.Vera Mehta 3 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work It is usually easier to change individuals formed into a group than to change any one of them separately - Kurt Lewin 4 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Content Social Group Work Syllabus UGC / NET /JRF Social Group Work Social Work Practice with Groups 6 Social Work with Groups Alone Vs Together (Box) # Loneliness (Box) 7 Definitions of Social Group Work 8 The Group as the unit of Social Work Practice ‗Group‘ from social work point of view Group Work and Team Work (Box) Rationale for Group Services in Social Work Individualism vs Collectivism (Box) 9 Values of Group Work 10 Characteristics of Group Work #Characteristics of Group Work (Box) Characteristics of Group Work –II 1. Group work is practiced by group itself 2. Based on humanitarian philosophy 3. It gives aspiration to help each other 4.It provides more skill and information: 5.It develops human personality 10 11 Purpose of Social Work with Groups (Box) 11 Characteristics of group work - Trecker‘s 11 Goal & Functions of Social Group Work Goal (Purpose) of Group work Objectives of Group work (Box) 12 Functions of group work 12 Nature of Group work (Box) 12 Group worker (Box) 12 Principles of Social Group Work Principles of Social Group Work Douglas &Tom‘s 14 Principles of Social Group Work Trecker‘s 10 Principles of Social Group Work 13 14 Assumptions and Theories helpful in Working with Groups Life Skills #Life Skills identified by UNICEF (Box) Sharing Feedback #Emotional support Theories Psychoanalytic Theory #Psychoanalytic Theory Diagram (Box) Learning Theory # Learning Theory (Box) #Learning Theory (Box) Kurt Lewin‘s Field Theory # Field Force Theory (Box) Systems Theory #Systems Theory (Box) #Systems Theory (Box) Conflict Theory #Exogenous & Endogenous Conflict #Function of Social Conflict Exchange Theory #Exchange Theory (Box) Power Dependence Relations Human Capital and Social Capital #Social Capital (Box) #Human Capital (Box) 15-25 The Importance of Social Group Worker (Box) 26 Approaches to Group Work 26 Knowledge Base for Social Group Work Knowledge of individuals (Box) # Knowledge of groups & small group behaviour (Box) #Knowledge of the function of the group worker. (Box) 27 Group work (Box) #Group Work Skills Skill in understanding and dealing individual behaviour + Skill in directing the small groups + Skill in using various programmes (Box) Skills in intake and referral services +Skill to conduct interviews and group meetings in the community setting (Box) Skills in group counselling and psychotherapy (Box) 28 Objectives of Group work (Box) 28 Group Work Practice Settings 29 5 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Programme Planning /Programme Laboratory in Social Group Work Is Social Group Worker is a recreationist (Box) #Programme media (Images) Factors in Programme Planning #Role of group worker in programme planning Use of Programme Media 1. Play: Drama, mime, use of puppets and masks and role-play: Music and arts and crafts: Talk Movement: Work 29-30 Scope of Social Group Work Scope (Box) 31-32 Evolution of Social Group Work in the United States Pre-1930s The Mid-Thirties to the 1950s Gisela Konopka (Box) #Harleigh Bradley Trecker (Box) Self esteem & belonging to a group (Box) The 1960s to the present #William Schwartz &Mutual –aid model (Box) Jack Rothman (Box) #Robert Vinter (Box) 33-36 Mutual Aid Practice Models The Mutual Aid Model Models of Group Work (Box) #Reid‘s Classification of Group Work Models (Box) Models of Group Work Cognitive-Behavioural Group Work #Group Work with Mandated Members Open-Ended Groups 36-38 Early Roots of Group Work (Box) 39 Other Influences that shaped Social Group Work Practice 40 Group Work in India ( Box) #History of Group Work in India Present Position : Academic Curriculum # Field Work #Teaching Materials Group Work Practice in Agencies Socio-Cultural Factors that influence Social Group Work Practice 41-44 Qualities of a Group worker 44 Evaluation of the Group Work #Group Work Evaluation (Box) Purpose of Evaluation #Content of Evaluation -Evaluation of Individual Growth #- Chart for Evaluating Individual Growth (Table) - Evaluation of the group #- Chart for evaluating group performance (Table) - Measuring the performance / growth of a group (table) - Evaluation of the member‘s contribution to group - Chart for evaluating member‘s contribution to group 45-47 Recording in Social Group Work #Importance of Recording in Social Group Work (Box) #Use of records #Principles of social work recording – Lindsay Content of Social Group Work Records 48-49 6 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Social Work Practice with Groups Social work with groups has played an important role in transforming the way we think about clients and about the helping process. Science has made the discovery that infants who are isolated from other human beings succumb to inattention. Psychologists have observed that learning can actually be enhanced by associations with others. It is a well documented fact than many of the physical and mental illnesses of people are caused by social and emotional malaise and that social needs bring people to the office of social workers, psychologists, and marriage counsellors. People not only need to be loved, they need to know that they are wanted and understood. Human beings are strongly dependent on interactions with other humans. Social work practice with groups builds on the important impact of groups on individuals and utilizes group processes to accomplish individual and group goals. Social Group Work Syllabus Unit I Social Group Work - Definition, Meaning, Concept, Scope, Objectives and History of Social Group Work, Principles of Social Group Work - Relationship between Social Case Work and Group Work Unit II Dynamics of Group Formation, Structure and Functions of Group, Pattern and process of group interaction - Group climate - Socio-metric pattern and its use Unit III Group Work Process - Planning Phase, Beginning Phase, Middle Phase, Ending Phase- Recording in Group work – importance & Methods Unit IV Program Planning in Social Group Work - Meaning, Principles, Planning Stages – Roles of group worker – Enabler, Therapist, Helper, Resource mobilizer and Evaluator – Skills of Social Group Worker. Unit V Program Laboratory – Play, games, Singing, Dancing, Role Play, Story Telling, Puppetry, Group Discussion and Excursion -Group Work practices among Children, Youth, Aged, Women and in different settings UGC NET JRF Syllabus related to Group Work Concept of Group Work - Assumptions, Definition and Goals of Group Work. Principles, Skills and Values of Social Group Work. Stages of Group Development and Use of Programmes for Group Development - Orientation Stage, Working Stage, Termination Stage, Programme Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. Study of Group Process - Group Dynamics, Member's behaviour. Leadership and Role of the Worker in Various Settings. Approaches and Models in Group Work Practice - Therapeutic / Social Treatment. Development Group and Task oriented Group. 7 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Alone versus together Isolation can be positive, but prolonged isolation is stressful People respond negatively if they expect to be alone – increased aggression – take risks – reduced cognitive capacity When alone one is free to act any way that one like But join a group, and one must tailor his/her actions to the demands of the group situation Loneliness Loneliness can be emotional and social. Membership in groups can reduce both types of loneliness Groups are a fundamental part of social life. Groups can be very small – just two people –or very large. They can be highly rewarding to their members and to society as a whole, but there are also significant problems and dangers with them. All this makes them an essential focus for research, exploration and action. Humans are small group beings. We always have been and we always will be. The ubiquitousness of groups and the inevitability of being in them make groups one of the most important factors in our lives. As the effectiveness of our groups goes, so goes the quality of our lives However, there is a downside to all this. The socialization they offer might be highly constraining and oppressive for some of their members. They can also become environments that foster interpersonal conflict. Furthermore, the boundaries drawn around groups are part of a process of excluding certain people (sometimes to their detriment) and creating inter-group conflict. There is also evidence to show that groups can impact upon individuals in ways that warp their judgments and that lead to damaging decision making (what some commentators have talked about as ('groupthink'). Given all of this it is easy to see why the intervention of skilled leaders and facilitators is sometimes necessary. Social Work with Groups. One cannot examine the life of any group without realizing its potentialities for affecting the attitudes and consequently the values of the members. Group interaction is the social force through which individual growth and development take place. It is also the means through which societal growth and change are accomplished. While group life makes growth possible, it does not necessarily mean that any group life develops a happy, well-balanced individual or a democratic society automatically. Achievement of these ends depends upon the set of values which are the dominant ideals of the members and of the society of which they are a part. A worker is assigned to a group in order that he may influence it for some social purpose which is of value to the sponsor of the group. That social purpose may be totalitarian or it may be democratic. 8 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Social Group Work aims at the development of persons through the interplay of personalities in group situations, and at the creation of such group situations to provide for integrated, co operative group action for common (Coyle 1937) 2 Group work is method by which the group worker enables various types of groups to function in such a way that both group interaction and programme activities contribute to the growth of the individual and the achievement of desirable social goals (Association for the Advancement of Group Work-1948) 3 Group Work maybe defined as an educational process emphasising the development and social adjustment of an individual through voluntary association and the use of this association as a means of furthering socially desirable ends. (Newsletter -1935) 1 Group Work as a social process and a method through which group life is affected by a worker who consciously direct the interacting process toward the accomplishment of goals which are conceived in a democratic frame of reference (Wilson & Ryland -1949) 4 Group Work is used within group experience as a means to individual growth and development, and that the group worker is concerned in developing social responsibility and active citizenship for the improvement of democratic society (Coyle -1954) 6 Social Group work is a psychosocial process which is concerned no less than with developing leadership ability and co operation than with building on the interests of the group for a social purpose (Hamilton -1949) 5 Social Group Work is a method of social work which helps individuals to enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences and to cope more effectively with their personal, group or community problems (Konapka -1963) 8 Social Group Work is a method through which individuals in groups and in agency settings are helped by a worker who guides their interaction in programme activities so that they may relate themselves to others and experience growth opportunities in accordance with their needs and capacities to the end of the individual, group and community development (H.B.Trecker -1955) 7 Group Work can address the two fold objectives of providing therapeutic services and also the political goal of strengthening democratic functioning (Sallie Bright -1955) 9 Group Work include both improving the normal functioning and neutralizing the abnormal functioning of individuals (Balgopal & Vassili -1983) 10 Social Group Work is used for the purpose of reducing or eliminating roadblocks to social interaction and accomplishing desirable social goals (Skidmore – 1988) 11 (In Indian context) Social Group Work will refer to working with a small group (members ranging from 7-10) to a medium size group (members ranging from 10-20) for a variety of purposes beginning from recreation to behaviour modification on the one hand and accomplishing tasks including social change and development on the other, with a variety of clients ranging from children to elderly. The worker makes use of the expertise in human relationships to help these groups to achieve the group goals in a participatory manner while paying adequate attention to individual needs and social norms (H.Y.Siddiqui -2008) 12 Definitions of Social Group Work 9 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Group Work and Team Work For some group work is just another way of talking about teamwork. In this context, working in groups is often presented as a good way of dividing work and increasing productivity. It can also be argued that it allows for the utilization of the different skills, knowledge and experiences that people have. As a result, in schools and colleges it is often approached as a skill to be learnt – the ability to work in group-based environments. Within schools and colleges, working in groups can also be adopted as a mean of carrying forward curriculum concerns and varying the classroom experience - a useful addition to the teacher or instructor's repertoire. But the focus of Group Work is somewhat different. In the process of working with groups, group members may undertake particular tasks and become environments where members can share in a common life, form beneficial relationships and help each other. Entering groups or forming them, and then working with them so that members are able be around each other, take responsibility and work together on shared tasks, involves some very sophisticated abilities on the part of practitioners. These abilities are often not recognized for what they are – for when group work is done well it can seem natural. Skilled group workers, like skilled counsellors, have to be able to draw upon an extensive repertoire of understandings, experiences and skills and be able to think on their feet. They have to respond both quickly and sensitively to what is emerging in the exchanges and relationships in the groups they are working with. Individualism vs Collectivism Individualism Collectivism The individual is primary, first. His or her rights must be recognized and put above the right of the group as a whole. If the group‘s goals aren‘t compatible with the individual‘s goals, then the individual is free to go his or her own way. The group is primary, first. Its rights must be recognized & put above the right of the individual. The individual belongs to the group. Individualism foster exchange relationships rather than communal relationships Individualism: stresses individuality and independence Individualism: self-serving tendencies, reliance on the equity norm Individualism: emphasis on personal identity greater loyalty to the ingroup and less concern for the outgroup Collectivism: stresses hierarchy and reacts more negatively to nonconformity Collectivism: group-serving tendencies, reliance on the equality norm Collectivism: emphasis on collective, social identity The Group as the unit of Social Work Practice ‘Group’ from social work point of view A common conceptualization of the small group drawn from the social work literature is “...a social system consisting of two or more persons who stand in status and role relationships with one another and possessing a set of norms or values which regulate the attitudes and behaviours of the individual members in matters of consequence to the group. A group is a system of relationship among persons. Therefore, group as a social system has a structure and some degree of stability in interaction, reciprocity, interdependence and group bond. Open social systems do not exist in a vacuum; they are part of and transact with their surroundings”. Thus group is a collection of people who need each other in order to work on certain common tasks, and the social group work(er) provides a hospitable environment (agency setting) to achieve those tasks” Rationale for Group Services in Social Work Opportunities for mutual aid to be found in associating with a group offer the major rationale for the provision of group services by social workers. Gitterman (2006), a social work 10 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work There are specific characteristics of group work which are distinct from those of the other methods of social work. 1. Group work makes use of multiple relationships and a multi-person process (worker to member, worker to group, member to member and member to group) whereas casework relies on the interview, a two-person process. The latter also sometimes utilises joint interviews as well when there are multiple clients in family casework in which case knowledge and use of group theory and dynamics are used. 2. The group is an instrument for meeting basic needs and strengthening human capacities. It promotes identification of participants with one another and provides freedom to relate as and when the client is ready for it. 3. A unique characteristic of group work is its use of programme media such as play, discussion, arts and crafts, music, dance, drama, role play, outings and parties which facilitate mastery of skills and serve as a vehicle for fostering human relationships. 4. Programme activities offer scope for utilisation of non-verbal communication, a particularly valuable tool for clients who cannot articulate their needs and problems. 5. Mernbership in the group, exposure to its influences, participation in its activities and acquisition of a role and status within it can have potent effects for individuals. Characteristics of Group work Value: The moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group 1. Respect for persons and their autonomy. 2. The creation of a socially just society. Values of Group Work educator and group work scholar has elaborated on the role of mutual aid in the small group, noting that “as members become involved with one another, they develop helping relationships and take interest in each other and participate in the group activities". The mutual aid processes that unfold in a group context help group members "to experience their concerns and life issues as universal," "reduce isolation and stigma," "offer and receive help from each other," and "learn from each other‟s views, suggestions and challenges". Values of Group Work The value system informing group work practice identify with “the ultimate value of social work” which they suggest is “that human beings have opportunities to realize their potential for living in ways that are both personally satisfying and socially desirable”. Humanistic values guide social work practice with groups, inform worker role and use of self, and the understanding of membership in a social work group. Humanistic values "cast people in society as responsible for and to one another”. The perspective espoused by several social work group work experts is that not only are people responsible for one another but that mutual interdependence is preferable to individualism. The following humanistic values have been highlighted by social work educators, such as Gisela Konopka, as integral to social work practice with groups: 1) "individuals are of inherent worth"; 2) "people are mutually responsible for each other; and 3) "people have the fundamental right to experience mental health brought about by social and political conditions that support their fulfilment" . Characteristics of Group Work Group work is essential to work with a systematic plan having understanding, we feelings and concentration. Group workers are viewed as helping persons whose job is to help people by identifying her/his problem, skill and ability. 11 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Purpose of Social Work with Groups In 1964 the Committee on Practice of the Group Work Section of the National Association of Social Workers proposed that group work was applicable for the following purposes: corrective/treatment; prevention; normal social growth and development; personal enhancement; and citizenship indoctrination. Common needs addressed by social work groups include coping with major life transitions; the need to acquire information or skills; the need to improve social relationships; the need to cope with illness; the need to cope with feelings of loss or loneliness Characteristic of Group work: 1. Group work practiced by group itself 2. It‟s based on humanitarian philosophy 3. It gives aspiration to help each other 4. Group work provides more information and more skill 5. It develop human personality 1. Group work is practiced by group itself With the help of group workers, development of the individual changes and personality growth are happen. The group practiced and take steps by his own worth and dignity by the help of its workers. 2. Based on humanitarian philosophy: Group work is based on humanitarian philosophy. A group get its inspiration from the happiness, joy and prosperity of the member of that particular group within a community. A group must have a belongingness and group philosophy. 3. It gives aspiration to help each other: Because of living together, sharing problem and emotion of each other they get a aspiration to help each other. The group help the individual when she/he is in problem. 4.It provides more skill and information: After formation of a group by a worker the group member get more information and skill. Because of belongingness and helping mind the member can share their knowledge among themselves. They get more information about science, resources and techniques. 5.It develops human personality: After making a group their networking with other groups, workers and agency develop their personality. Goal & Functions of Social Group Work Social group work is a orderly, systematic plan, way of working with people in groups. Social group work is not an activity but a way of conducting many different activities. The members are helped to learn new ideas, develop skills, attitude changes & responsibilities H.B.Trecker Characteristics of group work identified from Trecker’s definition 1. Social Group work is a method 2. Individuals helped through groups in social agency settings 3. The role of worker is to guide interaction process 4. The purpose of group work is to provide experience, growth opportunities for development 12 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work through participation in a social process. In group work group itself has utilized by the individual with the help of the worker as a primary means of personality growth, change & development of individual. Goal (Purpose) of Group work: To teach the individual to live & work together and participate in the group activities for their intellectual emotion& physical growth To live a good life within the group and family. The individual is also taught to work together with other people & participate in different activities. To develop individual personality& behaviour by using different group work process To prepare the individual to learn how to safe responsibility in a democracy style of working. To give opportunity to them who have potentiality, worth and dignity of leadership To make best use of leisure time To learn division of labour & specialization of role just to indicate to play individual role in the group To provide suitable task to the individual according to her/his skill, knowledge and interest To widen ones horizon To prepare people for social change To apply group therapy in need of physical, mental and emotional adjustment Functions of group work: Group works mainly sees the situation & the needs of all the individuals & try to solve the problems of the individuals. For every individual the group is the main source of strength & renders everybody helping hand. A group fulfil the social desires and need of each individual in the group Group work is carried on with voluntary group in the setting of social agency Group workers tale care of social agencies in many fields as education, religious & recreational field. It‟s a helping process with dual purpose of individual & group growth. The function of the group work is always for the betterment of the individual as well as for the growth of the entire group. Group worker plays role of enabler & helping person, by earning an effective group. The group worker is a main person who by her/his better knowledge try to make the group better. Nature of Group work Group work recognises the strength of social forces that are generated within small groups and seeks to mobilize them for change in the client. The group worker consciously guides the composition, development and processes of the group for accomplishing his goals for each individual member and the group as a whole. Group worker Group worker is thus constantly operating at two levels — the client as an individual and the group as a social system, whose influence can be utilized to develop client abilities, modify self-images and perspectives, resolve conflicts and inculcate new patterns of behaviour. These changes must be stabilized beyond the duration of the group experience if they are to gain significance. The results of group work intervention are to be assessed, then, in terms of improved performance in these social role areas in the client's life and not merely in terms of changed behaviour within the group. 13 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Principles of Social Group Work While group work shares with other methods of social work, generic principles such as respect for the individual, non-judgemental attitude and objectivity, out of its own philosophy and skill evolve basic principles specific to this method which guide the worker. Change is brought about through the establishment of purposeful growth-producing relationships between the worker and group members and among the members themselves. Sometimes this may require an appropriate modification of the group interactional process and its components (such as bond, leadership, isolation, scapegoating, sub- groups, conflict, hostility and contagion) to create a conducive atmosphere. The group worker encourages each member to participate according to the stage of his capacity thus enabling him to become more capable and confident in the process of problem solving. The worker also makes judicious use of limitations to direct and control the behaviour of members to obtain the optimum interaction. Most important is the differential and purposeful use of a programme according to the diagnostic evaluation of individual members, the group purpose and appropriate social goals. Well-chosen programme media provide opportunities for a new and differing experience in relationships and accomplishments. Group work demands an ongoing evaluation of the progress made by each individual and the group and, finally and most important of all, a warm and disciplined use of self on the part of the worker. Principles of Social Group Work Douglus &Tom has mentioned 14 Principles of Social Group Work 1 Recognition and subsequent action in relation to the unique difference of each individual 2 Recognition and subsequent action in relation to the wide variety of groups as groups 3 Genuine acceptance of each individual with his unique strengths and weaknesses 4 Establishment of a purposeful relationship between group worker and group member 5 Encouragement and enabling of help and co-operative relationships between members 6 Appropriate modification of group process 7 Encouragement of each member to participate according to the stage of his capacity and enabling him to become more capable 8 Enabling members to involve themselves in the process of problem solving 9 Enabling group members to experience increasingly satisfactory forms of working through conflicts 10 Provision of opportunities for new and differing experience in relationship and accomplishments 11 Judicious use of limitations related to the diagnostic assessment of each individual and the total situation 12 Purposeful and differential use of programme according to diagnostic evaluation of individual members, group purpose and appropriate goals 13 Ongoing evaluation of individual and group progress 14 Warm human and disciplined use of self on the part of the group worker Terence J. Cooke in his book ‘Basic Principles of Social Group Work’ mentioned 4 Principles of Group Work Walter A Friedlander in his book ‘Concepts and Methods of Social Work’ mentioned 10 principles of Social Group Work 14 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Trecker’s 10 Principles of Social Group Work 1 The Principle of Planned Group Formation Group is the basic unit through which the service is provided to the individual, consequently, the agency and the worker responsible for the formation of group or the acceptance into the agency of already formed groups must be aware of the factors inherent in the group situation that make the given group a positive potential for individual growth and for meeting recognizable needs 2 The Principle of Specific Objectives Specific objectives for individual as well as group development must be consciously formulated by the worker in harmony with group wishes and capacities and in keeping with agency function 3 The Principle of Purposeful Worker Group Relationship A consciously purposeful relationship must be established between the worker and the group members based on the worker‘s acceptance of the group members as they are and upon the groups willingness to accept help from the worker because of the confidence the members have in him and in the agency 4 The Principle of Continuous Individualization In group work it is recognized that groups are different and that individuals utilize group experience in a variety of ways to meet their differing needs; consequently, continuous individualization must be practised by the worker. Groups and individuals in the group must be understood as developing and changing. 5 The Principle of Guided Group Interaction In group work the primary source of energy which propels the group and influences the individuals to change are the interaction and reciprocal responses of the members. The group worker influence this interaction by the type and the quality of participation 6 The Principle of Democratic Group Self Determination In group work the group must be helped to make its own decisions and determine its own activities, taking the maximum amount of responsibility in line with the capacity and ability. The primary source of control over the group is the group itself 7 The Principle of Flexible Functional Organization In group work, the group worker guides the group by setting up an organization to meet the group needs. The organization thus established should be understood by the group members, should be flexible and encouraged only if it meets the felt need of the members. The organization should be adaptive and should change as the group changes. 8 The Principle of Progressive Programme Experiences In social group work, the program experiences in which the group engages should begin at the level of the member interest, need, experience and competence and should progress in relation to the developing capacity of the group. 9 The Principle of Resource Utilization In social group work, the total environment of the agency and the community possess resources which should be utilized to enrich the content of group experience for individuals and for the group as a whole. 10 The Principle of Evaluation In social group work, continuous evaluation of process and programmes in terms of outcomes is essential. Worker, group and agency share in this procedure as a means of guaranteeing this greatest possible self fullfilment 15 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work List of Life Skills Identified by UNICEF 1. Communication & Interpersonal Skills Interpersonal communication skills Verbal/Nonverbal communication # Active listening # Expressing feelings; giving feedback (without blaming) and receiving feedback Negotiation/refusal skills Negotiation and conflict management # Assertiveness skills # Refusal skills Empathy Ability to understand another's needs & circumstances Cooperation and Teamwork Expressing respect for others' contributions and different styles #Assessing one's own abilities and contributing to the group Advocacy Skills Influencing skills & persuasion #Networking and motivation skills 2. Decision-Making & Critical Thinking Skills Decision making / problem solving skills Information gathering skills # Evaluating future consequences of present actions for self and others # Determining alternative solutions to problems # Analysis skills regarding the influence of values and attitudes of self and others on motivation Critical thinking skills Analyzing peer and media influences # Analyzing attitudes, values, social norms and beliefs and factors affecting these # Identifying relevant information and information sources 3. Coping & Self-Management Skills Skills for increasing internal locus of control Self esteem/confidence building skills # Self awareness skills about rights, influences, values, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses # Goal setting skills # Self evaluation / Self assessment / Self-monitoring skills Skills for managing feelings Anger management # Dealing with grief and anxiety Coping skills for dealing with loss, abuse, trauma Skills for managing stress Time management # Positive thinking # Relaxation techniques Assumptions and Theories helpful in Working with Groups Life skills One of the frameworks used in working with group is the assumption that many persons lack the requisite skills and experiences to cope with stresses in their social relationships. These stresses usually occur in their childhood when children and adolescents move from one status and role position to the other or from one interaction milieu to the other. For example, when a child moves out from a relatively contained, secure and static home environment to a school which is a more open and dynamic environment, from a primary school to middle or higher secondary school, from school to college, etc. These changes create stress as a child or an adolescent is expected to adapt to a new set of norms and also rules, meant for regulating behaviour. Adolescents in general experience stress associated with physical development, social acceptance and academic performance. The degree of stress is directly related to the degree of life skills they possess in coping with the change. For example, for a young boy to move from a rural school to an urban higher education institution will cause more stress than for a young person moving from an urban school to a higher education institution in an urban area. Similarly, a child from a family of uneducated parents will face more stress at school and other educational institutions. The inadequacy of life skills such as verbal and non verbal communications, asserting, handling feelings and conflicts, coupled with experience of functioning in a group consisting of members from multicultural background, increases the stress leading to maladjustment problems. This framework helps a group worker to understand the children and adolescents exhibiting stress symptoms and their inability to adjust in the group. The worker can provide these children a support group to discuss their problems and learn from each other and to understand the coping strategies that they are using to deal with the situation. The group worker can also help them to learn new life skills to update their competence to cope with stresses and sources of stresses. 16 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Feedback Conscious Knowledge Decision & Commitment Undesired Results Incorrect Action Correct Action Desired Results Sharing Feedback Peer relations greatly influence children and adolescents. Hence, it is important for them to understand how others rate them. The process of nicknaming persons is a common occurrence in all societies and at all stages. Generally, the labels aptly describe how others view the behaviour of a person. The group can provide an opportunity to children and adolescents to discover how others view them. It can also help them to analyze it objectively and learn to take corrective action if needed. For example, if a person is identified as a „bully‟, what are its implications, and how can one change the label. A discussion of stereo types can also be helpful in understanding labels and how to deal with them. There are also instances of giving labels to members of a particular religious, linguistic or caste group, which are negative. The children and adolescents of these groups experience a high degree of stress leading to academic and mental health problems. The group worker can use the knowledge to design a number of programs for children and adolescents indulging in labeling and for those who are at the receiving end. Emotional support Many persons experience trauma due to a variety of reasons. Some examples are loss of significant persons, family violence, long-term unemployment, retirement trauma, and loss of shelter or other valuables, etc. These conditions produce stress and could become traumatic. Individual counseling is helpful but emotional trauma shared with fellow sufferers has been found to be of help. The studies of children and adolescents affected by disasters indicate that the trauma produces a great deal of anxiety, resulting in loss of concentration and producing incoherent behaviour. The adolescent‟s reaction to stress may vary such as withdrawal or opting out, depression, loss of control, inability to concentrate, irritability, disturbed sleep or eating patterns, flashbacks and emotional numbing. Loss of significant members such as parents or siblings and material resources such as housing will require a different set of life skills and coping strategies to survive. The studies indicate that emotional support from others who have undergone a similar trauma is helpful. The finding is used to form groups of persons having suffered a trauma to provide emotional support to each other. By now it is clear that in order to understand the events taking place within a group, one need to understand the individuals within the group on the one hand and their interaction in the group on the other. There are now a number of psychological theories providing an explanation of individual behaviour and how it can help in understanding the group functioning. A number of studies on group psychology and group dynamics are now available to provide important insights about groups Theories Psychoanalytic Theory Freud is perhaps one of the earliest theorists to provide an explanation of human personality. Freud conceptualized that the human mind has two broad systems. 17 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work One he described as conscious, pre-conscious and unconscious and the other as Id, Ego and super Ego. Freud suggested that mind was composed of thoughts (ideas), feelings, instincts, drives, conflicts and motives. Most of these elements were located in the unconscious or preconscious. There is a repressed area which serves as a barrier where a lot of disturbing material (thoughts and feelings), as unresolved conflicts, are placed through the process of defense mechanism. Defense mechanism or repression is a process in which unacceptable desires, memories and thoughts are excluded from consciousness by sending the material into the unconscious under the repressed barrier. Freud suggests that this results in producing irritants such as unwanted emotions and behaivour such as anger, hallucinations, etc. Describing the second system Freud explains that Id is the primitive psychic force hidden in the unconscious. It represents the basic needs and drives such as hunger, thirst, sex and self preservation, which support other personality factors. Id governed by the pleasure principle primarily seeks to express itself irrespective of the consequences, while Ego acts as the rational component of the mind which controls the thinking of the mind. Super ego serves as the conscience by indicating what is right and wrong socially and morally. Freud conceptualized that people pass through six psychosocial development stages. During any one of the stages conflicts may arise and if it remains unresolved the person‟s personality development will be affected. He thought that disturbances can arise from several sources. Traumatic experiences which a person‟s ego is not able to cope with directly are repressed. Similarly internal unconscious processes could also cause disturbances. Freud, in elaborating the group‟s influence on human behaviour, specifically mentions about the importance of group leader, and the early life experiences of the members. The members use transference in their interactions that occur within the group and try to recreate their conflicts and defense mechanisms. More recent psychoanalytic group treatment have adapted and modified classical psychoanalytic theory to emphasize the current experiences of group interaction. Through direct, mutual interpersonal communications members build interpersonal skills, adaptive 18 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work capacities and ego strength, and develop self awareness of their behaviour and its implications in a group situation. The cohesiveness of the group helps members to feel secure and able to share the intimate personal details of their life and to act out their conflicts in the safe and supportive environment of the group. For details see the text on psychoanalytic theory. A number of psychologists have contributed in developing learning theory as an explanation of human behaviour. Learning Theory Learning Theory has created a lot of controversy in group work as it focuses more on individual than on group dynamics with reference to influencing individual behaviour. Learning theory also provides a frame work for understanding human behaviour. It provides an understanding of the social functioning of persons within their environments. The person in dynamic interaction with all aspects of the environment is the focus of attention. Further, it emphasizes the importance of assessment of observable behaviour, and advocates the use of specific terms in defining behaviour. And finally it takes a positive approach that if behaviour is learned then it can also be unlearned. Respondent conditioning refers to the emission of behaviour in response to a specific stimulus. The stimulus could be a word, sight or a sound. The second type of learning is called modeling, which simply refers to learning by observation. The children of parents who smoke are likely to be smokers. Children of parents with ability to control their feelings under stress are likely to learn self-control. However, a number of factors or conditions can affect the effectiveness of modelling. Some of them are similarity of the model to the observer, the prestige, status and expertise of the model, and the diversity of models around the observer. Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviours are altered primarily by regulating the subsequences which follow them. New behaviours could be learned and undesirable behaviours could be weakened and eliminated by regulating the consequences. 19 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work By using the learning theory framework, the group can provide reinforcements to strengthen behaviour. There are both positive and negative reinforcements. A good example of negative reinforcement in a group situation is to discourage behaviour by booing, if the proper dress code or language or behaviour code is violated. The person will then behave in a particular manner to avoid the booing. However, a more server response like terminating the membership to weaken a behaivour is called punishment. Similarly extinction or withdrawal of reinforcements results in weakening of particular behaviour. The learning theory thus provides a framework for group workers to modify behaviour. The context could be achievement of group tasks and development, or helping the members to unlearn behaviors that create problems in their social functioning. Sociologists have also studied groups and their functioning. They have come up with a number of interesting findings that are helpful in highlighting the functioning of groups. Field Theory Kurt Lewin was one of the pioneers to scientifically study group functioning. He focused on the forces that influenced the working of groups. He and his colleagues tried to study leadership styles by creating groups with different styles of leaderships in order to see their impact on the functioning of the group. It is commonly observed that a leader becomes authoritarian when the members are seeking favours, rather than questioning the decisions or even discussing the issues objectively. Lewin argued that the leadership style is a product of leader and member interaction rather than a personality trait of the leader. Further, Lewin, while developing his Field Theory, argued that a group has a life space and it has movement. It tries to accomplish goals or group tasks and faces hurdles in its movement (locomotion). Lewin believed that group was an entity of opposing forces which keep the group members in the group and move them along in achieving group goals. However, the behaviour of individual members and the group itself should be seen as a product of the totality of the group situation (Lewin, 1964) Lewin introduced several concepts to help in the understanding of forces at work in the group. Some of them are Roles- status rights and duties of group members; Norms – Rules governing the behaviour of group members; Power – the ability of members to influence on another; 20 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Cohesion-The attraction the group members feel towards one another and towards the group Consensus- the degree of agreement regarding goals and other group phenomena, and Valence – the potency of goals and objects in the life space of the group. Other field theorists have continued to work on the characteristics of group that influence the individual behaivour. Cohesion has been identified as an important factor, defined as, “the totality of forces acting on individual members to keep them in the group. Cohesion reflects the agreement on goals and norms, shared understanding and a greater homogeneity in demographic background, as also the productivity, satisfaction and cooperative interaction patterns. Lewin developed t-group as a means to observe the effects of group process on group members and as a means to induce changes in behaviour. Lewin thus helped in developing a theory that people change when they see their behaviour as others see it, thus leading to development of the feedback method whereby the group members and the group leader provide feedback to the individual as to how his/her behaviour was affecting them. Role plays and simulations are also used to highlight the group process. The group workers using the field theory framework can design their own interventions in working with the group for achieving the group goals along with individual development Systems Theory Systems theory is also helpful to explain the functioning of a group. Talcott Persons defined social system as a set of interdependent elements trying to function as a unified whole to maintain order and a stable equilibrium. The social systems are constantly facing new challenges as the environment around them and within, is constantly changing. Therefore, they must act to maintain the equilibrium if they have to survive. This act of survival depends upon four basic functions: (a) Integration (b) adaptation; 21 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work (c) pattern maintenance; and (d) goal attainment. The group viewed as a system would therefore be able to achieve its objectives if it is able to carry out these four functions effectively. It is able to integrate members by achieving individual and group goal matching. It also has the capacity to make changes to adapt itself to outside demands like that of the community and the sponsoring organization and with the internal dynamics as it changes with time. The pattern maintenance would require development of norms and guidelines to regulate its activities and develop well defined objectives, identify and procedures that are able to sustain these over time. The functioning of a system depends to a great extent on the carrying out the role assigned to them. The goal attainment is the final task to ensure the smooth functioning of the system. The members will lose interest and the functioning of the group will be affected if the goals are attainable is an important attribute of group stability and functioning. Parsons pointed out that problems will arise during the functioning of the group; the group, including its leadership must make use of its resources effectively to tackle the problems to maintain the equilibrium of the group. Robert Bales, however, believed that the survival of the group depends on two central tasks. 22 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work The first he termed the instrumental problems related to tasks or goal related functions and the second, socio-emotional tasks related to the interpersonal relationships between members, and between members and leader, for coordinating and maintaining the emotional unity and morale of the group. While the instrumental problems generally arise on account of the external pressures, the socio emotional problems are rooted in the internal dynamics of the group. The insights are helpful for workers to deal with both kinds of challenges in their working with groups. It is often seen that exclusive focus on one results in ignoring the other, making the group dysfunctional in the process. However, Bales sees this as natural, as the group struggles to maintain a dynamic equilibrium between the two sets of functions. Bales prefers a certain amount of tension and antagonism to Parsons; emphasis on harmony. The worker can keep in mind that the emphasis on tasks will vary in different groups, depending upon the central purpose of the group. It will be different in a self-help group formed to achieve a specific task, than in a group of children. it is also possible to analyze the interaction between members in a group by using a tool developed by Bales called interaction Process Analysis. Conflict Theory Although sociologists differ in their understanding of conflict as a social phenomenon in society, yet some of the explanations of conflicts are helpful in understanding the conflicts in groups and in dealing with them. Sociologists have identified two broad categories of conflict: 1. Endogenous conflict: This refers to sources of changes from within a society 2. Exogenous conflict: This refers to changes from without or between systems Endogenous conflict highlights the following sources of conflict a. Inherent predilection to change b. Conflict over the differential distribution of resources such as wealth, power and prestige c. Conflict of values d. Conflict of authority e. Conflict between individual and collectivity The exogenous conflict identifies three sources: a. Wars b. Cultural invasions c. Conflict of ideology Lewis Coser (1973) distinguishes between realistic and non realistic conflicts. Realistic conflicts are conflicts arising on account of non-fulfillment of specific of specific demands, whereas non –realistic conflicts are rooted in the need for release of tension and are not oriented towards achievement of any specific demand. Function of social conflict In every group there are occasions for conflict, since individuals and sub-groups are likely to make rival claims to scarce resources, prestige or power positions. But social structures differ in the way the group allows expression to these claims. Some are more tolerant, others are not. Closely built groups are likely to suppress conflict. The feeling of hostility tends to accumulate and intensify and when it breaks out it will be intense. This is because of two 23 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work According to the social-exchange theory, people help because they want to gain goods from the one being helped. People calculate rewards and costs of helping others, and aim at maximizing the former and minimizing the latter, which is known as a “minimax” strategy. Rewards are incentives, which can be materialistic goods, social rewards which can improve one’s image and reputation (e.g. praise) or self-reward. Rewards are either external or internal. External reward is things that obtained from others when helping them, for instance, friendship and gratitude. People are more likely to help those who are more attractive or important, whose approval is desired. Internal reward is generated by oneself when helping, for example, sense of goodness and self-satisfaction. When seeing someone in distress, one would empathize the victim and are aroused and distressed. We may choose to help in order to reduce the arousal and distress. Preceding helping behavior, people consciously calculate the benefits and costs of helping and not helping, and they help when the overall benefit of helping outweigh the cost. factors. Firstly, it will not aim at resolving the immediate issue as all accumulated grievances will com to fore. Secondly, it is because of total personality involvement of the group members. It is important for a group worker to remember that the hostility should not be permitted to accumulate and conflict should be allowed to occur wherever a resolution of tension seems to be allowed to occur wherever a resolution of tension seems to be indicated. In such cases the conflict is likely to remain focused primarily on the condition leading to its outbreak. Conflicts within a group can also help to revitalize existing norms and help to develop new norms as well. Exchange Theory The central concern of the exchange theory is to find an explanation for the human transactions of giving and receiving. James Frazer suggests that men enter in to institutionalized patterns of exchange to satisfy their economic needs. But there is a difference between economic exchange and social exchange. Social exchange process yield for the larger society a moral code of behaivour, which acquires an independent existence outside the social exchange situation and which informs all social, economic, and political interpersonal relationships in society. The triple obligations of social exchange- to give, to receive and to repay – are to be understood not as self- interest but in terms of interpersonal, hence inter-group, relations. Social exchange transaction creates social bonds creating ties between individuals and the collectivity. Levr-Stratuss argued that it is the exchange which is important not the things which are exchanged and the primary function of the exchange is structural integration of the collectivity. Homans and Blau among others have developed the exchange theory to explain members‟ behaviour within a group. They argued that all members in a group will try to maximize individual rewards and minimize punishments. All human interaction according to them is seeking something in return from the other. The behaviour is conditioned to maximize rewards and minimize punishment in all interactions. However, the process requires taking decisions and carrying out tasks assigned. Deviations occur as members to not attempt to maximize rewards, which create difficulties in accepting the exchange theory. The cognitive process and the members capacities are not full explained by the exchange theory can be summarized as follows: social 24 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work behaviour is an exchange of goods, material and non-material, such as approval or prestige. Persons that give to others try to get something in return, and persons who receive from others are under pressure to give in return. This process of exchange tends to create equilibrium to balance the exchanges. Power Dependence Relations Emerson sought to advance exchange theory by developing a theory of power dependence, Emerson attempts to provide a link among the concepts of „Power‟, „Authority‟, Legitimacy‟ and „Structure‟ by giving a definition of power that emphasizes its relational character. He sees power as bound with ties of mutual dependence. This means that „B‟s power is proportionally related to „A‟ dependence on „B‟ for particular rewards or resources. Power is a phenomenon that is realized through social exchange. The explanation can help the group workers to understand the relationship among members in a group. It can also explain the emergence of leadership in a group and the processes of dominance and obedience. One of the ways of coupling with the power of a person is the emotional withdrawal by the other. The other strategy is to extend your networking, by enlisting the support of other persons having a dependence on the same persons. For example if „A‟ is the dominating person in the group who makes demands on others „B‟ and „C‟ join together to balance the power dependence relations. Such networking or coalition formation goes on changing as the power dependence relation between members continues to change. The stabilization of this can result in development of group norms and role prescriptions. Both are collective efforts at giving some kind of legitimacy to power dependence relations as also balancing them for the survival of the collective goals. Status ordering also is a balancing act of power dependence relations within group. Some of the salient features of the theory are: 1. Conformity varies directly with motivational investment in the group. 2. Conformity varies inversely with acceptance in alternative groups 3. Conformity is high at both ends, i.e. the highly valued and the lowly valued members 4. Coalition of week members is inevitably formed to control the strong within a coalition 5. Greatest rewards within a coalition are given to he least dependent member of the coalition. Human Capital and Social Capital James Coleman is one of the advocates of rational choice theory. Coleman believes in a concept known a „Methodological individualism‟. The two concepts in Coleman‟s theory are actors and resources and the two key resource are: human capital and social capital. Similar to the creation of physical capital by shaping the material into tools and machines to facilitate production, human capital is created by shaping the individuals by giving them skills and capabilities that gives them power to act in innovative ways to produce. Social capital is 25 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Skills & Abilities Creativity Life Experiences Knowledge Human Capital created by shaping relations between individuals to facilitate action. For example, a group where members trust each other will act better than the one where there is no trust. The importance of social capital has been exhibited by the acceptance of team development efforts by the corporations. Human capital and social capital can complement each other or they can destroy each other. Social capital as a concept can help the actors to realize the importance and usefulness of those aspects of social to realize the importance and usefulness of those aspects of social structure which will help them to achieve their interests. In a cohesive group where members are willing to help each other and abide by the group norms, the level of trust worthiness of the group environment is a crucial factor in the success of the group. It means that the obligations will be repaid. A simple example is the rotating credit groups. In such groups, each member contributes and amount to a central fund, which is given to a member. Each member gets his/her amount back and in addition gets a loan without interest. However, if obligations and expectations are not balanced the social capital gets diluted. Norms and effective sanction can help in balancing obligations and expectations. The stability of marriage and family in India is an example of effective sanctions, as deviations bring about spontaneous and complete rejection from the entire group, forcing compliance from members. Social group work practice based on the above findings relating to small groups has developed the following assumptions: Group is a powerful source for influencing the behaviour of its members. The nature of influence depends on a number of factors such as the size of the group, bond among members, and the capacity of the group to reward members Members carry their social status in the group The internal and external environment of the group is dynamic in nature. There are groups within a group Generally members are under pressure to conform to group norms Smaller the group the greater is the intensity of bond between members. Group influence on members can be both positive and negative. Group is a potential source for meeting individual needs. Group dynamics can be planned and structured to achieve desirable results 26 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work The Importance of Social Group Worker Reaction Groups with Social Group Worker Groups without Social Group Worker Task performance Members engage in diligent, consistent, goal-related actions Members are perfunctory, inconsistent, and sloppy Performance monitoring Members provide one another with corrective, critical feedback as needed Members exhibit little concern for the quality of the group‘s performance Perceptions Members are viewed in terms of the jobs they do rather than individual qualities Members focus on the personalities and uniqueness of members rather than group Self- perceptions Members feel important, responsible, and capable Members feel lowered self-esteem with little sense of competence Attitude toward the group Members express concerned over the continuation of the group Members are cynical about the group and its functions Supportiveness Members are reluctant to reject those who are performing poorly Members are less willing to help other members of the group Approaches of group work The broad approaches of group work can be classified into four main categories Individual and/or group oriented The determining question here is whether the group or the individual becomes the target of the predominant focus. In therapeutic groups, the individual attains primary attention whereas in task- oriented, conscientization or social action projects, the overall group goals are more important. Crisis intervention Closed or open groups Often the urgency of a common problem or need requires immediate resolution; a crisis may be pre-planned as when boys abscond from an institution or accidental when death or natural calamities occur. Long- term/short-term groups They are determined by availability, accessibility and nature of clients. In penal and medical settings the groups conducted have a time-limit as the stay or availability of clients is brief. Short-term groups are advisable when clients may be geographically dispersed over the city as in the case of a family welfare agency. Some clients such as the mentally retarded are unable to comprehend time and are not future-oriented. Short-term groups are also necessary if the worker is handling several groups simultaneously. The trend today is to conduct more short-term groups because it is found that they demand the maximum from the worker and clients and have rapid and lasting effects. 1 4 2 3 A group may or may not admit new members as old ones drop out. A group of children in a child guidance clinic or unmarried mothers in an institution may remain a closed group but a group in a hospital ward must necessarily be open Approaches to Group Work 27 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Knowledge Base for Social Group Work There are special areas of knowledge that enable group workers to more ably serve the group. Besides the knowledge of the history and mission of social work profession as it impacts, group work with poor people, minorities and other disenfranchised people, a worker should have a knowledge of individuals, small group process and what is expected (functions) from the about the group work. 1) Knowledge about the nature of individual human growth and behaviour, that too from a biopsycho-social perspective (person-in-environment) that means viewing the member in the context of the group and the community. 2) Knowledge about the familial, social, political and cultural contexts that influence members‘ social identities, interactional styles, concerns, opportunities, and the attainment of their potentials. 3) Knowledge about the capacity of members to help one another and to change and contribute to social change in the community. 4) Knowledge about the protective and risk factors that affect individuals‘ needs for services and their ability to act. 5) Knowledge about how to appreciate & understand differences due to culture, ethnicity, gender, age, physical and mental abilities and sexual orientation among members that may influence group life and group work practice. Knowledge of individuals 1. Knowledge about the group as an entity, its dynamics, culture and other social conditions. 2. Knowledge about the group‘s multiple helping relationships, and ―mutual aid.‖ 3. Knowledge about the group process and structures that shape and influence the members individual as well as collective transaction and how the group develop goals that contribute individual member growth, group development and/or social change. 4. Knowledge about the phases of group development and how it influence change throughout the life of the group. 5. Knowledge about how groups are formed for different purposes and goals (e.g., education problem solving, task accomplishment, personal change, social action) and this influences what the worker does and how the group accomplishes its goals as well as the nature of the contract between the worker and members, among the members, and between the group and the sponsoring organization. Knowledge of groups & small group behaviour 1. Knowledge about how to promote individual and group autonomy, how to promote group goals, how to remain flexible, sensitivite and creativite. 2. Knowledge about the worker‘s tasks and skills that are specific to each stage of group development and the related group character, members‘ behaviour and tasks. 3. Knowledge about the recent advancement and research related to group process and contemporary practice principles. 4. Knowledge about methods of monitoring and evaluating the group process, how to involve the members in evaluation process 5. Knowledge about appropriate recording of the group processes and how to disseminate knowledge about effective practices through professional meetings, education and scholarship. 6. Knowledge about professional, ethical, and legal requirements generally associated with social work practice as well as those specifically associated with social work with groups and how to assess their own practice and seek supervision and/or consultation in order to enhance their practice. Knowledge of the function of the group worker. Group work Group work is a method of social work practice by which individuals are served within and through small face-to-face groups, in order to solve their problems and bring about desired changes at the individual, group and community levels. 28 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Group Work Skills While there are some common steps in different social work methods such as fact finding, assessment, problem-solving and evaluation, it is possible to identify certain basic areas of knowledge and skill distinctive to group work. Skill in understanding and dealing individual behaviour + Skill in directing the small groups + Skill in using various programmes Knowledge of individual behaviour and the characteristics of small groups (now extended in current literature to larger groups and social movements), of their potentialities for participants and means to modify group process and interaction, and the use of programme media and their proper planning, constitute the fundamental basis for competence. The group worker shares with other members of the profession knowledge about human development, community structures and welfare organizations and services. His primary mode of utilising such generic knowledge as an integrated method of social work to clients is through sessions of the small group. Skills in intake and referral services +Skill to conduct interviews and group meetings in the community setting The practitioner also conducts intake and referral interviews and group meetings in the community setting, visits clients' homes when necessary and discusses with them incidents that occur between group sessions and so on. Therefore, contacts are not restricted within the group. Direct interaction between worker and client within and outside the group is an important means of giving services. The knowledge and skills needed for such service are identical with those appropriate for other methods, especially casework interviewing, while not forgetting that the group is both the context and medium of service. Skills in group counselling and psychotherapy There are many schools of group counselling and psychotherapy which make use of multi- person procedures but they lack the thorough recognition of effects of group processes that group work has. Neither have they harnessed the power of the group with all its forces which characterises group work. The interaction pattern of any group is dependent on five major factors. The worker must not only have knowledge of them but also the necessary skills in handling them effectively. These are: Qualities of members - characteristics, abilities, personalities, experiences, culture, motivation, position in the group; Qualities of the group - size, cohesiveness, values, communication, performance, composition, duration, internal structure; Qualities of the goal or task - kind of task, stress, criteria for completion, sanctions, and consequences; Quality of external relationships, with other groups and the community; and Psychological structure — power relations, sociometric choice, roles, norms and group attractiveness. Objectives of Group work Group work helps to achieve the overall objectives of social work through its own specific objectives which are to assist individuals in their maturation; provide supplemental emotional and social nourishment; promote democratic participation and citizenship; and remedy individual and social disorganisation or maladjustment through group intervention strategies. 29 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Social group worker translates his /her knowledge with the groups through the use of programme as a tool to enhance group relationships. Most of the tools in group work used are that of recreation and that is why social group work is thought to be equivalent to recreation. It is as if we should say that the surgeon is a butcher because he uses knife and cuts into flesh, or that the case worker is a talker because he uses only words. Like wise social group worker is not a recreationist/craft teacher nor a story teller. He uses all these programmes. Programme Planning /Programme Laboratory in Social Group Work Planned activities play on important role in social group work practice. These planned activities are the programmes which are organised for many purposes. These include attaining improvement in member‟s own environmental conditions, promoting a sense of achievement, sublimating and canalising certain impulses, actualizing problems in an on-going social situation and working through or articulating symbolically problems and feelings which members are unable to express verbally. Programme is a concept which, when broadly conceived, includes the entire range of activities, relationship, interactions and experience that have been deliberately planned and carried out with help of the worker to meet the needs of the individuals and the group. Group Work Practice Settings The setting for social work practice is also the settings for group work. Groups can be conducted in clinical settings which may be traditional or innovative in approach like family welfare agencies, hospitals, child guidance clinics, adult psychiatric units, schools and colleges, correctional institutions, institutions for children, women, the aged and the handicapped; and in many non-institutional services such as clubs for children, youth and women. It can be practised in developmental settings like unstructured community projects, floating placements and social action movements Play Sing Dance Laugh 30 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Factors in Programme Planning In planning programmes, the social group worker must take into account a number of factors. 1. The programme must in accord with the facilities and traditions of the community 2. The programme must be tailored to fit into the needs and interest of the group members. 3. The programme must be based upon the resources which exist in the community 4. The programme should provide opportunities for all members to participate Role of group worker in programme planning 1. Helping the members to plan the programme 2. Discovering and arousing interests 3. Enabling the group to use environment effectively 4. Making the group to realize limitations Use of Programme Media Largely because of its early linkages to the field of recreation, group work has recognized the value of additional types of activities in pursuit of change goals. Often, group workers introduce varied tasks and programme to supplement discussion, depending on the particular composition and goals of the group. Since verbal abilities are less developed among younger children, games and craft activities have been effectively used as part of their programme. With adolescents and adults, on the other hand, a number of social activities and planning for group action are found effective. Within institutions client groups can be helped to explore problems of the social milieu by being permitted to undertake limited self-government. Many messages for social development and conscientization are given through the use of folk media in villages and urban community groups. All these programme activities extend the opportunities for meaningful interaction among clients, significant involvement with social tasks and acquisition of valued interpersonal skills. For any of the types of models or approaches of groups referred there are in any setting of group work practice, one or a combination of the following programme activities which can be used for diagnostic problem-solving or treatment purposes. 1. Play: The use of all types of games (physical, intellectual, memory, sensory) including playing with blocks, toys, sand and water, in the case of young children. 2. Drama, mime, use of puppets and masks and role-play: In these, members of the group are asked to act various parts which have significance to their problems or difficulties. Individuals thereby gain insight into their own behaviour and that of others. 3. Music and arts and crafts: The former which can be vocal or instrumental on a solo or group basis depict and provide an outlet for all varieties of human emotions whereas the latter, through work with diverse materials such as wood, clay, paper, straw or paints, give ample scope for self-expression, creativity, balance and harmony. 4. Talk: This is the action most people associate immediately with group activities especially of a problem-solving or therapeutic nature dealing with critical topics related to the clients' personal lives. Included in this activity are small group discussions, lectures, seminars, conversations, sensitivity games and encounter sessions. (A much-used mode of communication, talk is an essential part of most of the other activities). 5. Movement: This kind of activity is being used, as counter to the rather overemphasized verbal communication just referred to. Activities include exploration of touch, non-verbal communication, dance, mime and physical encounter. 6. Work: This activity speaks for itself and covers projects and tasks of all kinds of complexity which involve an ongoing process of cooperative endeavour. 31 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work With the breakdown of the caste system and the joint family and the resulting insecurity in a fast changing society, group approaches are most invaluable' in providing the sense of belonging and the accelerated learning that occurs within the group. Problems of poverty and lack of resources, combined with interpersonal and intrapersonal tensions can be so overwhelming that sharing these with others and seeking solutions jointly in groups is a method of problem-solving. Scope Group work is used in group psychoanalysis, group psychotherapy, ego strengthening, sensitivity training, self awareness training etc Scope Group work method can be used in developmental programmes related to health, family welfare, education, community development and housing Scope Scope of Social Group Work Scope of Social Group Work Scope of Social Group Work Scope of Social Group Work Scope of Social Group Work The scope of group work can best be considered in two dimensions. Firstly, in its role in traditional programmes with their original purposes and, secondly, in social development. Both of these would be more illuminating in a historical perspective. In the last half decade one sees substantial progress made in group work practice in most of the traditional settings. The potentialities of groups are recognised and several new and expanded services are being offered which make use of the small group. Institutional and non-institutional services can be re- aligned providing more experiences in group living. With the breakdown of the caste system and the joint family and the resulting insecurity in a fast changing society, group approaches are most invaluable' in providing the sense of belonging and the accelerated learning that occurs within the group. Problems of poverty and lack of resources, combined with interpersonal and intrapersonal tensions can be so overwhelming that sharing these with others and seeking solutions jointly in groups is a method of problem-solving. In recent year‟s new psychological concepts and, in particular psychoanalysis and psychotherapeutic techniques of transference, ego- strengthening and direct or derivative insight have begun to dominate the scene of group work, thus tending to make it more refined. Furthermore, the basic principles and methodology of group work have been used in new movements such as transactional analysis, sensitivity training, self-awareness and laboratory sessions with youth and adults elsewhere and in India. However, insight into the resources and influence of the environment and ability to bring indirect influence to bear upon the client through the environment, which are essential elements of a sociological approach in group work and absolute prerequisites for developmental work, have so far been overlooked. These need re-thinking and strengthening. Group work method can be most advantageously used to achieve India's developmental objectives through programmes of health, family welfare, education, community development and housing to mention a few. This will demand a re- conceptualisation of both group work theory and programmes. Hence, an orientation in group work should be given to students in schools of social work and to personnel in voluntary and government agencies. This orientation should include a background of social, political and economic development, strategies of planned development in a developing economy, the need for and types of fundamental changes required in the social structure, and the 32 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Group workers must strive for social action and social change even in remedial and clinical settings In the education field GWrs can work with slow learners, School drop outs, Parent Teachers Association, Vocational Guidance Centres and Community Colleges Scope Without sacrificing the therapeutic service value, GWrs in country like India can direct their efforts to achieve social justice for the marginalized like dalits, religious as well as sexual minorities. GWrs focus on legal and political literacy, political participation of dalits & women Scope Scope of Social Group Work Scope of Social Group Work Scope of Social Group Work steps being taken to bring about these changes. It should also cover an assessment of existing programmes in the country implemented by voluntary and governmental agencies and further possibilities of new programmes. Only then can practitioners meaningfully grasp the contribution of group work to the programmes like integrated rural development, integrated child development, family planning and the national adult education programmes. In addition, it is necessary to incorporate into the curriculum of schools of social work, the theories of Paulo Freire and structural analysis side by side with the Indian approaches of Sarvodaya, Bhoodan, etc. In India where poverty, disease, illiteracy and low level of living are widespread, group workers must strive for social action and social change even in remedial and clinical settings. To illustrate, school social work with a group of slow learners is the usual idea of group work in the educational field. A wider way of looking at it would be to focus on functional literacy and social education programmes, establishment of parent-teachers' associations wherever possible in the neighbourhoods and vocational guidance and counselling services on a community extension basis. Special programmes for culturally deprived children, prevention of school drop-outs, family life education and organising local pressure groups to demand changes in the educational system and better educational facilities from local educational authorities are some of the other ideas that can be initiated. One can also be involved in the preparation of memoranda and collaboration with other groups working in the same field. The scope of education should also be extended to cover education for health, better standards of living, housing with all its legislation, and land reforms. If group work is objectively studied in a developing country, it will be seen that the majority of the programmes will be focused on the bulk of the population that is normal and which will have to be organised into local self-help and self-governing groups. This is not to under-rate the highly therapeutic services that will be needed to continue for those with a breakdown. While in India the efforts will be directed at striving for social justice and removal of inequalities, social group work will have to form a partnership with social education and deal with critical aspects of the clients' life. It will also focus on 'legal' and 'political' literacy, that is making people aware of their individual rights, voting procedures, representation in political parties, etc., which will be important components of such an educational programme. 33 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Born February 11, 1910 in Berlin, Germany, Gisela Konopka‘s outstanding career in youth and adolescent services, social work, education and history is reflected in her litany: ―All my life I have been fighting for justice, and for respect for all people. I abhor any arrogance related to race, religion, nationality, appearance, sex, age, intelligence, profession, money. That arrogance is wrong. What is important is what a person is, and does, for the community.‖ Some works by Gisela Konopka Therapeutic Group Work With Children Concepts and Methods of Social Work Social Group Work: A Helping Process http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/konopka-gisela-peiper Evolution of Social Group Work in the United States Pre-1930s Social group work and group psychotherapy have primarily developed along parallel paths. Where the roots of contemporary group psychotherapy are often traced to the group education classes of tuberculosis patients conducted by Joseph Pratt in 1906, the exact birth of social group work cannot be easily identified. Social group work approaches are rooted in the group activities of various social agencies that arose in the latter part of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. Social upheaval and new found demands as a result of post Civil War industrialization, migration and immigration created many individual and societal needs. Some of these needs were met through group work endeavours found in settlement houses as well as religious and charity organizations. Additionally group work could be found in the progressive education movement (Dewey), the play and recreation movement (Boyd), informal education, camping and youth service organizations invested in „character building‟. There have been numerous philosophical and theoretical influences on the development of social group work. Chief amongst these influences are:- • the ethics of Judeo-Christian religions • the settlement house movement‟s charitable and humanitarian efforts • theories eminent in progressive education, especially those of John Dewey (1910) • sociological theories about the nature of the relationship between man and society, i.e. Mead • the democratic ethic articulated by early social philosophers • the psychoanalytic theories of Rank and Freud • the practice wisdom, theory building, educational and research efforts of early social group workers Early theoretical, research and practice efforts of Grace Coyle, Wilber Newstetter, and Neva Boyd paved the way for the advancement and development of social group work. The Mid-Thirties to the 1950s Social group work was introduced to the social work profession when it made its debut at the National Conference for Social Work in 1935. At this conference, Newsletter (1935) introduced the concept of social group work to the social work profession and identified group work as a field, process and set of techniques. He described group work as an “educational process” concerned with “the development and social adjustment of an 34 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Harleigh Bradley Trecker, (1911 - 1986) born in Calery, Illinois, attended George William College in Chicago where received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1934. In 1938 he obtained his master's degree from the University of Chicago.Upon completing his formal education, Trecker embarked upon a career in social work. From 1938 to 1941 he was an instructor at George Williams College. From 1941 to 1951 he taught at the University of Southern California (USC). He attained the position of professor at USC in 1949. In 1951 Trecker moved to the University of Connecticut where he served as Dean until 1968. From 1968 until his retirement, in 1977, he served as University Professor of Social Work. The University's Board of Trustee named the School's library after him. individual through voluntary group association” and “the use of this association as a means of furthering other socially desirable ends”. The period of time between the 1930s and the 1950s was one of growth and expansion for social group work. The economic despair of and varied psychosocial needs resultant of the Great Depression paved the way for greater affiliation between the social work profession and the field of group work. The psychological needs of returning war veterans who served in World War II resulted in the more frequent application of social group work in psychiatric treatment (Konopka1983). During this period of time not only would the field of social group work debut at the National Conference for Social Work but additional advances would be made. Academic courses and research institutions were established; a professional organization was formed, The American Association of Social Work with Groups (AAGW); and a journal, The Group, was established. The first textbooks would appear as well, written by Harleigh Trecker and Gertrude Wilson and Gladys Ryland. The 1950s would usher in even greater affiliation of group work with the profession of social work. The merger of the AAGW with six other organizations to form the National Association of Social Work (NASW) in 1955 solidified the identification and integration of social group work with the social work profession. The impact of the merger was reflected in efforts at definitional shifts regarding group work. In 1956 the NASW formed a group work section which issued a new definition that contrasted in focus with that proposed by the AAGW. The new definition dismissed the idea of group work with normal growth and development and instead saw group work as a “service to a group where the primary purpose is to help members improve social adjustment, and the secondary purpose is to help the group achieve objectives approved by society…the definition assumes that the members have adjustment problems”. Less than one fifth of the group work section agreed with this definition at the time (Alissi, 1980). The ensuing tensions regarding the defining parameters of social group work lead to a reconceptualization that included recognition that there existed different models to be used for different purposes . The 1960s to the present The 1960s and the 1970s saw the expansion of the social welfare state; the Vietnam War; the emergence of the war on poverty; the Woman's Rights Movement; the Black Power Movement; and the Lesbian and Gay Rights Movement. The above social, intellectual and cultural factors influenced the social work profession including social group work. With such Self-esteem is not the evaluation of your worth—it is an indicator of how well you are accepted into social groups. Self-esteem depends on an individual‘s personal qualities and the value of the groups to which they belong. Ingroup- outgroup bias: by rating one‘s own group positively self-esteem is enhanced If a member of a prestigious collective self-esteem will increase Members of stigmatized group may nonetheless take pride in their groups and reject nonmembers evaluations of their groups (social creativity) Basking in Reflected Glory (BIRG): stressing association with successful groups. 35 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Robert Vinter, professor emeritus of social work, whose research in the juvenile justice system garnered state and national recognition. His research interests included the theory and practice of group work; the criminal justice system; the development of organization and management theories for the human services; and program design and fiscal management. Research activities included co-investigator for studies for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Office of Economic Development, a study of malperformance in the public schools for the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and a Comparative Study of Juvenile Correctional Programs. Small group as an enterprise in mutual aid was propounded by William Schwartz, professor emeritus of social work at Columbia University . He was co-author with Serapio R. Zalba of ''The Practice of Group Work,'' a widely used textbook published by the Columbia University Press in 1971. Jack Rothman, is a professor emeritus of social work from UCLA. Dr. Rothman is senior editor of Strategies of Community Intervention, the longest standing text in community organization. He is recognized nationally and internationally for “Three Models of Community Organization Practice,” the leading conceptualization of community intervention. a wide range of social and therapeutic needs there seemed to be an even greater appreciation of group work. Having expanded into differing practice settings, the purposes and goals of group work had been more broadly described at this juncture than in previous decades. Group work scholars made great strides in developing practice theories. The work of Vinter and Schwartz and their respective associates would dominate the group work scene for much of this decade and the next. In Vinter‟s approach (1967) the treatment group is thought of as a small social system “whose influences can be planfully guided to modify client behavior”. In this approach the worker takes a central position in providing treatment, interventions are planned, group process is highly structured, and great emphasis is given to outcome evaluation and research. Schwartz (box) proposed his vision of the small group as an enterprise in mutual aid. In 1965 Bernstein and colleagues introduced another social group work practice theory, known as the Boston Model, which presented a framework for understanding how groups navigate degrees of emotional closeness over time. In 1966 Papell and Rothman presented a three types of social group work that included the social goals model (Coyle), the remedial model (Vinter) and the reciprocal model (Schwartz). In 1968 Middleman made a seminal contribution in articulating an approach to group work practice that utilized non-verbal activities. In 1976 Roberts and Northen presented a collection of ten group work practice theories (Roberts & Northen, 1976) further illustrating the diversity of approaches to group practice. The late seventies saw the re-emergence of a professional journal, Social Work with Groups in 1978. Additionally, in 1978 social group workers formed a committee to host a symposium in honour of Grace Coyle which paved the way for an annual conference in subsequent years. The conference planning committee was transformed into the membership driven organization, The Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups now an international organization (AASWG, 2006). 36 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Models of Group Work The three models of group work which it shares with the wider profession of social work as a whole may be termed as remedial, developmental and preventive. 1. Remedial groups Remedial groups focus on restoration to normalcy after a point of breakdown. 2. Developmental groups: The term developmental can be understood to have two connotations: enhancing maturational tasks in the human life cycle with groups of children, teenagers and adults; and a partnership with the nation in its developmental programmes and social progress such as adult education or health. 3. Preventive Groups: Good examples of preventive work are a juvenile guidance centre group or a prenatal or pre-discharge group in a hospital. Contemporary group work practice continues to be informed by the work of early pioneers and the vanguards of the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the Mutual Aid Model of social work with groups, the Cognitive-Behavioural Group Work Model is recognized as influential on contemporary group work practice. Mutual Aid Mutual aid as group work technology can be understood as an exchange of help wherein the group member is both the provider as well as the recipient of help in service of achieving common group and individual goals. The rationale for cultivating mutual aid in the group encounter is premised on mutual aid's resonance with humanistic values and the following propositions: 1. members have strengths, opinions, perspectives, information, and experiences that can be drawn upon to help others in the group; 2. helping others helps the helper, a concept known as the helper-therapy principle); 3. some types of help, such as confrontation, are better received when emanating from a peer rather than the worker. Mutual aid is often erroneously understood as simply the exchange of support. Mutual aid is better conceptualized as multidimensional with at least 10 types of processes or activities that occur amongst and between members, including: sharing data the dialectic process discussion of taboo topics the all in the same boat phenomenon developing a universal perspective mutual support, mutual demand (including confrontation rehearsal of new skills individual problem solving the strengths in numbers phenomenon Practice Models The Mutual Aid Model The Mutual Aid Model of group work practice (Gitterman, 2004) has its roots in the practice theory proposed by William Schwartz which was introduced in the article, “The Social Worker in the Group”. Schwartz envisioned the group as an“enterprise in mutual aid, an alliance of individuals who need each other in varying degrees, to work on certain common problems”. 37 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Models of Group Work Schwartz elaborated: “the fact is that this is a helping system in which clients need each other as well as the worker. This need to use each other, to create not one but many helping relationships, is a vital ingredient of the group process and constitutes a need over and above the specific tasks for which the group was formed”. Schwartz preferred to think of this model as social work with groups. Schwartz regarded this approach as resonant with the demands of a variety of group types including, Natural and formed Therapeutic and task Open and closed Voluntary and mandatory Schwartz initially thought of this approach as an organic systems model later to refer to it as the mediating model and then the interactionist model. The model initially proposed by Schwartz has been further developed most notably by Lawrence Shulman and Alex Gitterman, who have since referred to this model as the Mutual Aid Model Cognitive-Behavioural Group Work The Cognitive-Behavioural Group Work Model is recognized as influential contemporary group work practice approach. The approach suggested by Rose integrates cognitive and behavioural interventions with small group strategies. While primacy is not placed on Reid’s Classification of Group Work Models Case-focused group work. This approach can be described as 'preventative and rehabilitative', 'remedial' or 'organizational' - and is focused on the individual. The group provides a means by which an individual's problems can be assessed and addressed. It is most clearly connected with social work and casework and case management. The emphasis is upon 'ameliorating or preventing the adverse conditions that negatively influence individuals and result in deviant behaviour'. (Example Gisela Konopka and Paul Glasser). Interaction-focused group work. Here the group is understood as 'a system of mutual aid wherein the worker and the members are engaged on the common enterprise of carrying out the group's goals'. Within this category fall humanistic approaches such as those of Glassman and Kates, the social group work of Grace Coyle and the work of William Schwartz as his associates such as Lawrence Shulman. Group therapy, T-groups and encounter groups. There was a continuing growth in discussions that looked to the group as a key element in the therapeutic process - and that drew heavily upon central traditions of practice within psychotherapy e.g. psychoanalytic, Gestalt, cognitive-behavioural etc. Allied to this was material around family therapy. (Example Wilfred Bion & Irvin D. Yalom). Another tradition of practice that could be said to fall in this strand is that of Training groups (T-groups). In T –groups, sensitivity- training or encounter groups small groups are used as training laboratories for teaching people interpersonal skills. Social goals group work. Here the focus is on dealing with 'those problems that are related to the social order & the social value orientation in small groups'. This long established set of traditions of practice is closely linked to community organization/community work. (Example Mullender and Ward and Twelvetrees. In recent years there has been a significant development in the discussion of therapeutic traditions of group work. Sadly, working with emergent groups, and with community groups has not had the attention it merits. 1 2 3 4 38 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work establishing the group as a mutual aid system in quite the same way as with the Mutual Aid Model, the worker promote group discussion and member interaction. Furthermore, drawing upon Yalom‟s Therapeutic Factor construct Rose (2004) points out the benefits of universality, altruism, and group cohesion as well as mutual reinforcement, factors which are conceptually resonant with mutual aid. Special Considerations Group Work with Mandated Members The involuntary client can be understood as someone who is pressured by some external source to seek social services. Mandated involuntary clients are pressured to seek services as a result of the legal system. Reactance theory as an explanatory framework for the attitude and behaviours of the involuntary client and the mandated involuntary client. Reactance theory suggests that as a person is pressured to relinquish certain behaviours as a result of treatment efforts they experience reactance, “a motivational drives to restore those free behaviours”. It is noted tensions between the concept of working with mandated clients and professional ethics, such as the belief in fostering self determination. The chief concern is whether or not “involuntary applicants” are in fact “clients”, as to become a client of a professional social worker requires “mutual agreement”. In social work practice, the primary task given this issue is to help the applicant “transform to client hood”. In the absence of this transformation, the mandated “client” is likely to be superficially compliant and deny they have any problems warranting social work attention. Open-Ended Groups Most conceptualizations of group development are predicated on the belief that the group is closed, with unchanging membership. As a concept, open-endedness exists along a continuum dependent upon the duration of the group. When membership is open but the group is of a long duration a core group of members is likely to emerge. When this occurs the core group assumes responsibilities for indoctrinating new members 39 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Social group work began as 'group work' with its own unique history and heroes. It was not part of the mainstream of professional social work, which in the early days was synonymous with casework, as far as the method was concerned. The ideological roots of social group work were in the self-help and informal recreational organisations, such as YMCA, YWCA settlement, scouting, Jewish Centres in U.S.A. and democratic ideals that all should share in the benefits of society following the Industrial Revolution. Social group work was also influenced by progressive education as it developed in Europe and stressed the use modern and liberal techniques in group learning. The major thrust of early group-serving agencies was toward the normal rather than the maladjusted person who would seek service primarily during his 'leisure' hours. He came for recreation, education, enjoyment and the development of special skills and interests. Group work was then not geared towards individuals with particular problems. The person with severe problems who appeared in the group was incorporated as much as possible with his peers or was referred for individual attention to a casework agency or psychiatric clinic. The first course in group work was offered by the Western Reserve University in the U.S.A. in the early 1930s. There was then great preoccupation and focus on the activity and programme of the group. This, unfortunately, in many ways held back the flowering of group work as a theoretically sound method within social work. In 1935 Grace Coyle, as the Chairman of the newly established section of social group work of the National Conference of Social Work, began to clarify that group work was a method within social work and that recreation and education were other fields (professions) which might include group work as a method. The focus then gradually moved from doing activities to talking activities which was understood at that time as leading more quickly towards self-understanding, insight and behavioural change. In the 1940s, with the efforts of persons such as Grace Coyle, Clara Kaiser, Wilber Newsetter, Gertrude Wilson and Helen Phillips, group work was more fully rooted within the profession of social work and began to be taught in many more schools in the USA. Soon the American Association of Group Workers was established, which brought out regular ly a professional publication called The Group. Several new text-books had been published that served to formalise the thinking of the day. By the early 1950s the method developed its own distinctiveness and was introduced in most schools of social work throughout the U.S.A., Great Britain, Canada and other parts of the world. Social group work now wrested itself from the field of social psychology and also distinguished its methodology from group psychotherapy. It moved into many 'specialized' settings previously reserved for the practice of casework to serve problem clients. It developed a refined and sophisticated set of techniques as the National Association of Social Workers and the Council of Social Work Education produced new documents and publications in group work. Gisella Konopka, William Schwartz and Dorothea Spellman were the new group work writers. They urged that group work cease following the path of casework development and move to identify and elaborate its own therapy and practice. Thus group work obtained a new depth and vision. Its competence is reserved neither for dysfunctioning individuals alone nor for the range of services to maximise potentials; it can be used for a range of services. In the late 1960s, Ruth Smalley's new text book "Theory for Social Work Practice" whose uniqueness rests in the fact that it is the first book to present a unified theory applicable to casework, group work and community organisation, made a breakthrough in social work education by emphasizing the commonalities of the three methods. The seventies and eighties saw the method of group work being utilised in new innovations such as the laboratory method, sensitivity training, encounter groups and many movements like trans-actional analysis, gestalt therapy and so forth. Early Roots of Group Work 40 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Other Influences that shaped Social Group Work Practice Historically, we can distinguish many significant thought systems developed in the western hemisphere, particularly in America and Europe, which have given direction and content to the conceptual framework of social group work from its inception till the present date. These are: 1. The ethical, social and theistic beliefs embodied in the Judeo-Christian religions; 2. The humanitarian thinking of the late nineteenth century which found expression in the social settlement movement in England and later in America; 3. The educational philosophy of John Dewey and his followers who formulated the theories of progressive education; 4. The theories of certain early sociologists, particularly Durkheim, Simmel, Cooley and Mead, who saw in the small group the key to studying the relation of the individual to society; 5. Recent basic research in small group theory by social scientists such as Kurt Lewin, Moreno, Elton, Mayo and Merton; 6. Contemporary developments such as the interaction theory which conceives of the group as a system of interacting individuals, the system theory which views the group as a system of orientation, interlocking positions and roles, Communication and equilibrating processes, empiristic statistical orientation which maintains that the concept of group dynamics should be discovered from statistical procedures rather than pure theory, and makes considerable use of procedures developed in the field of personality testing, and formal models orientation which attempts to construct these models with the aid of mathematics in order to deal vigorously with some -rather limited aspects of groups; 7. The democratic ethic not only as it applies to a political system, but as it permeates all forms of social relationships, and as expressed in the writings of authors such as Mary Follet and Edward C. Lindeman; 8. General psychology orientation wherein the influence of each of the major theories of motivation, learning and perception can be seen, important contributions to the study of groups having been made in this area by Asch, Festinger, Heider and Krech and Crutchfield; 9. The psychoanalytic school of psychiatry initiated by Freud resulting in a growing interest in group psychotherapy elaborated by writers such as Bion, Schiedlinger, Stock and Thelen; 10. The liberation theories especially those of Paulo Freire, and the culture of silence which have arisen in Latin America; 11. The school of liberation theology in the last decade (giving new interpretations to the Bible and Christian doctrine in the light of prevalent socio-economic structures) which has inspired and fostered activist movements amongst the Christian missionaries; 12. The values, principles and methods of social work as the profession within which social group work as a method has developed. Historical Influences that Shaped Social Group Work Practice 41 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Group Work in India History of Group Work in India India has a long history of social work and social welfare. There is evidence of the group approach being used in charity, imparting religious education through the oral tradition, mobilising the people for the freedom struggle against the British, social reform and, more recently, in typically indigenous welfare strategies such as the Sarvodaya and Bhoodan movements. However, the history of group work as a method of social work practice can be seen only in the context of social work education in India. Group work began with the founding of the first School of Social Work in 1936, viz, the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. In 1947-48 the second school was established in Delhi and, for the first time, as part of an already established University. This is significant because it meant recognition of the academic status of social work education, and of group work as one of its courses. Within less than two years a third school was established as part of the University of Baroda, which had a fairly strong sequence in group work. It developed and published some of the first records of group work practice in India in 1960. The Association of Schools of Social Work in India, jointly with Technical Cooperation Mission (U.S. A) laid down minimum standards for group work. Throughout India in schools of social work, group work found a place in all of them along casework and community organisation. There was no specialisation in the methods courses as in American social work education. The theoretical framework and its practice model was mainly American and until recently, few attempts were made to indigenize it. Group work which could have played a significant role in some of the major social development programmes launched in the earlier plans remained ineffective, since the relationships between social work education and these programmes were at best peripheral and the points of contact and integration are only now being appreciated and to some extent taking place. Furthermore, because of the location of schools of social work in urban areas, professional group work practice remained, until recent times, primarily urban. Group Work in India Present Position Academic Curriculum: Most schools preparing students for the Master's Degree teach group work in the first year only. The content is of varied nature imparting, in most cases, rudimentary concepts and principles. Only about twenty percent of the schools teach group work in the second year covering simple therapeutic aspects. It is necessary for schools to introduce group work in the second year to strengthen the grasp of the method. The curriculum at the Bachelor's Degree level also needs to be upgraded. At both graduate and undergraduate levels, there has been lack of clarity as to what the course on group work is meant to achieve. The teaching of group work should keep in mind the level of work and tasks to be performed after graduation and post-graduation and the possible integration of group work with new national projects that can be developed within the region. The curriculum should prepare students not only for field level practice in developmental and clinical settings but for policy-making, training para-professionals in group work, consultation in organising group services, supervision in group work and social research in the methodology and techniques of group work. What seems to be grossly lacking is the inter-relatedness of the basic social work methods arising out of a compartmentalised teaching of casework, group work and community organisation with over-emphasis on casework. Present Position : Academic Curriculum Most school in India have heavy concentration of casework in their field work in terms of distribution of hours. Likewise, adequate time is not allotted for instruction in group work in the total supervisory conference. Field instructors themselves have had little orientation in group work and the gap between classroom teaching and the instructor's knowledge of the method needs to be bridged. This can be achieved by closer collaboration between the schools and the field through faculty field staff development programmes and updating the practice of group work related to the country's needs. Present Position: Field Work 42 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Present Position: Teaching Materials: To demonstrate many of the cultural patterns and the adaptation of the group work method from an American environment into an Indian setting, it is necessary to utilise indigenous books and articles on the subject. While there is some literature on casework and relatively more on community organisation practice in India, there is very little on group work. Indian social workers have not documented their work nor are they able to demonstrate through their records diagnostic and problem-solving skills at a much higher level than that of students. Higher levels of performance than one's own are necessary to stimulate thinking. Most of the records on group work in India are, therefore, by students of social work. They are of the nature of anecdotes of a situation or two whereas the need is for demonstrating good practice over a period of about two years in each setting with long-term as well as short-term groups of a varied nature. Present Position: Teaching Materials Present Position: Group Work Practice in Agencies Group Work Practice in Agencies: At the practical level, in most agencies, the potentialities of group work as a method have not been fully explored. Group work teachers through student placements, demonstrations and consultations need to develop group programmes which can become an integral part of the agency's services. The majority of agencies which engage professional social workers are casework oriented and very few have utilised the group work method. In almost all agencies, the job description or official policy does not demand utilisation of group approaches to achieve their over-all objectives. Therefore group work is conducted on an ad hoc basis. This is partly due to a lack of conviction, inadequate skills and the vagueness of its place in the total educational programme for social work. If group work is conducted it is generally found that records are often not maintained or are so sketchy that it is not possible to get any idea of its process and methodology. A large number of governmental & voluntary agencies manned by both qualified and untrained social workers do conduct group programmes. These agencies range from highly remedial ones such as those of Alcoholics Anonymous to developmental ones, such as projects in child welfare, rural development and family welfare. Unfortunately, the majority of social work personnel lack the technical know-how of working with groups. Those amongst them who are competent group work practitioners do not document their work and hence a wealth of good data is lost. Recently, attempts have been made to develop indigenous literature. Some of the case studies prepared for the Workshop entitled "Poverty and the Development of Teaching Materials in Social Work Education" sponsored by the then United Nations Social Welfare and Development Centre for Asia and the Pacific (Manila) and the Association of Schools of Social Work in India in Bangalore in 1979 describe very clearly group work processes in working with the rural and urban poor. 43 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Understand Indian family culture and its dynamics Need to move out of the agency setting to reach them 1 Understand family & elders influence in a positive sense Appreciate the traditional patterns of learning in order to make appropriate intervention 2 Individuals who are not exposed to democratic functioning may find it difficult to take decisions or initiative. It is the responsibility of the GWr to provide concrete suggestions 3 When family & community are closely interdependent in the life of an individual as in India, to find a solution to problem will be challenge than one who is highly individualistic 4 Socio-Cultural Factors that influence Social Group Work Practice For the scope of group work to be realised fully it is important to understand the cultural determinants which will affect its practice such as the nature of society and the individual's social functioning in groups in the Indian context. Indians are very group conscious living closely knit in families and associating freely with neighbours and community members through many informal primary and secondary groups. Most activities, whether the celebration of an offspring's birth or singing devotional hymns for a religious ceremony, are conducted in groups. Hence it would be a fallacy to draw such natural spontaneous programmes within the setting of the agency and its office in an attempt to institutionalise them. Social workers need to move out of the agency and communicate with such informal groups of men and women at their doorsteps. Dependence on adult guidance has been emphasised in every phase of an individual's life in India. Hence, the concept of self-determination undergoes a modification especially in the practice of group work in India where clients are so used to being influenced by elders. The western method of discussing the problem threadbare does not appeal to Indian sentiments and, therefore, social workers mistakenly think that because of this dependence the client will not be able to meet his life's problems as he does not develop coping mechanisms and skills in the group. Hence, knowledge of the traditional patterns of learning in India and how it is shaped by community, class, education and religion will guide the worker to develop further techniques in group work. By doing so one can enable the client to absorb new ideas and have his problem interpreted in the group situation. Democratic functioning which is the fundamental principle of group work is not practised in some sections of the population and people are confused when a democratic approach is taken. When clients in a group are not in a position to take a decision or initiative, it is advisable to give concrete advice rather than leave them in that state to work out their own problems. Gradually, when concrete suggestions from the group worker help people to overcome their problems to some extent, they can develop further strength to cope with their affairs unaided. The social group to which one belongs prescribes for the individual which attributes he should suppress in order to be more acceptable to other members as social conformation is the aim. The Indian virtually never steps out of his compact group relations, the family or the caste. This accounts for his relative reserve in group discussions and his relative inability to carry out group and individual decisions as compared with the frank outburst of his western counterpart. As members of the family and the community are closely interdependent in the life of the Indian, it is but natural that various relationships have to be taken into consideration before any 44 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work When conformity to the community norms is preferred, Group work should not only be confined to help the members to adjust to the existing reality but also become active partners in the process of change for the betterment of society so that client participants are the makers of their own destiny 5 In a culture where women, poor & illiterate are stereotyped as passive, the role of GWr is to conscientize the deprived and disadvantaged and move them towards social action 6 solution is sought. The group worker must therefore realise that it requires greater strength of character on the part of the client who is closely tied to his environment to find a solution to his problem than one who is highly individualistic. The importance of programmes for social change can never be over-emphasized. As Indian society is traditional and there is a general tendency towards conformity to group norms on the part of the people, the individual's adjustment to his reality will be less disturbed. The emphasis in group work will, therefore, be to reach a new level of integration by the introduction of new ideas and ways of living. Group work should not only be confined to help the members to adjust to the existing reality but also become active partners in the process of change for the betterment of society so that client participants are the makers of their own destiny. The group worker cannot be tied solely to the institutional structure but should be instrumental in bringing about a change in the individual as well as in society. The group, therefore, becomes a catalytic agent. In the light of this, the group worker should play an increasing part in community life and be in contact with conditions that affect groups, communities and the wider society. The quality of participation in a group is dependent on the sole expectations of the individual in terms of certain traditional factors such as sex, class, social status and educational background. No doubt, according to these, certain stereotyped ideas have been generated that women or the poor and illiterate tend to be passive. Although these factors are important, they are mistakenly considered to be the sole determinants. The concept of group dynamics is to be transferred to the particular auspices, setting and context of programmes and services. While the profession proclaims the new enabling role of social work, there are agencies which even today retain the old idea of relief or charity. Where the social workers come down to the level of being equals and engage the people in truly activist and self-help campaigns, the participation is dynamic and vibrant, irrespective of caste, educational level or social status. There are a large number of people working with the masses in urban, rural and tribal areas who are able to evoke responses even among the most deprived and disadvantaged people and move them towards social action. They are not trained social workers but group workers can learn from the efforts of such indigenous and non-indigenous workers. Qualities of a Group worker: Social group worker must have certain essential qualities where she/he brings harmony and co-operation between groups and the individuals on the basis of knowledge and experience. The group worker could only implement her/his work plan on the basis of skilled assessment which is as follows: Selection of group Obtaining maximum information about group Establishing purposeful relationship with the individual in the group Knowledge about status of an individual and analyzing group situation Suitable programme planning and programme implementation process Knowledge about the available resources within and outside the group Optimum utilization of agency and group resources Evaluating the programme 45 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Group Work Evaluation Group Work evaluation techniques are concerned with the following aspects of evaluation 1. Evaluation of leadership 2. Evaluation of the group process 3. Evaluation of the outcomes or changes brought about in members and 4. Evaluation of group action in terms of group goals. Evaluation of the Group Work Evaluation means appraising or judging the worth and effectiveness of the process/activities carried out by the group in order to meet the objectives of the group. It is essentially the study and review of what was carried out in the past. According to Trecker, “Evaluation is that part of social group work in which the worker attempts to measure the quality of group‟s experience in relation to the objectives and function of the agency. Evaluation may be centered upon 1. Individual growth, 2. Program content, or on 3. Worker‟s performance. Purpose of Evaluation Evaluation is essential because it enables the worker to discover to what extent group has achieved its objectives. Evaluation enables the group to see both strengths and weaknesses and it helps to discover points at which group members need to alter their procedures. Evaluation helps to formulate new objectives and to renew unsuited objectives. Evaluation helps the group worker to adjust and modernize his methods of working with group. Evaluation can be stimulation to greater professional growth. Evaluation can be an extension of the learning process because its very nature is scientific and its aim is educational. Content of Evaluation Group worker evaluates the following: Evaluation of Individual Growth Group is composed of individuals. They become the member of the group because of certain needs and desires. Therefore, the main objective of social group work is to fulfill these needs and desires in accordance with the prescribed rules and procedures. But how can the worker be able to know the level of fulfillment of their needs without evaluating their growth process. The worker evaluates the presence of each member. He evaluates their level of participation in the group activities. Sometimes it happens that the member because of difficulty in adjusting himself in the group remains usually absent giving one or the other reason. The worker evaluates the growth of skills, methods of problems solving, behaviour techniques or knowledge gained by the member through the group experience. The chart (A) has been prepared for the evaluation of the individual member growth. Chart for Evaluating Individual Growth No Individuals Qualities A* No Individuals Qualities A* 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 Attendance 11 Sensitivity 2 Frequency of participation 12 Sympathy for group 46 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work 3 Contact with group 13 Loyalty for group 4 Self – esteem 14 Capacity of Problem solving 5 Reliability 15 Discussion and conversation 6 Emotional control 16 Ways of performing task 7 Contact with reality 17 Leadership qualities 8 Frequency of responses 18 New knowledge 9 Behavioral dynamism 19 Status in group 10 Tolerance 20 Breakdown prejudices A* Nature of growth and change 1.Regression as usual 2.Slight progress 3.Major progress Evaluation of the group Group is the medium for achieving individual‟s objectives and individual personality development. Therefore, it is essential for a worker to evaluate the effects and growth of group as a whole. The group worker evaluates the group organization, a social responsibility fulfilled by the group, maturity that has achieved, skilfulness, and expertness has developed, the techniques of problem solving have seen learned and mutual understanding and cooperation have developed among group members. Bernstein52 has developed the chart (B) for evaluation of the progress in the group. Chart for evaluating group performance Group criteria Trends Regression Static Slight progress Great progress 1 2 3 4 5 1 Attendance 2 Group organization 3 Group standards 4 Wider Horizons 5 Social responsibility 1. To each other 2. To agency 3. To community 6 Enriched Interests 7 Handling conflicts 8 Leadership and participation 9 Cooperative planning 10 Group- thinking 11 Group- thinking 12 Group loyalty and morale 13 Acceptances of differences 14 Decreasing need of leader Douglas has proposed the following capacities to be evaluated for measuring individual growth. These are: 1.Encourages, 2.Agrees, accepts 3.Arbitrates 4.Proposes action, 5.Asks suggestions, 6.Gives opinion, 7.Asks opinion 8.Gives information, 9.Seeks information, 10.Poses problem, 11.Defines position, 12.Asks position, 13.Routine direction 14.Depreciates self, 15.Autocratic manner 16.Disagrees 17.Self-assertion 18.Active aggression 19.Passive aggression 47 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Douglas has prepared the following yardstick for measuring the performance / growth of a group 1. How clear are the group goals: a. No apparent goals b. Goal confusion, uncertainly or conflict c. Average goal clarity d. Goals mostly clear e. Goals very clear 2. How much trust and openness in the group? a. Distrust, a closed group b. Little trust, defensiveness c. Average trust and openness d. Considerable trust and openness e. Remarkable trust and openness 3. How sensitive and perceptive and group members? a. No awareness or listening in the group b. Most members self- absorbed c. Average sensitivity and listening d. Better than usual listening e. Outstanding sensitivity to others 4. How much attention was paid to process? The way group has a. No attention to process b. Little attention to process c. Some concern with group process d. A fair balance between content and process e. Very concerned with process 5. How were group leadership needs met? a. Not met, drifting b. Leadership concentrated in on person c. Some leadership distributed d. Leadership needs met creatively and flexibly 6. How were group decision made? a. No decisions could be reached b. Made by a few c. Majority vote d. Attempts at integrating minority vote e. Full participation and tested consensus 7. How well were group resources used? a. One or two contributed but deviants silent b. Several tried to contribute but more discouraged c. About average use for group resources d. Group resources well used and encouraged. e. Group resources fully and effectively used. 8. How much loyalty and sense of belonging to the group? a. Members had not group loyalty or sense of belonging b. Members not close but some friendly relations c. About average sense of belonging d. Some warm sense of belonging e. Strong sense of belonging among members. Evaluation of the member’s contribution to group The focus here is on the contribution of the member to the development of the group, not on his total personality. This calls for an assessment at the end of each meeting. Bernstein has prepared the chart © for this purpose Chart for evaluating member’s contribution to group Constructive participation Name of member 1 Good attention and interest but no outstanding participation 2 Minor contributions, such as helping to arrange chairs, getting equipment. etc 3 More important contribution, e.g., thoughtful consideration of new members 4 A good job handing a committee assignment of something comparable 5 An outstanding contribution, such as helping to resolve conflicts, unusual effort in relation to responsibilities etc. Destructive participation 1 Inattentiveness and lack of interest and participation 2 Giggling, restlessness, and similar behaviour 3 Openly opposing and thwarting the plans and activities of the group 4 Name calling and other arts which tend to stimulate aggressive and negative responses 5 Violently destructive behaivour which makes it impossible for the group to continue normally for time. 48 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work 1. Records helps the group worker to understand the group 2. Help the worker to understand the group as a whole 3. Provide evidences of growth and change in the members and in the group worker himself 4. Recording help the worker to do more effective job with his groups 5. Through records the worker can see merging and changing of interests of individual members 6. Through records the worker can see the development of skills and social attitudes of members 7. Through records the worker gains knowledge of special problems in the group 8. Through records the worker can trace out the emergence of group consciousness 9. Records provide content of supervisory conferences 10. Records of the source of future planning 11. Records are the source of information for other workers 12. Records provide a permanent and continuous register of facts for the agency Importance of Recording in Social Group Work Recording in Social Group Work The Social Work Dictionary (1995) defines “recording” as the process of putting in writing and keeping on file relevant information about the client system; the problem; the prognosis; the intervention; the progress of treatment; the social, economic, and health factors contributing to the situation and the procedures for termination or referral. The social work record should also emphasize the strengths client‟s system and solutions for change. The dictionary acknowledges that there are many types of social work recording and the type used may depend upon factors such as agency requirements, the social worker‟s theoretical base, style and type of intervention Principles of social work recording – Lindsay 1. The Principle of flexibility 2. The Principle of selection 3. The Principle of readability 4. The Principle of confidentiality 5. The Principle of worker’s acceptance 49 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Content of Social Group Work Records Identifying Information about the group 1. Name of the group 2.Place, Time & Physical setting of the meeting 3. Members Present & Absent 4. New Members 5.Observation /Remarks Member’s participation by name 1. Role performed 2. Conversation did 3. Talks Began 4. Views expressed 5. Sequence of participation in activities 6.Special contributions made 7. Interaction type, level, duration & creativeness took place 8. Emotional quality of participation 1 2 Description of the group as a whole 1. General atmosphere in the group – Formal, Informal, Competitive, Co- operative, Hostile, Supportive, Permissive, Any other 2. Quantity & Quality of thw work completed by the group 3. Participation of group members –mostly all /few members talked and participated, supported others, took sides /dominated group etc. 4. Positive & Negative responses 5. Members feelings about their group 6. Groups status in the agency 3 Description of the group problems 1. Conflict or fight –Nature, Type, Reason, Involvement level 2. Apathy –Nature, Level and possible causes 3. Inadequate decision making 4 The Relationship & the role of the group worker 1. Material provided by the worker 2. Arrangements made 3. Agency help taken 4. Suggestions given 5. Techniques used for problem solving 6. Worker‘s participation in group process Special Assistance given 1. Member‘s name 2. Problem 3. Nature of assistance Evaluation 1. Evaluation of program activities 2. Evaluation of group members participation 3. Evaluation of the worker‘s role 5 5 6 helping to resolve conflicts, unusual effort in relation to responsibilities etc. Destructive participation 1 Inattentiveness and lack of interest and participation 2 Giggling, restlessness, and similar behaviour 3 Openly opposing and thwarting the plans and activities of the group 4 Name calling and other arts which tend to stimulate aggressive and negative responses 5 Violently destructive behaivour which makes it impossible for the group to continue normally for time. 48 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work 1. Records helps the group worker to understand the group 2. Help the worker to understand the group as a whole 3. Provide evidences of growth and change in the members and in the group worker himself 4. Recording help the worker to do more effective job with his groups 5. Through records the worker can see merging and changing of interests of individual members 6. Through records the worker can see the development of skills and social attitudes of members 7. Through records the worker gains knowledge of special problems in the group 8. Through records the worker can trace out the emergence of group consciousness 9. Records provide content of supervisory conferences 10. Records of the source of future planning 11. Records are the source of information for other workers 12. Records provide a permanent and continuous register of facts for the agency Importance of Recording in Social Group Work Recording in Social Group Work The Social Work Dictionary (1995) defines “recording” as the process of putting in writing and keeping on file relevant information about the client system; the problem; the prognosis; the intervention; the progress of treatment; the social, economic, and health factors contributing to the situation and the procedures for termination or referral. The social work record should also emphasize the strengths client‟s system and solutions for change. The dictionary acknowledges that there are many types of social work recording and the type used may depend upon factors such as agency requirements, the social worker‟s theoretical base, style and type of intervention Principles of social work recording – Lindsay 1. The Principle of flexibility 2. The Principle of selection 3. The Principle of readability 4. The Principle of confidentiality 5. The Principle of worker’s acceptance 49 Skills S.Rengasamy - Social Group Work Content of Social Group Work Records Identifying Information about the group 1. Name of the group 2.Place, Time & Physical setting of the meeting 3. Members Present & Absent 4. New Members 5.Observation /Remarks Member’s participation by name 1. Role performed 2. Conversation did 3. Talks Began 4. Views expressed 5. Sequence of participation in activities 6.Special contributions made 7. Interaction type, level, duration & creativeness took place 8. Emotional quality of participation 1 2 Description of the group as a whole 1. General atmosphere in the group – Formal, Informal, Competitive, Co- operative, Hostile, Supportive, Permissive, Any other 2. Quantity & Quality of thw work completed by the group 3. Participation of group members –mostly all /few members talked and participated, supported others, took sides /dominated group etc. 4. Positive & Negative responses 5. Members feelings about their group 6. Groups status in the agency 3 Description of the group problems 1. Conflict or fight –Nature, Type, Reason, Involvement level 2. Apathy –Nature, Level and possible causes 3. Inadequate decision making 4 The Relationship & the role of the group worker 1. Material provided by the worker 2. Arrangements made 3. Agency help taken 4. Suggestions given 5. Techniques used for problem solving 6. Worker‘s participation in group process Special Assistance given 1. Member‘s name 2. Problem 3. Nature of