2 swk 4440 intro historical

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Social Work Interventions with Groups

Social Work Interventions with Groups

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  • Six stages of development in group practicePlanning – stage you are in right nowBeginning – goals setting and purpose of group establishedAssessment – using individual, group, and environment – look at understanding the group and its members – happens throughout the process of groupsMiddle – monitoring and evaluating progress on goalsEnd – preparation for terminationEvaluation – How will you find out how you did? What tools will you use to monitor success?
  • Generalist practice includes looking at the individual within the group, the group as a whole, and the community and environment in which the group is being held.You must focus on all aspects of the group in order to fully integrate the interventions properly within a group setting. The individual, group, and environment are not without interacting with each other, therefore they must all be taken into consideration when implementing interventions and goals.Using an integrated practice approach allows for the best interventions to be used and helps with using a broad base of knowledge and skills.
  • Looking at the group work values – being positive among and participate with diversity, cooperate with a participatory democracy, initiative of individuals within the group is very important, group feels free to participate and express thoughts, feelings, concerns, and are involved in the decision making process, each person in the group is their own individual person and should be addressed with their own individual goals/processes, etc. Four key values – very important to remember during all parts of doing a groupRespect and dignitySolidarity and mutual aidEmpowermentUnderstanding, respect, and camaraderie among diverse backgroundsEthicsInformed consent- members know the purpose, goals, risks, cost, timing, duration, expectations, and screening and ending proceduresBe competent and well trained – having someone with you that knows what they are doing counts – you can learn by watching and seeing different interventions take placeConduct with group meetings – not pushing your own needs and agenda within the group, not treating everyone as an individual, recognizing your own values and how they may play a role and whether that might be problematicConfidentiality – what is shared outside the group and what is not
  • Worker should…help member establish their own responsibilities and leadership skills…have dual role – work on individual members and their goals and work with the group on a goal as a whole…pay attention to socioemotional needs of group members and to accomplishing the tasks set by the group…look at the community and environment in which the group takes place and how it will affect members going forward…look at the influence by sponsor (agency) – how could then negatively or positively impact the group
  • Natural groups are spontaneous and happen because of the event and/or mutual need – family groups, peer groups, friendship networks, gangs, cliquesFormed groups are those that come together because of some intervention needed and are sponsored for a purpose – educational groups, therapy groups, committees, social actionThe purpose defines whether a group is of a specific type and who will be in the group and why. Treatment group’s purpose is to meet socioemotional needs through support, education, therapy, growth, or socialization. A task group’s purpose is to accomplish a goal that is not specific the needs of the individual members – the purpose is to affect the community, environment, or the “outside” with their goal.
  • There are several advantages and disadvantages for group work.
  • Most will be working within treatment groups for the group project. Make sure you look at what is the purpose of the treatment group and why you are using that specific purpose for those individual members.
  • Group work started in the early 1900s along with the advent of casework. It was used in many different facets for many different purposes. In the 1960s and 70s the training of social workers in group work decreased because it was thought that a generic view of practice was better than the specialization of specific practices. Since 1979, group work has had a voice and expanded training through the Advancement of Social Work with Groups (AASWG). There is a meeting for our local chapter in the cities on April 1st if anyone is going to be in the area. Please check out their website for more information.
  • Social worker would enable the members through activities to socialize members and also help them with decisions and strength as a whole to have society respond to their needs.
  • RemedialSocial worker is a change agent – it is a leader centered model using step by step instructions to achieve goals.ReciprocalSocial worker is a mediator – it is group centered model closely aligned with ecological systems theory
  • Being a part of a group influences the individual
  • Systems theory – Parsons, Bales, and HomansGroup is a system of interaction between elementsGroup properties arise from interactions of individual members of the groupGroup forces have powerful effects on the members’ behaviorGroups struggle to maintain equilibrium when there is conflictGroups relate to their external environment and internal functioning at the same timeGroups are in a constant state of becoming, development, and change that influences equilibrium and existenceGroups have a developmental life cyclePsychodynamic - FreudGroup members act out in the group unresolved conflicts from early life experiences – reenactment of family situationsLeader uses transference and countertransference to help members through these unresolved conflicts by liking them to patterns of current behaviors. The group experience can induce corrective emotional experiences through the communications through the group.Learning Bandura, RoseBehavior is associated with a stimulusOperant conditioning – behavior of members have influence on members – so if someone does something and receives a positive response from the group they are more likely to continue that behaviorField LewinGroup holds life space in relationship to other objects in this space and is goal orientated and moves toward these goals and may run into obstacles to moving forward with the goalsForces at workRoles – status of membersNorms – rules of group behaviorPower – members influence one anotherCohesion – amount of closeness the members feel for each other and group as a wholeConsensus – agreement on goals and other group needsValence – how important the goals are in the life space of the groupSocial exchange theory – Blau, Homans, Thibaut and KelleyExchange implied in all human relationships – members initiate interactions because you gain something such as approvalBased on group rewards and punishments


  • 1. SWK 4440Social Work Intervention with Groups
    Toseland, R. and Rivas, R. (2009). An Introduction to Group Work Practice (6th ed.) Pearson Education, Inc.
    Chapter One: Introduction
    Chapter Two: Historical Developments
  • 2. Social Group Work Practice
    Generalist Practice Framework
    Based on comprehensive assessment of the needs of a particular group in a particular situation using an integrated practice approach (p5)
    Ethics and Values in a Group
    Group Work Values and Four Key Values (p7)
    What will you bring?
  • 3. Social Group Work Practice
    Participation of positive relations among people from diverse situations and populations
    Cooperation and mutual decision making embodied in the principles in a participatory democracy
    Importance of individual initiative within the group
    Importance of freedom to participate, including expressing thoughts and feelings about matters of concern to individual members or the group as a whole, and having the right to be involved in the decision-making process of the group
    Value high individualization in the group so that each member’s unique concerns are addressed
    Four Key Values
    Respect and Dignity
    Solidarity and mutual aid
    Understanding, respect, and camaraderie among people from divers backgrounds
  • 4. Social Group Work Practice
    Definition of Group Work
    Group work: “Goal-directed activity with small treatment and task groups aimed at meeting socioemotional needs and accomplishing tasks. This activity is directed to individual members of a group and to the group as a whole within a system of service delivery.” (Toseland and Rivas, 2009, p.12)
    Small Group: “implies the ability of members to identify themselves as members, to engage in interaction, and to exchange thoughts and feelings among themselves through verbal, nonverbal, and written communication processes.” (Toseland and Rivas, 2009, p.12)
  • 5. Social Group Work Practice
    Natural and formed groups
    Treatment vs. task groups
    What is the difference?
  • 6. Social Group Work Practice
    Advantages of working with individuals and groups
    Disadvantages of working with individuals and groups
  • 7. Treatment Groups
  • 8. Task Groups
    Treatment Conferences
    Staff Development groups
    Social Action groups
  • 9. Historical Developments
    Context for current social group work practice
    1960’s and 70’s
    Continued disengagement in society – natural and formed groups continue to decrease
    Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups and CSWE promote group work curriculum
  • 10. Treatment Group Models by Papell and Rothman (1962)
    Social Goal Model: focuses on socializing members to democratic societal values
    YMCA, Girls Scouts
  • 11. Treatment Group Models by Papell and Rothman (1962)
    Remedial Model: focuses on restoring or rehabilitating individuals by helping them change their behavior
    Psychotherapy groups, skills groups, CD groups
    Reciprocal Model: reciprocal relationship that exists between group members and society. Members both influence and are influenced by the environment
    Different from Remedial Model because the worker encourages group processes to foster a therapeutic environment in the group as a whole and encourages the worker to help the agency and the community better understand and meet the individual members needs instead of focusing the group work on helping individual members with specific problems
  • 12. Historical Developments
    Empirically based practice
    Social scientists learned the people’s behavior in groups changes
    “Group minds”
    Social scientists continue to research cohesion, conformity, communication and interaction patterns, group development, leadership, and social cognition and perception
  • 13. Historical Developments
    Influential theories
    Systems Theory
    Psychodynamic Theory
    Learning Theory
    Field Theory
    Social Exchange Theory