DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH Developmental social work has been apopular term in the country because of thethrust towards developmental socialwelfare.United Nation started to advocatestarting with the sixties- the first U.NDevelopmental Decade.Emanuel Troop- offers such a theorywhich seems very relevant to our setting-The Developmental Approach.
Developmental Approach Webster defines development as causing something to unfold, to grow, to change for the better, to be realized. It regards a certain entity as being endowed with certain potentials which society should discover and maximize. This basic idea about development is inherent in Emanuel Troop’s Developmental Approach to social work with groups.
Developmental Approach People are not seen as being sick or healthy, but on scale ranging from socially functional (adequate) to dysfunctional (inadequate) to en-functional (good functioning) continually able to move up this scale in a life-long developmental process of self-realization. The practitioner who tries to help people who are striving for self-realization is concerned with tapping the vast unused potential that resides within all people and which is generally used only functionally- in the spheres of physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and interpersonal development, of which the last is the direct concern of social work.
Two Essential Features Recognition of the human being as the main resource to be utilized Interpersonal relationships, more specifically social role performance, as the focus concern.
Three Major Themes characterizethe developmental approach1. Humanistic- a view of one human being by another, troop elaborates on this theme by describing how the worker functions and relates with the group. The worker respects the group’s common purpose and integrity as a group, deals with the members for what they are and what they do and respects the members for what they are and what they do and respects the member to member helping phenomenon as key principle to their growth.
The worker is an enabler, and show belief in people’s ability to cope with their common task. The worker offers herself with openness, authenticity, mutuality, humility, respect, empathy, compassion, involvement, support, expectation and assistance.2. Phenomenological-the main concern is what is happening at present, whether in the group or outside of it, or both. The approach is reality-oriented, focusing on current group and individual behavior rather than on past personality diagnosis and interpretations of behavior.
3. Developmental It sees people as being able to move forward in a life-long process of self-actualization or fulfilment of potential in social functioning. The treatment orientation, the developmental approach sees people as people, all of whom face difficult developmental stages, life situation, challenges, stresses, and crises with which they must cope.
Characteristic of DevelopmentalApproach1. Specific kinds of group experiences- are viewed as most effective in the attainment of enhanced social functioning. The content of group experience, Called Program which emanates from the group’s function which Troop calls the functional modes, in group practice are the following: a. Counseling- group to discuss common life situations or common concern
b. Activity group- to pursue a common interest c. Action group- to effect some improvement in its social environment.2. Common goal groups-viewed as the kinds of experiences that are most productive of enhanced social functioning. Goal is used in this theory not in the sense of ends that are expected to be achieved upon the termination of the helping relationship, but as a specific task agreed upon for a specific group session or series of session (short term goal).
3. The common goal- a may take the form of common concern or common interest or common life situation, each of which results in a peer relationship among members. Except for the family group in which the members do not have this distinctive peer quality because of its hierarchical structure, the approach may be applied to all other groups which has this characteristic and meets other membership criteria the worker deems necessary.
4. The effectiveness of the group goal-achieving process is the primary target for both the members and the worker. The events and process occurring in the group as it pursues its common goal should be given careful attention since on this will depend the achievement of the members individually needed gains.• The worker’s skillful guidance of the group towards the desirable structure and processes relating to its goal is considered crucial.5. The group members achieve different individual gains in social growth within the context of the group goal-achieving process.
Troop describes as the 4 basic purposive processesa. Release of feeling-anger, fear, guilt and affection-that tend to block effective social task performance if not unberdened , preferably in the presence of others who are in comparable situation.b. Support-which means a receiving of acceptance and affection through belonging a group recognition of self-expression that is translated into achievement, which encourages the tapping of further strengths, with a resultant gain in self- esteem
c. Reality orientation wherein through seeing others in similar situations, seeing how others see oneself, each member can gain a clearer orientation to his own behavior among peersd. Self-appraisal which involves attaining from all the foregoing a clearer perspective of one’s self and others, new option for handling situations, increased ability to make judgements, and a more responsible taking hold of one’s own life in relation to the reasons for being in the group.
6. The group becomes the medium for the member’s actions, for the perception of each other’s action, an for the worker’s perception of both. Troop points out the importance of the worker’s and members relating only to commonly-perceived behavior, that is, any one person’s (including the worker’s) reading of a message may be inaccurate unless it is confirmed by at least a segment of the group7. The group goal-achieving process is carried out on the basis of open agreements, openly arrived at and openly pursued, resulting in a mutuality of understanding and effort between member and worker.
8. The group is essentially self-directing, within varying limits, and each member is self-directing in relation to what he wants to give and to get from the group; there is no intention to change anyone for it is seen as each member’s right to decide how to lead his life and to then benefit or suffer from the consequences.THE HELPING PROCESS IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH- Tropp describes events and worker activities during the work with developmental groups which evidence group development and the basic social work helping process.
Tropp present the three types of stages in the Developmental Approach.1. Beginning Stage2. Middle Stage3. Ending Stage1. Beginning StageMembers a. Become oriented to the new situation b. Understand reason(s) for group membership and the work to be done. c. Experience some doubts or enthusiasm about membership.
Worker 1. Clarifies purpose and structure of the group 2. Establishes a contract with the group 3. Facilitates/supports task-selection 4. Supports initial efforts of the group 5. Facilitates climate conducive to unity/cooperation.2. Middle StageMembers: a. More open expression by members b. Increasing understanding and acceptance of values of group experience by member
c. Roles and statuses evolve d. Group demonstrates greater ability to plan and function e. Group shows greater stability and cohesiveness f. Group is working towards goal achievementWorkers: 1. Guides group toward its defined goals 2. Clarifies tasks completed and tasks still to be done 3. Provides continuing support to enable group to be self-directing 4. Helps group to work within time frame 5. Assesses gains in relation to goal achievement
3. Ending StageMembers: a. Show varying degrees of task accomplishment b. Inventory gains from group experience c. Show varying levels of satisfaction from accomplishment d. Show some concern/anxiety about ending group membership and being separated from members, worker and agency e. Accept the reality of ending group experience
Workers: 1. Helps the group with task accomplishment 2. Evaluates gains made from group experience 3. Makes objective appraisal of any goals/tasks not accomplished 4. Helps effect smooth ending of group membership 5. Helps the group with post-termination plans as a self-help or mutual aid group.