Social Group Work
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.Konopka has outlined the essential parts of the social group work methods as follows:-
- The function of social group worker is a helping or enabling function – This means that his goal is to help the members of the group and the group as a whole to move towards greater independence.
- In determining his way of helping the group worker uses the scientific methods, fact finding (observation) analyzing, diagnosis, in relation to individual the group and the social environment.
- The group work method includes the worker forming purposeful relationship to group members and group.
- One of the main tools in achieving such a relationship is the conscious use of self. This includes self knowledge and discipline in relationship without the loss of warmth and spontaneity.
- There should be acceptance of people without accepting all their behavior. This involves the capacity for empathy as well as incorporation of societal demands.
- Starting where the group is, the involves the capacity to let the group develop from their own point of departure of capacity without immediately imposing outside demands.
- The constructive use of limitations, it means limitation must be used judiciously in relation to individual and group needs and agency function. The group worker will mainly use himself, program material, interaction of the group and awakening of insight in the group members.
- Individualization, in group work method the individual should not be lost in the whole, but he should be helped considering a unique person who can contribute to the whole.
- Use of interacting process, it involves the capacity to help, balance the group to allow for inflict when necessary and to prevent it when harmful.
- The understanding and conscious use of non-verbal as well as verbal materials.
Assumptions:In general social group work is based on the following basic assumptions:-
- Man is a group animal.
- Social interaction is the result of the group life
- Man’s achievements can be increased, changed and developed through group experiences.
- The capacity to solve problems may be increased through group experience.
- Group experience change the level of individuals aspirations and desires.
- Group recreational activities are beneficial to both individual and society.
- Group experiences have permanent impact on individual.
- Group work always focuses its attention on two types of activities- program and social relationship in group.
- Social group work believes in the principles of ‘whole man’.
- Evaluation of program activities is done on the basis of its effects on group members.
- Individual member may fully understood and helped in group actives.
- Knowledge of social science is essential for working with the group.
- Professional knowledge and skills are essential for working with the group.
Basic Skills of Social Group Work: Social group work requires variety of skills to accomplish its objectives.
Some of the skills are described below:
Some of the skills are described below:
- Skill in establishing purposeful relationship
The group worker must be skillful in gaining the acceptance of the group and in relating himself to the group on a positive professional basis. The group worker must be skillful in helping individuals in group to accept one another.
- Skill in analyzing the group situation
The group worker must be skillful in judging the developmental level of the group to determine what the level is, what the group needs and how quickly the group can be expected to move. The group worker must be skillful in helping the group to exposes idea, workout objectives, clarify immediate goals and see both its potentialities and limitations as a group.
- Skill in participation with the group
The group worker must be skillful in determining interpenetrating, assuming and modifying his own role with the group. The group worker must be skillful in helping group members to participate, to locate leadership among themselves and to take responsibility for their own activities.
- Skill in dealing with the group feeling
The group worker must be skillful in controlling his own feelings about the group and must study each new situation with high degree of objectivity. The group worker must be skillful in helping group to realize their own feelings, both positive and negative.
- Skill in program development
The group worker must be skillful in guiding group thinking so that interests and needs will be revealed and understood. The group worker must be skillful in helping groups to develop programs which they want as a means through which their needs may be met.
- Skill in using agency and community resources
The group worker must be skillful to locating and then acquitting the group with various helpful resources which can be utilized by them for program purposes. The group worker must be skillful in helping certain individual members to make use of specialized services by means of referral when they have needs which cannot be met within group.
- Skills in Evaluation
The group worker must have skill in recording the development processes that are going on as he works with the group. The group worker must be skillful in using his records and in helping the group to review its experiences as means of improvement.