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Terms from SW333

Group Work

Deliberate use of intervention strategies and group processes to accomplish individual, group, and community goals using the value base and ethical practice principles of the social work profession.

Group Worker Task

To engage in activities that facilitate the growth and development of the group and it's members during each development stage.

Stages of Development (6)

1.) Planning
2.) Beginning
3.) Assessment
4.) Middle
5.) Ending
6.) Evaluation

Generalist Practice

Focus on core competencies
Practice with a broad range of groups
Critical thinking
Focus on individual members, groups as a whole and the group's environment
Integration of specialized knowledge and skills
Recognition of interactional and and situational nature of leadership

Practice Values

Self Determination
Human Worth and Dignity
Personal Responsibility
Collective Responsibility

Group Work Values

Freedom to Participate
Respecting Individuality
Respecting Diversity
Mutual Decision Making

Four Key Group Work Values

Respect and Dignity
-No Stigma
Solidarity and Mutual Aid
-Unity and healing through relationships
-Power sharing
Respecting Diversity
-Give up ignorance, judgments and prejudices

Group Work Purposes

Personal Growth and Development
Social Action
Problem Solving

Formal (formed) Groups

Groups that come together through an outside influence or intervention
Ex: Therapy, education, committees, social action, teams.

Informal (natural) Groups

Groups that come together spontaneously based on events, interpersonal attraction, etc.
Ex: Families, peer groups, classrooms.

Treatment Group

To meet the socio-emotional needs of clients (e.g., for support, education, therapy, growth, socialization, self-help, etc.)

Task Group

To accomplish a goal that is not immediately linked to the needs of the members of the group.
Common in agencies to:
Meet client needs
Meet organizational needs
Meet community needs

Treatment Conferences

A group of professionals that create a treatment or discharge plan for a patient.

Staff Development Groups

Improve services to clients by developing and refreshing workers' skills.


Groups of people who want to accomplish a specific change.


Formal Group which provides advice and expertise on policy issues.

Board of Directors

Governing body with financial responsibility that provides counsel and guidance.

Groups to Meet Community Needs

Social Action Groups
Delegate Councils

Advantages of Group Work

Mutual Support
Helping Others
Practice new behaviors and communication
Reality testing
Creating surrogate family of origin
Role Models
Learning from others

Disadvantages of Group Work

Encourage conformity
Member dependency
Vulnerable to confidentiality breaches
Focus on more talkative participants
Possible negative reactions to unusual behavior

Group VS Individual Intervention

Groups can be effective, efficient, have fewer drop-outs, and can be helpful for people experiencing isolation, or in need of social support, or practicing relationship skills.
Individual Interventions can be more appropriate for people with intense, highly personal psychological problems.


From Multiple Sources-Vicarious Identification with and understanding of members' situations by peers and the worker.


Multiple points of view shared by group members


providing help and mutual support to other group members is therapeutic for the member who shares experiences and knowledge


Instillation of hope by other group members who have coped effectively with similar situations.

Mutual Aid

Members give and receive help


Removal of stigma from problems seen as social unacceptable.

Practice of New Behaviors

Other members provide opportunities to try out new behaviors in the safe environment of the group.

Reality Testing

Sharing ways of being and getting feedback about whether they are realistic and socially acceptable


Working through preciously unsatisfactory relationships with family members, peers, and friends with the help of group members.


A wide pool of knowledge about concerns and the resources and services to help with these concerns.

Recreation of the Family of Origin

Group members serve as surrogate family and symbolically represent family members

Role Models

Members and the leader serve as role models.


Connectedness with other members


Opportunities to overcome isolation and learn social skills from others.

Social Support

Support form other members of the group


Members sharing how they adapted to and compensated for disabilities


Group members confirming similar experiences, problems and concerns.

Vicarious Learning

Learning by hearing about other members' coping responses.

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