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What are the principles of social group work?

What are the principles of social group work?

Principles of Social Group Work: The group worker must understand the psychology of the group, must be able to conduct the kinds of activities which groups can do and enjoy doing, and must have that identifiable “group leadership” quality which can make an often haphazard collection of individuals a live, coherent group. It is hard to define these qualities, hard to isolate the technique, yet there is a skill which grows with practice, which has been acquired under certain conditions, and without which a successfully, constructively active group cannot be conducted.

As has been suggested, much of the group work lay in the field of leisure time activities, where it benefits the individuals through recreation, self expression, physical development, mental improvement and character building. The group worker must, therefore, have special equipment, such as ability to direct activities, teach games, lead group singing, coach dramatics or teach handicrafts. He may, however, only organize clubs and stimulate them to activity, they themselves can conduct.

Douglas has given fourteen principles of social group work:

  • Recognition and subsequent action in relation to technique used for each individual.
  • Subsequent and proper action for a wide variety of groups.
  • Genuine acceptance of individual with his strengths and weaknesses.
  • Establishment of purposeful relationship between the group and worker.
  • Encouragement for developing cooperative relationship between members.
  • Appropriate modification of group process.
  • Encouragement of member to participate in each stage of group process.
  • Enabling members for involving themselves in problem solving.
  • Enabling group members to experience increasing satisfaction by working through conflicts.
  • Judicious use of limitations used for diagnostic assessment of individual.
  • Purposeful and differential use of program as per diagnostic evaluation of individual members.
  • On going evaluation of individuals and progress of the group.
  • Humane and disciplined use of self.

Kanopka has given the following principles of group work:

  • The role of the worker is enabling clients to move towards independence and greater capacity for help.
  • Group worker must use scientific methods to prepare its members for fact finding and diagnosis of the individual, group and community.
  • Worker must form purposeful relationship with the group members.
  • He must use his knowledge consciously and be disciplined without losing warmth and spontaneity.
  • Social worker must accept members without condemning their behaviors. He must have deep understanding of the group members and also inform them about human rights.
  • He must allow members to develop fully and must not interfere with their personal life.

Cohen has given the following principles:

  • Group members are encouraged to help themselves by the social worker playing indirect and enabling role rather than manipulative role.
  • Work with the groups must be started where the group members are standing right now Proper knowledge about educational, economic, social and other characteristics are important while working with the group.
  • Social worker must focus on the immediate problem seen by the group in relation to the situation.
  • He must keep in mind about the individual differences exist while dealing with members of the group.
  • Welfare of individual is the welfare of the group. Social worker must concern himself with the development of material, human, and social resources to meet the needs of the group.

Friedlander has given the basic principles of social group work:

  • Group worker is helping and enabler. His main objective is to help the members of the group and group as a whole.
  • Group worker uses scientific method, fact finding, analysis and diagnosis of individual and group social environment.
  • Group work method requires worker to form purposeful relationships with group members.
  • He must know how to use himself consciously.
  • Respect and love for people without considering their weakness.
  • There should be constructive use of limitations and group worker must use himself, programme materials etc.very intelligently.
  • Every member of the group must be understood differently.
  • Strengths and power in the group must be used by interacting more with its members.
  • Nonverbal activities must be understood along with verbal activities.

Trecker has explained these principles of social group work:

  • Principle of planned group formation.
  • Principle of specific objectives.
  • Principle of purposeful worker group relationship.
  • Principle of continuous individualization.
  • Principle of guided group interaction.
  • Principle of democratic group self determination.
  • Principle of flexible functional organization.
  • Principle of progressive programme experience.
  • Principle of resource utilization.
  • Principle of evaluation.

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