Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Types of Social Work Groups

The social work groups can be classified on the basis of
the purpose for which the group is conceptualised. The
purposes may be to meet the socio-emotional needs of
individual members or to accomplish a specific or a set
of tasks of an individual member or group as a whole
for its growth and development. Konapka (1983) classified
social work groups as development groups and social
action groups. Another classification is treatment and
task groups as discussed by Toseland and Rivas (1984).
They further divided treatment groups as remedial,
educational, growth, and socialisation groups; and task
groups into committees, teams, delegate councils,
treatment conference and social action groups. This
classification of groups into different types is not water
tight, they tend to overlap. Therefore for our discussion,
the various types of groups that can be formed by social
group workers are classified as
a) Remedial groups
b) Growth groups
c) Task groups
Remedial groups are mostly to enable the members to
sustain their changed behaviour and to cope up with
new situations in life. The focus is more on the socioemotional
needs. This type of group is formed with those
people who have undergone some treatment for a
pathological condition. For example, a group of people
who have been discharged from a drug de-addiction
centre have to be helped to continue their changed
behaviour and the treatment. Growth groups are to
create awareness about the opportunities to grow and
develop in their career and other life positions. These
groups focus both on the social and emotional needs of
the members as well as achievement of a tangible target.
Some examples are: a group of youth is brought together
to enhance their entrepreneurial abilities so as to
improve income generating capacities and make them
feel they are worthy members of the society, teaching
children to acquire social skills and social etiquettes,
so that they perform their social responsibilities properly
and grow as useful adults. Task groups focus on certain
work or activity the group is to achieve for its own
development. The task could be development oriented,
solving a problem or a crisis situation or a social
disadvantage. Some examples are: a committee formed
by an organisation to deliberate on certain strategies
to improve the service delivery, an administrative group
of heads of different units of an agency to work out
ways and means to improve the performance of the staff
and bring about coordination among the different units,
group formed to tackle water shortage, poor civic
amenities and reservation of jobs for women.
These groups are formed in residential settings, daycare
service centres, community settings and even an
open or general public platform as well as in formal