Social Work Assignment

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Assignment 1.

Title: Evaluating Small Group “Success”

Part 1 – Defining “Success” in Small Groups (40%)

In your own words, discuss what constitutes a “successful” small group.

In your discussion, outline and explain what you would consider to be FOUR (4) essential criteria, applicable to all kinds of treatment and task groups, that must be met in order for a small group to be considered “successful”.

The four criteria should cover three areas, namely; group dynamics, group leadership, diversity.

Your discussions should utilise group work knowledge in social work.

The textbook for the course is:

An Introduction to Group Work Practice. 8th edn. Toseland, Ronald, W. & Rivas, Robert, F. Pearson

Please refer to the learning outcomes in the first few weeks of the course to write your assignment 1.

Week 1

Topic: Overview of group work.

READINGS: Toseland & Rivas, Chapter 1, “Introduction”. Toseland & Rivas, Chapter 2 “Historical and Theoretical Developments”

Learning Outcomes for Week 1:

Upon completion of this week’s readings and learning activities, you should be able to:

 Define group work.

 Distinguish between treatment and task groups.

 Explain commonalities and differences between five types of treatment groups.

 Explain commonalities and differences between nine types of task groups.

 Identify values and ethical principles for group work.

 Understand the historical roots of group work in the United States.

 Explain the three widely used group work models: social goals, remedial, and reciprocal.

 Explain the major theories that influence group work: systems, psychodynamic, learning, field, and social exchange.

Week 2

Topic: Theories on group dynamics.

Learning Outcomes for Week 2:

Upon completion of this week’s readings and learning activities, you should be able to:

 Explain groups as social systems.

 Explain four dimensions of group dynamics: communication & interaction patterns, cohesion, social integration & influence, and group culture.

 Identify helpful ways to communicate with group members with visual or hearing impairments

 Delineate stages of group development and characteristics of each stage.

 Use group dynamics to work effectively with groups.

Week 3

Topic: Theories and models of group leadership

READINGS: Toseland & Rivas, Chapter 4, “Leadership”. Nosko, A. (2002). Adventures in co-leadership in social group work practice. Social Work with Groups, 25 (1), 173-180.

Learning Outcomes for Week 3:

Upon completion of this week’s readings and learning activities, you should be able to:

 Identify group leadership styles and approaches.

 Articulate the advantages and disadvantages of co-leadership.

 Explain the several bases of power for the worker.

 Identify the major theories of group leadership.

 Become familiar with a range of leadership skills in the interactional model of leadership.

 Critique your own leadership style.

Week 4

Topic: Multicultural group work; self-help groups.

Learning Outcomes for Week 4:

Upon completion of this week’s readings and learning activities, you should be able to:

 Compare across a broad conceptual framework about diversity within groups.

 Identify factors to consider when assessing cultural influences on group behaviour.

 Intervene with sensitivity to diversity within the group.

 Identify principles for multicultural group work practice.

 Describe culture impact on self-help group participation and empowerment.

 Evaluate activities and programmes appropriate for exploring cultural differences in a group experience.

Part 2 – Evaluation of a Small Group (60%)

Briefly introduce a small group (5-10 members) that you had participated in, or are currently participating in, in your personal or professional life.

It can be a group that you belong(ed) to, in your place of worship; at your place of work; as part of a school project; or as part of your personal interests, like a music or sports training group.

Analyse the group’s success (so far) according to the four criteria that you have outlined in Part 1 of the paper.

Discuss your ideas and suggestions for the group’s improvement.

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