we shall be discussing the principles of social group work. The concept
of principle generally understood as the fundamental truth or foundation for a
system of belief. Principles are the truth that is tested by the observation and
experiment which is to guide action. Over the years social group work has
emerged and identified as the method of social work. It has developed its own
principles by drawing inspiration from the values, ethics, and principles of
social work practice and have developed a theoretical framework for social work practitioner
and academicians. The principles of social group work enable and guides the
Group Worker to achieve their competence by guiding practice. It is desirable from
every social group worker and responsibility to practice it under the realm of theoretical foundation and, its designed intervention.
authors have propounded different principles of social group work. But it is
not possible to discuss all of them in this chapter. We shall only be highlighting
major principles given by two Authors such as H.B Tracker and Douglas. The following are the principles of social
The principles of Planned group formation.
The principles of specific objectives
The principles of purposeful worker group relationship
The principles of continuous individualization
The principles of guided group interaction
The principles of democratic group self-determination
The principles of flexile functional organization
The principles of progressive program experience
The Principle of resource utilization.
The principles of evaluation.
1-The Principle of Planned
In the field
of social work, the group is always been
the basic unit in which and through which service is provided. In this social
group work process, the group is used to help individuals or provide service
for his/her better of social functioning and development. The agency and social
group worker should be responsible for the formation of the group or should
accept the agency if already formed. Hence the worker should form the
group primarily before initiating the social group work process.
2- The Principle of Specific Objective In the social group work process, the specific objective of an individual and the social group must be consciously formulated by the group work in the relationship and harmony with the group as well as keeping with the agency's purpose. The group worker should help the member achieve the objective of social work through its own specific objectives which are to assist individuals to grow and change for the development. 3- The Principle of Purposeful Worker Group Relationship. Without a purposeful relationship, a group is can’t be termed as social group hence a consciously purposeful relationship should be established between the worker and group members based on the practice of mutual acceptance The group work should be more conscious of the following points.
Before helping group members to develop a meaningful relationship the social group worker should develop a meaningful and purposeful relationship with the group.
4-The Principle of Continuous Individualization. Social work recognizes every individual are unique in a similar way it is recognized that every group is different and the individual uses group experience in various ways to meet his /her needs. That is why continuous individualization must be practiced by the social group worker. 5- The Principle of Guided Group Interaction Social group work is a method through which individuals in a group in an agency setting are helped by trained professional group workers. The worker helps and guides entire program activities and guides the interaction process through his or her active participation in the process. The worker makes use of the method to stimulate the group to the fullest possible analysis and understanding of their own situation. 6-Principle of Democratic Group Self-determination. In the social group work process, the group should help in making its own decision and determine its own activities. The principles of self-determination are the core values of social work philosophy and have to be practiced irrespective of the method of our working. The prime source of control over the group is the group itself. 7- The Principles of Flexible Functional Organization Every group has some formal organization of its constituents members and this process of organization helps an individual to functions effectively. When a group is formed for a specific objective it should also form a formal organization to achieve those specific goals. The formal organization should be flexible and should be encouraged only as it meets a felt need for a group. As the group changes the formal organization should also change hence it should be more adaptive. 8- The principle of Progressive Program Experience The meaning of the program here does not mean only activity and any event. It is a border concept that includes entire pictures of individuals and social group relationships, experience, and interaction. In program experience, group engagement should begin at the level of member interest, needs, experience, and competencies. 9- The principles of Resources Utilization. Under these principles, the group work is being guided to utilize the available resources to enrich the content of group experience for individuals and groups as a whole. The social group worker should pass the knowledge about the availability of resources in the group, agency, and community for the different programs. 10- The principles of evaluation. In social group work, a continuous process of evaluation to asses the outcome of the group programs is very much essential. Carefully maintained records can facilitate proper monitoring and evaluation. Read: Other principles of the social group work