Principles of social group work

  • Introduction.
  • Principles of social group work.


In this chapter, we shall be discussing the principles of social group work. The concept of principle is generally understood as the fundamental truth or foundation for a system of belief. Principles are the truth that is tested by observation and experiment which is to guide action. Over the years social group work has emerged and is 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 has developed a theoretical framework for social work practitioners and academicians. The principles of social group work enable and guide 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.
Different 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 group work.

  1. The principles of Planned group formation.
  2. The principles of specific objectives
  3. The principles of purposeful worker group relationship
  4. The principles of continuous individualization
  5. The principles of guided group interaction
  6. The principles of democratic group self-determination
  7. The principles of flexible functional organization
  8. The principles of progressive program experience 
  9. The Principle of resource utilization.
  10. The principles of evaluation. 

1-The Principle of Planned Group Formation.
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 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 development.
3- The Principle of Purposeful Worker Group Relationship.
Without a purposeful relationship, a group is can’t be termed as a 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 function 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, experiences, and interactions. 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 the 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.


  1. thank you so much for the information it has been of greatly help ...continue post things which are helpful to university students for example me

    1. Thanks for this information which help us for study

Thank You

Find your topic