Introduction In this chapter, we shall discuss the importance of program planning in social group work. It will enable us to make proper planning for our group work practice. Planning is a process of thinking about the activities required to achieve the desired goals. It is also understood as the process of thinking before the action takes place. Planned activities play an important role in social group work. practice. These planned activities are known as the program and it has been developed for the many purposes of the group. It may include attainment about improvement in members' environmental conditions, promoting a sense of achievement, sublimating and canalizing certain impulses, and actualizing problems in an ongoing social situation, etc. Therefore careful planning is expected from a worker to direct the group and enable the group member to know his/her responsibility. Program is a concept in which the entire range of group activities, interaction, and relationship very broadly conceived and includes experience individuals and groups. Social group workers implement and translate his/her knowledge into practice with the groups and achieve the desired goal through the adequate means of program planning.
Program planning. The group achieves the goal by making adequate use of the program and these programs are organized and composition of various activities. It includes targets, set of tasks, and set of activities. Therefore deciding and planning out for a program is very much essential for the development of the group as well as the member of the group. An important factor for program planning A social group worker must take into account a number of factors while going for program planning and the following are some of the important factors.
The program must be developed or take place in accordance with the facilities and tradition of the community program must be designed to fit into the needs and requirements of the group member.
The group worker must analyze each factor and individualize each member.
The participation of the group member should be opened and made mandatory to all the members of the group.
Individual factor -The program needs to include a wide range of activities, the same be adaptable to every age group of the member. As the program must be designed and depend on the basis of what the member is capable of, and it will vary according to their age, ability, motivation, and self-control.
Group Factor -The program should be planned out looking into the group factor as the size and composition of the groups may vary according to the purpose
Resources Factor -All the program activities need resources. It may be in the form of money and materials. Hence proper plan of the program should be developed in keeping the knowledge of the availability of the resources.
Principles of Progam Planning.
The effectiveness of group work largely depends upon the effectiveness of the effective implementation of the program activities. To achieve the objective of the group work a number of important principles of program planning have been developed.Let's discuss the following principles of program planning given by Tracker (1955)
The program should be developed out of the interest and needs of the members.
The program should be taken into accounts such as group size, age, cultural background, and economic differences.
The program should be designed to provide individual experience and opportunities which they voluntarily choose and pursue because of the inherent values in it.
The program should be flexible and should satisfy various needs of the members and to create a maximum number of opportunities to participate.
The transition of the program should be developed from simple to complex and from person to group and from group to community resulting in the group growth and greater social significance.
P.D Mishra has highlighted principles in his book Social Work Philosophy and Methods
The following are the principles in program planning for our reference.
Participation in activity depends on the rewards
Group work and employee energy on the felt problem
Leadership is by the team.
Membership should be based on willingness to work not on ideology.
The activity should be problem-centered
Group members should plan their own program
All decisions are subject to revision as a result of taking action
There should be definite rules and regulations of the group activities.
The group should be formed on the basis of sociometric measures,o maturity of interest, and the needs of the individuals.
The above outline shows how it is important for the development of programs to achieve the objective of group work. And the group worker must ensure to work and make a program planning under the preview of the given principles.