Use of Program Media in Social Group Work

 1-An Introduction

While many have attempted to define Social Work from many viewpoints, its relevance and reach as an important Social Work method is growing by the day. Cooley (1909), one of the first group theorists to emphasize the value of group experience, stated that it is through group experience that individuals get socialized. Social learning is the product of socialization. Individuals learn about values, standards, acceptable behavior, and lifestyle through interaction with others, which is referred to as social learning. Later, Trucker stated that the group worker enables diverse sorts of groups to function in such a way that both group interaction and program activities contribute to individual growth and the accomplishment of desirable social goals. As a result, Social Group Work is relevant and vital as a method in Social Work. 

This principal method comprises a number of techniques. Techniques are treatments designed to promote mobility within a group (Corey& Corey, 2006). It is suggested that whatever a Social Group Worker performs in his or her group can be considered a technique, including the usage of silence. There are certain common techniques that workers frequently employ to facilitate their work with groups. It is important to note that all of these strategies are employed in the context of the insights gained from the principles and process details. Some of the most utilized approaches in Social Group Work are: 

  1. Group Counselling. 
  2. Group Discussion. 
  3. Decision Making. 
  4. Role Play. 
  5. Program Media. 
  6. Individual Sessions.

2. What exactly is Programme Media? (PM)

The information in Social Group Work is always transmitted among the group members by the Worker through the sensible use of 'programs.' Programs that work as a wonderful tool to improve group relationships also include a variety of other goals such as improving members' own environmental conditions, promoting a sense of accomplishment, sublimating and channeling certain impulses, actualizing problems in an ongoing social situation, and working through or articulating symbolically problems and feelings that members are unable to express. A programme is a comprehensive notion that encompasses the entire range of activities, relationships, interactions, and experiences that have been purposefully designed and carried out with the assistance of the worker to satisfy the needs of individuals and groups. A programme is a wide notion that encompasses the entire range of activities, relationships, interactions, and experiences that have been purposefully designed and carried out with the assistance of workers to satisfy the needs of individuals and groups. A lot of issues must be considered by the Social Group Worker when creating programs.

  • The curriculum must be consistent with the facilities and traditions of the community/setting in which he or she is practicing.
  • The program must be customised to meet the requirements and interests of the group members.
  •  The program must be based on the community's available resources.
  • The programme should make it possible for all members to participate.

Keeping all of this in mind, a Social Group Worker must devise new and original programmes that are acceptable to the group. As a result, Programme Planning can sometimes be referred to as a 'Program Laboratory.' A Social Group Worker produces programs that assist him/her in the same way that a chemist creates new combinations valuable for mankind in a chemical lab using various mixes and matches. The following are the responsibilities of a group worker in program planning:

1. Assisting members in planning the program after identifying the need.

2. Identifying and piqueing the members' interest.

3. Enabling the group to make optimal use of the given surroundings

4. Making the group aware of its limitations As a result, in Group Work, the programme might serve as the medium. In other words, other media can be employed to deliver the programme. Programme Media must be studied in depth from each of these perspectives. The employment of Program Media, because to its early connections to the field of recreation, has given group work a recreational and participatory element. Depending on the group's makeup and goals, group workers will frequently provide a variety of tasks and media to support conversations. For example, because younger children's linguistic talents are less developed, games and craft activities have been employed effectively as part of their programmes. A variety of social activities and group action planning, on the other hand, have been found to be helpful with teenagers and adults. Client groups within institutions can be assisted in exploring social milieu concerns by allowing them to exercise limited self-government. Many messages for social development and conscientization are disseminated in rural and urban community organisations through the usage of folk media. All of these programme activities increase the chances of meaningful engagement among clients, considerable involvement in social tasks, and the acquisition of valuable interpersonal skills. All activities such as games, singing, craft activities, storytelling, street plays, and other theatre activities are included in the program material. The workers in the group purposefully organise these to generate interaction among members and to achieve the set objectives. We can truly say that the programme creates the group. Members are influenced by the program in two ways: 1) it increases participation and 2) it decreases participation. Improves contact with other members as well as with the worker. Both increase the chances of expressing sentiments and exhibiting behaviour that is developed from within. In Social Group Work, the medium used for this is called as programme media.

3. Program Planning Principles:

1) The program should emerge from the needs and interests of the persons who comprise the group.

2) The program should take into account elements such as the members' age, cultural background, and economic situation.

3) The program should give participants with experiences and opportunities that they choose to pursue voluntarily because of their interests and values.

4) The program should be adaptable and varied in order to meet a wide range of needs and interests and to provide as many opportunities for involvement as possible.

5) The program should progress from the simple to the more complicated, with movement resulting from group improvement in ability and preparedness, with movement beginning with the simple and progressing to the more complex.

4. Program Media Types:-

There are various forms of programme media. One or a combination of the following programme media can be employed for diagnostic, problem-solving, or therapy reasons for any of the models, techniques, or groups referred to in any setting of group work practise. Games, storytelling, music, art works, collage preparation, skit, street plays, role plays, puppets, and other forms of programme media are popular.

1. Entertainment/Games: 

Games as programme medium produce the most visible and real results. These are similarly simple to operate. In the group, all forms of age-appropriate games (physical, intellectual, memory, sensory) such as playing with blocks, toys, sand, and water can be used.

A variety of outdoor and indoor games can be organised. Aside from popular games, most of which do not necessitate the use of expensive resources, the worker can use his or her creativity in designing new games or modifying existing ones. Because of their popularity, outdoor games such as Cricket, Football, Kabbadi, Hide& Seek, Treasure Hunt, Kho kho, and so on can be easily used in Indian settings. Indoor games can include board games, games where tasks can be provided to each side, such as collecting small balls of different colours, threading a set of needles, filling a bottle with water using small spoons, and so on.

Workers can create indoor games using pencils, colours, cards, and other materials to increase general knowledge and have fun. Example 1: The group is subdivided into four sections. Four different coloured papers are chosen and cut into five to six squares. The coloured paper is mixed and distributed in four envelops. Each group receives an envelope. Each subgroup is required to complete a single colour square. The sub-group that finishes the task first wins.

The rules are as follows: Members are not permitted to communicate with one another. They may pass on the piece to the member to their left if they do not require it.


  • Fruit Salad- The members of the group are requested to sit in a circle. Four of them are invited to give their names after their favourite fruits. The names of these four fruits are given to the other members. Mango, Apple, Grapes, and Banana are some examples. When the Group Worker calls out the name – Mango, everyone who has the name Mango has to change seats. When the worker yells out Grapes, all grapes must move. When the Worker says, 'Fruit Salad,' everyone has to get up and move. Meanwhile, the worker moves some of the seats. Those who did not get chairs must do the tasks assigned to them by the group members. This can be utilised as an icebreaker as well as a team-building exercise.
  •  Drama, mime, the use of puppets and masks, and role-playing: In these, members of the group are urged to act out various parts that are relevant to their concerns or difficulties. Individuals get insight into their own and others' behaviour as a result. For example, in a group of adolescents when Life Skills are to be transmitted, the pupils are urged to engage in role-playing to simulate decision-making skills in order to counter peer pressure.
  • Singing and Storytelling: These are alternative forms of media in which members might be encouraged to produce their own stories and rhymes on specific topics. They can also be given part of a narrative and instructed to complete the remainder on their own. Without a doubt, the workout is entertaining. This is applicable to people of all ages. Subgroups can be asked to continue the storey on their own. The groups will compete to see who can finish the tale sequence first. Aside from being entertaining, it reveals the characteristics of the personalities of the group members. Their attitude toward life problems will be expressed organically and spontaneously through the story's characters.
  • Music and arts and crafts: The former, whether vocal or instrumental on a solo or group basis, depict and provide an outlet for all types of human emotions, whereas the latter, through work with diverse materials such as wood, clay, paper, straw, or paints, provide ample scope for self-expression, creativity, balance, and harmony. Art and craft are utilised as a medium in group work to engage participants and assist them in expressing themselves. Poster creation, collage creation, and other forms of media can be used to draw attention to a certain social issue.
  • Talk: This is the action that most people immediately connect with group activities, particularly those of a problem-solving or therapeutic character dealing with vital themes relating to the clients' personal life. This activity includes small group talks, lectures, seminars, chats, sensitivity games, and encounter sessions. (Talk is a common way of communication, and it is required for the majority of the other activities.)
  • Movement: As an alternative to the rather overemphasised verbal communication already mentioned, this type of activity is being used. Touch exploration, nonverbal communication, dancing, mime, and physical meeting are among the activities.
  • Work: This activity speaks for itself, and it encompasses projects and tasks of varying complexity that involve an ongoing joint endeavour. 8. Play and theatre activities are also popular: the worker can choose plays written by notable authors or develop plays, skits, and so on through a group participatory activity. Enacting real-life events from family, school, office, or even public transportation systems and other public areas will be intriguing to group members since they can easily reflect on such situations and learn how to deal with or handle them. Writing dialogues, arranging the stage, allocating roles, and acting on stage all contribute significantly to presenting members with a variety of very meaningful experiences.

5. Program Media Characteristics: 

  1. Simple and easy to understand
  2. Applicable to any type of group viz, children, elderly, adults, differently-abled etc
  3. Easy to replicate 
  4. Properly planned before implementation 
  5. High recreation factor 
  6. Highly economical 
  7. Strongly delivers the message among the group members

6. Program Media Applications:

  1.  Gives individuals the opportunity to determine the amount to which their personality has to be modified in order to become good/socially acceptable. 
  2. Promotes socialising among group members.
  3. Incorporates the group members' aims and achievements. 
  4. Brings members together to achieve a common objective; fosters good relationships among members. 
  5. Aids in the resolution of disagreements among people and the control of their conflicts with one another.
  6. Offers recreational opportunities Enhances communication

7. Essential Skills for a Social Worker to Use Program Media Effectively 

The following are the essential skills for a social worker to use program media effectively as a significant method in social group work:

  • Observation 
  • Enthusiasm Unconditional positive regard 
  • Proper communication 
  • Decision Making 
  • Assertiveness 
  • Empathy 
  • Conflict management 
  • Leadership 
  • Articulation skills

8. Finally, To summarise, programme media is the global language through which a professional worker puts the theory of Social Group Work into practise. A medium is any action, even silence, with a goal that is carried out within a group. Because of the simplicity, reachability, and leisure component connected with each media, Social Group Work has gained widespread acceptability as a fundamental approach of social work.


Thank You