Social Work 423

SOWK 423: Interventive Methods III: Working with Groups

Prerequisites: SOWK 422; Admission to SOWK Major

Credit Hours: (3) Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory

Integrates the student's knowledge base in human behavior in the social environment with specific skills needed in working with groups.  Both theoretical material and "hands on" experience in working with groups are include. The purpose of this course is to integrate a student's knowledge base in human behavior and the social environment with the specific skills of generalist practice with groups.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Review of Generalist Interventive Methods including Interviewing techniques, problem-solving model, and systems theory.
II. Membership in Groups to address issues concerning: persons who would benefit from groups and those who often have trouble in groups.
III. The Use of Program with Groups and an overview of Group Dynamics including Goal Setting, Group Interaction, Hidden Agendas, and Other Dynamics
IV. Techniques Useable with Groups such as role play and contracts are explored.
V. Evaluation of group work practice including quantitative approachers, goal attainment scales, and single subject design.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

I. Students participate in an experience involving obtaining actual group experience as a Group Leader, and experience as an observer, and experience as a client.
II. Format - Students learn about themselves and the use of self through journalling and through the use of groups.
III. This course relies heavily on observational and experiential learning. Text books and handouts are utilized extensively during the first five weeks of the semester. Consultation, self-analysis, feedback and hands-on exercises are techniques utilized primarily during the last nine weeks of the course.


Goals and Objectives of Course

Students learn to:

  • Identify and utilize materials pertaining to group dynamics, systems theory, and the interaction between persons in families and in groups;
  • The use of groups in providing service to clients;
  • Identify and be able to utilize generic generalist tools and concepts in relation to working directly with all types of groups;
  • To examine the different roles and responsibilities of a generalist in working with groups;
  • To participate in a support task centered group in the roles of group worker, observer and participant;
  • To analyze a group of which they are or was a member in a manner related to the practice of social work.
  • To comprehend the similarities and differences in various types of groups designed to meet the needs of a special population.
  • To comprehend how a group leader could evaluate his/her professional practice in groups.


Assessment Measures

Students progress through experiential learning about self and others through active participation in self revelation and awareness through journaling and hands on group experience.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

September 2001 Updated Marilyn Rigby

Revised 2/5/09