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dissect your thought processes and clinical interventions. It will allow you to break down a significant clinical moment from a group session and scrutinize it to further your self- awareness and learning from two perspectives. This assignment allows you to deepen and broaden your practice wisdom through self-reflection and application of concepts from theory and practice.
An intervention is defined as a statement or action made by a group worker or a group member that impacts group process and catalyzes changes in group dynamics. It is important to remember that interventions in group work that are made by group members are just as relevant as those made by practitioners.
You will be required to extrapolate from the literature and class discussions, and integrate theoretical concepts with your evolving understanding of your role as a facilitator, and your growing awareness of and appreciation for group latent and manifest content.
You may use a group from your current or past field placement, or the in-class experiential group.
Please include all of the following information:
1. A description of the group: that includes the following elements:
community and setting in which the group functions, the purpose of the group, a brief description of the members of the group (gender, age, ethnicity, culture, presenting problems),
structure of the group-as-a-whole (norms, roles, how members communicate with each other, etc.),
Include five excerpts of process to illustrate the chosen topic. Please present the five excerpts in script form and underline them in order to make them easily identifiable. This process vignette can illustrate a moment where the group members made a demand for work, the worker made a demand for work, or some combination of the two, that impacted group dynamics.
Please integrate relevant literature to support your discussion.
4. Explore one ethical dilemma that has arisen or could arise in this group. Define the ethical concern using the NASW Code of Ethics and the AASWG Standards for Social Group Work Practice (www.aaswg.org).
5. What have you learned from this group experience with regard to group process and yourself as a social group worker?
Description of Group
I work for a child protective services (the DCFS), and the group featured in this essay is called the Father's Nurturing Program (NFP). According to the description given it on its site (http://nurturingfathers.com/), the Nurturing Fathers Program is an evidence -- based, 13-week training course designed to teach parenting and nurturing skills to men. Each 2 1/2-hour class provides proven, effective skills for healthy family relationships and child development. The program works on cognitive / behavioral / evaluative props in that it utilizes both cognitive and affective activities to encourage and sustain attitudinal and behavioral change.
The website states that: NFP has been successfully implemented in Schools, Head Start, Churches, State DSS, Prisons, Halfway Houses, Prevent Child Abuse, Parenting and Counseling Centers, Military, Community Action Agencies and many others. The group is also available in Spanish (nurturingfathers.com/).
The participants are usually about 20 fathers or other male caregivers who are, generally although not necessarily, involved with DCF (child protective services). Some of the participants are fathers who have custody of their children, others who only have visitations, but are working towards being reunified with their children. One of the fathers is actually a physician going through a divorce. Some of the father's have lengthy criminal history and in some cases are perpetrators of domestic violence. The program also attract males who wish to strengthen their ability to nurture themselves and their children and to strengthen their parent child relationships. The adult ages are 26-55. They consist of a mix of American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, White, and other ethnicities.
This particular group meets at First Presbyterian Church, 270 Franklin Street, Quincy, MA Tuesday evenings from 6:00 -- 8:30. Dinner is served each night, and there is no charge for participation.
The goals of NFP are to:
Increase parents' sense of self-worth, personal empowerment, empathy, bonding, and attachment.
Increase the use of alternative strategies to harsh and abusive disciplinary practices.
Increase parents' knowledge of age-appropriate developmental expectations.
Reduce abuse and neglect rates.
NFP instruction is based on psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral approaches to learning and focuses on "re-parenting," or helping parents learn new patterns of parenting to replace their existing, learned, abusive patterns. (http://douglascountysuccessby6.org/downloads/pdf/2012%20SSK%20Proposal%20for%20Web%20Site.pdf)
Other objectives are for facilitators to assist fathers in the following areas:
1. Gain the ability for structuring safe, loving, stable, and nurtured families.
2. Acquire positive discipline tools.
3. Acquire effective family communication techniques in order to strengthen the father-child relationships.
4. Know how to stop fighting and arguing by gaining anger-management and problem solving skills.
5. The abilities of achieving cooperation and teamwork in family life. (ibid.)
This is the purpose of the group and the objective that the facilitator works towards.
The Session that I observed and its Processes.
The group has three stages: a beginning, middle, and an end. Each phase has its own characteristics and processes (Brandler & R.). Beginnings of each group are marked by some aspect of fearfulness where members are new to the group and engaged in feeling out one another. There is also fear and wariness of group of experience.
The pre-phase of each group has its own dynamics as Hannah (2000) points out. She recommends that given that members are trying to find their feet and 'sniff out' the group, the worker should introduce the fowling six component in her introduction: Commitment to the group and its work; the group as a democratic / collective component; honest interaction among members and phenomenological experience; importance of acceptance and mutual support; clarification of the worker's role; and the value of taking risks in order to achieve the goals.
The worker uses the beginning to structure the rules, purposes, and goals as well as developing a trusting atmosphere. This was done by the facilitator in the following ways:
Worker: Hello. Thank you all for coming tonight despite the weather. My name is Mary. I am a social worker who is as new to this group as you are but I have facilitated several groups in the past and am excited to leading this own. As you know this group is about... Its goal is to... What we will be doing in this session is...
I would now like each of you to share something about yourselves and tell us what brought you to this group.
Mary then told them that the program's activities would include the following curriculum:
-- Nurturing Our Children and Ourselves
-- Fathering Sons/Fathering Daughters
-- Discipline without Violence
-- Managing Anger/Resolving Conflict
-- Communication/Problem Solving
-- Balancing Work and Fathering
Ending with: -- The Father I Choose To Be
What worker did here was to introduce herself, tell the group about the rules and objectives of the group, thereby giving them guidelines, and having members introduce themselves thereby setting the tone for comfort within the session. She included some, but not all, of Hannah's (2000) recommendations.
Mary also commented on the relationship between our fathers (or father figures) and our own style of fathering.
Mary then went on to discuss the Roots of Fathering and this is where people became involved.
After a brief break, she got them to role-paly and actively father "The Little Boy Within"; share visions of "The Father I Choose to Be." explore different cultural styles of fathering; learn to identify the "little boy" within each man/father; and learn to establish a nurturing relationship (self-nurturing) with this little boy.
This made the mid-phase of the session and represented a second process of engagement. The process of engagement is ongoing through the duration of the group and is where the facilitator encourages members to participate within the group (Brandler & R). We see the facilitator's attempt at engagement from the following script:
Jim: Um... I always had problems with... um. My daughter...
Mary: (pause) So you came to this group?
Jim: Yuh. I heard about it from a friend. Sam's been coming here for a while... This is my first time.
Mary: That must have taken a great deal of courage for you to come
Olson-McBride and Page (2012) advocate three techniques: process, linking and inclusion. Process refers to the tight-paced, structured and organized flow of the session; linking is the scheme of events with each following the other; and inclusion refers to including members within the group so that each feels needed and participates.
Engagement was further seen in the facilitator's discussion on The Power to Meet My Own Needs which involved identifying principles and practices for meeting one's own needs; identifying strategies for overcoming blocks to self-nurturance; and formulating encouraging messages for meeting specific needs.
The problem was that Mary may have accorded Jim (and other unconfident individuals) too much time that may have aggravated others. Giving people just the right amount of time whilst engaging all is challenging, but may make all the difference between group work and casework (Kurland & Salmon,…[continue]
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