Critical incident analysis: in our weekly social group meeting, Spencer, aged 16, starts the conversation by explaining how he was arrested at 1 a.m. after a complaint by his parents for criminal damages of home properties. The group sighed in astonishment and especially Frank nodded. He rejects the offer of a solicitor as he outlines that at that time, he was very subdued. As a result, a social worker: Kelvin, the leader of our group, was called to act as an appropriate adult for Spencer as neither of his parents had accompanied him. Nancy smiled at Kelvin. Kelvin outlines that, at the time of questioning, Spencer was very angry and upset and highlighted that he only smashed doors and pictures at the house. At the time when his parents kept on saying how he does not fit into the family, how they wish they had never adopted him and how disappointed they are with his poor performance at school. All the members nod their heads with a sad and pity face. However, Kelvin tells the group that everything will be alright and he is applauded by all members including Spencer.
The basic and critical role of all social workers is to provide assistance in the interactions between the individuals and his/ her social and community environment. The basic objectives of a social worker are to promote the process and procedure of social adjustment of people within society through the constructive and developmental utilization of social interrelationships. This interrelationship enables the society to find its fulfillment and the adequacy to discharge their social responsibilities. In this context, kelvin exhibits several specializations in the profession of social work which include group work, casework, and community organization, through this, the social worker: kelvin enables the group to realize the abilities and strengths and utilize them while engaging with the society and the process of interaction.
The group consists of eight individuals: their females and five males. The group’s main purpose is to enable its members and the overall community to combine all social units and systems in performing major social functions which are in relevance to meeting the members and community needs. The group entails members with a common culture, interest, and identity who have joined together to create a distinct entity that serves a positive need in the society. The group is governed by several policies which were formulated by the social worker and agreed upon by the members (Gitterman and Shulman, 2015). These policies govern the inter-group facilitation and interrelated planning process and organizing the group’s matters in order to achieve co-operation and support from all group members. The critical aspect of the group includes resource development, coordination of services, planning, inter-agency and complete task-oriented individuals towards the wellness and attainment of the group’s objectives. The macro practice of the group recognizes the ability and strength of the interactions between persons within the social environment and the ability of a wide community influence which is formulated towards implementation of change and solving problems.
- Demand for work- Spencer said that he was arrested at 1. Am
- What precipitated the demand for work? The group was astonished to learn that Spencer was arrested and spends a night at the police station.
- What was the group’s response? The group sighed
- What sense did I make of the group’s response at the time? The sigh made by the group members indicated that they were shocked by the event that had taken place and hence they recognized the horrible situation that Spencer was in.
- If you were not the worker, please include how you made sense of how you made sense of the worker’s choices and included some discussion on what you might have done differently? Since the group is in a moody feeling, I would conceptualize the statement which Spencer had made and urge the group to be patient until Spencer narrates his whole story without the interference of questions and murmuring. As a trained social worker, I would urge the member to co-operate and be silent in order to allow Spencer speak out his mind for the group to understand and give recommendations on his situation.
- Supporting literature.
As argued by Balliet (2010), strategies for attaining co-operation within the group act as the basic principle which defines the success or failure of the topic in the subject. Several techniques are enacted to ensure co-operation and desire to give everyone a chance to express his or her social situation without external interference. A social worker is required to determine appropriate and effective measures of encouraging the more responsible use of social resources. To achieve this, the established policies rules and regulations and norms of the group determine when and whether the group members should co-operate or offer to counteract arguments on topics. The perceptions of this principle by the group should be taken with the character in order to eliminate social dilemmas which lead them to produce competitive responses and counter-arguments hence disrupting the speaker.
According to Kreindler et al. (2012), the use of cooperative learning groups is generally based on constructivism which in particular pays attention to the contribution that social groups and their interactions can make (p. 50). In this essence, cooperation serves a mutual benefit between the worker and the other members. Through this, the group develops a strong sense of awe feelings which in return develop co-operation among the group members. As outlined in this literatures, group cooperation is essential at critical in every conversation, and hence all members should adhere to this principle in order to achieve a successful conversation and participate actively in engaging with the social worker.
- Demand for work- I said it was unfair for spencer’s parents to call for his arrest.
- What precipitated the demand for work? The admission by Spencer that his parents called for his arrest late at night without even consulting kelvin
- What was the group’s response? Frank nodded
- What sense did I make of the group’s response at the time? By Frank shaking his head left to right indicated that he did not agree with actions of Spencer’s parents due to the fact that Spencer is referred as the most humble person in the group.
- If you were not the worker, please include how you made sense of how you made sense of the worker’s choices and included some discussion on what you might have done differently? Since the group is based on a sense of unity and solidarity, I would agree with Frank’s opinion in order to show loyalty and sympathy to Spencer as required of every group leader. This would be a significant way of showing that all opinions are welcomed and respected.
- Literature review
The fundamental founding principle of every social group is that the members should be supportive and should show loyalty to any group member who is facing social challenges. This concept ensures that the involved member is confident and certain of support from the other members regardless of the social complications he/ she might be facing. According to Mondal,(2017), the plurality of people involved in social interaction requires a conscious and a common understanding, loyalty and respect of accepting the obligation and trust enacted by group members. The social worker involved in social groups are required to enact a sense of unity, loyalty, feeling of sympathy in order for the group members to feel a sense of belonging. This is supported by a sense of we-feeling which refers to a tendency of members to identify themselves with certain groups which give them support in difficult situations.
- Demand for work- kelvin outlined that he felt proud and appreciated the chance to represent and support Spencer during questioning.
- What precipitated the demand for work? Spencer’ parents failed to accompany him to the police station, and hence a social worker was required to act as the parent.
- What was the group’s response? Nancy smiled
- What sense did I make of the group’s response at the time? By Nancy smiling upon the worker, she indicated that she agreed and appreciated the decision of Kelvin to represent Spencer.
- If you were not the worker, please include how you made sense of how you made sense of the worker’s choices and included some discussion on what you might have done differently? As the worker, I would address the whole group rather than responding to Nancy alone in order to make other members response as recognized and remove the gender biased mentality which is common in a homogeneous group.
According to Garland, Jones, and Kolodny, (2009), small sized groups require special attention to every member’s response and how it is perceived by other members greatly impacts on their contributions during group discussions. Every worker I required to give a clear interpretation of all the responses made to him by every group member in order to maintain the relationship and full participation of all group members. The contractual responsibilities of a worker are to provide equal acknowledgment of all responses and address them equally regardless of the respondent gender and age. Through this, the members are able to have similar attitudes and desire to work together to help and promote the welfare of the group. Defining the core of personality makes a worker exhibit intimate, close and personal contact with all group members.
- Demand for work- Kelvin tells Spencer that everything is going to be okay.
- What precipitated the demand for work? The statement provided by Spencer on how his parents react towards him.
- What was the group’s response? The members clapped
- What sense did I make of the group’s response at the time? Members of the group clapping indicated that they agreed with Kelvin and that his statement provided relief and as well acted as a sign of hope for Spencer to believe in.
- If you were not the worker, please include how you made sense of how you made sense of the worker’s choices and included some discussion on what you might have done differently?
As indicated by Fanning (2017), it is the responsibility of social workers to help groups, families, and individuals to overcome problems there are experiencing. In regards to this, I would ask the members to provide remedies and recommendations for Spencer’s situation based on considerable facts but not dependent on the intimate or personal relationship. Through this, a practical and effective solution will be reached which Spencer can rely on to improve the current social problem. To maximize the effects of the solution made, I will prefer to engage in a private conversation with Spencer in order to outline and establish his perception on the matter.
Additionally, as argued by Fanning (2017), the suitability of solution is key in defining its implementation procedure. The skills of a social worker give them the ability to engage in researches which are aimed at providing resources for evaluating the solution and collaborating with patients to attain full wellness. Critical thinking is essential in social work and helps in reasoning mad using logic to identify abilities, weaknesses as well as strengths and find alternative approaches, conclusions, and solutions in addressing problems. Subsequently, as a social worker, identify the complex problem and review the related and required information for developing and evaluating opinions and implementing solutions. Considering the relative dates in Spencer’s situation, the decision making and the potential action to be implemented will be acceptable and effective in addressing the social problem as well as ensuring that the group’s mutual agreement is conserved.
The impacts of social location and multiple identities in social groups
The social identity theory provides a systematic understanding of a group based analysis which is based on integration and collaboration among the group members. On the other hand, social location refers to the social setting in which individuals live and in ways through which they interact (Stutzer and Lalive, 2004). In a social environment, specific characteristic define and determine the social interactions and the goals and mutual co-operation which is a result of the interaction which gives the members a sense of safety when sharing stories. Social dilemmas are exhibited in a group which includes multiple identities due to the difference in cultures interest and occupation. The diversity in multiple social identities increases the ideology of different perception, and hence it is difficult to make overall policies to cover the whole group with different perceptions and believes which in turn aids in overall group development. The benefit of having diverse identities is the incorporation of ideas from different people with a different mindset. The consciousness of interaction between non-personal contacts gives a social worker an elevated role in maintaining the balance between serving members with different interests.
The characteristics of a social group are that there must be a mutual awareness, sense of unity and similarity of behavior which calls for a social location which represents collective behavior and fosters behavior. A social location is defined by the definite relation which exists between people who compose it. A primary group requires a social environment which has a high degree of intimacy and nature of social contact and hence giving the members a sense of social cohesion. Under this circumstances, a successful group is established which provides mutual help based on discussion of common questions.
In conclusion, the analysis expressed the role of social groups in developing support for social problems. From the analysis, the social group is a basic factor in all forms of social functions, social institutions, social structure, system, and organization. As observed, the human personality is depended on the social groups and the socialization process. In regards to the social group, members are able to learn all social techniques and find solutions of helping other members to get past social problems. The satisfaction of human needs and interest acts as the binding force for individuals to interact and share experiences. Subsequently, I ascertain that the group acts as an enhancement of social life and increasing the individuals’ capacity. Lastly, personality development is widely depended on support and interaction between individuals, rules, and policies as well integrating with different personalities.
Balliet F. (2010, September 15). What Are The Benefits Of Mutual Aid Groups? Retrieved from https://addictioncounsellingwilmslow.co.uk/what-are-the-benefits-of-mutual-aid-groups/
Fanning D. (2017). Understanding the Role of a Social Worker | MSWOnlinePrograms.org. Retrieved from https://mswonlineprograms.org/job-duties-and-responsibilities-of-social-workers/
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Northen, H., & Kurland, R. (2001). Social work with groups. Columbia University Press.
Stutzer, A., & Lalive, R. (2004). The role of social work norms in subjective well‐being. Journal of the European Economic Association, 2(4), 696-719.