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Social case work, a primary method of social work, is considered with the

adjustment and development of the individual towards more satisfying human

relations. Better family life, improved schools better housing, more hospitals and

medical care facilities, protected economic conditions and better relations

between religious groups help the individual in his adjustment and development.

But his adjustment and development depend on the use of these resources by

him. Sometimes due to certain factors, internal or external, he fails to avail

existing facilities. In such situations, social case worker helps him. Thus, social

case work is one to one relationship which works in helping the individual for

his adjustment and development.


Social case work may be defined as the art of doing different things for

and with different people by cooperating with them to achieve at one and the

same time their own and society’s betterment.1


Social case work is the art of bringing about the better adjustments in the

social relationship of individual men, or women or children.2


Social case work means, “those processes which develop personality

through adjustment consciously affected, individual by individual between men

and their social environment”3

JARRETT (1919)

Social case work is “the art of bringing an individual who is in a

condition of social disorder into the best possible relation with all parts of his


TAFT (1920)

Social case work means “Social treatment of a maladjusted individual

involving an attempt to understand his personality, behaviour, and social

relationships, and to assist him in working out a better social and personal


WATSON (1922)

Social case work is “the art of untangling and reconstructing the twisted

personality in such manner that the individual can adjust himself to his


QUEEN (1922)

Social case work is “the art of adjusting personal relationship”.7

LEE (1923)

Social case work is the “art of changing human attitudes”.9

TAYLOR (1926)

Social case work is ‘a process concerned with the understanding of

individuals as whole personalities and with the adjustment of these individuals to

socially healthy lives. 9


Social case work is the process of counseling with the client on a problem

which is essentially his own, involving some difficulty in his social relationship.



Social case work is ‘that form of social work which assists the individual

which he struggles to relate himself to his family, his natural groups, his


KLEIN (1938)

Social case work is “a technical method in social work…. A way of

adjusting the client to his personal problems.12

SWIFT (1939)

Social case work is the art of assisting the individual in developing and

making use of his personal capacity to deal with problems which he faces in his

social environment’.13


Case work means ‘those processes involved in giving service, financial

assistance, or personal counsel to individual by representatives of social

agencies, according to policies established and with consideration of individual


STRODE (1948)

Social case work is the process of assisting the individual to the best

possible social adjustment through the use of social case study, social resources,

and knowledge from relative fields of learning.15


Social case work is one method… by which certain special services are

made available in areas of unmet needs.16

BOWERS (1949)

Social case work is an art in which knowledge of the science of human

relations, and skill in relationship are used to mobilize capacities in the

individual and resources in the community appropriate for better adjustment

between the client and all or any parts of his total environment.17

HOLLIS (1956)

Social case work is a method employed by social workers to help

individuals find solution to problems of social adjustment which they are unable

to handle in a satisfactory way by their own efforts.18


In social case work the client is stimulated to participle in the study of his

situation, to share plans, to make an active efforts to solve his problems, using

his own resources and whatever community resources are available and


HOLLIS (1957)

Social case work is a method employed by social workers to help

individual find solution to problems of social adjustment which they are unable

to handle in a satisfactory way by their own efforts.20

PERLMAN (1957)

Social case work is a process used by certain human welfare agencies to

help individuals to cope more effectively with their problems in social


The credit goes to Mary Richmond for defining the social case work

scientifically. In 1915 she said that social case work is an art through which help

is provided to people for their betterment as well as for the betterment of society.

It means that social case work is essential if any country wants to improve and

develop society and community. But this definition was not clear and therefore,

she defines again in 1917 in which she emphasized the specific purpose i.e.

better adjustment in the social relationships. Again in 1922 she told that social

case work is for change of the personality of he individual for proper social

adjustment. The position of social concerned, entered the definition of Jarrent.

The same was repeated by Taft.

Watson opposed the psycho- social model of treatment and emphasized

an ego psychology. Total personality appear on the scene of social case work for

consideration to social workers. Porter Lee also emphasized that the goal of

social case work is to change human personality. Taylor stressed upon the need

for understanding the total personality of the individual for bringing healthy

adjustment in social life. A counseling function was introduced into the case

work definition by Reynolds 1932. Klein also suggested that the social case

work is for helping the client for adjustment. Swifts talks to developing the

strength and capacity in the individual to solve his problems himself. De

Schweinitz in 1939 advanced definitions containing the functional activity. She

linked the social case work with representatives of social agencies and

established policies. The work which is done through the social agencies by the

social case worker comes in the purview of social case work. Strode expresses

his view by saying that social case work uses social resources for helping the

individual to obtain adjustment in social life. Towle made very simple definition

by saying that case work is for unmet needs of the individual. Bowers told two

instruments of social case work, i.e knowledge of the science of human relations

and skill in relationship; which are used to strengthen his capacity for gaining

purposeful adjustment. Hollis talks to finding a solution to problems for the

individual client. According to Perlman, the case worker’s task is to restore or

reinforce the client’s ability to deal with problem rather than to deal with the

problem for or with him.

Perlman while defining the social case work process the indicated the four

essential components of social case work in their relationship to one another. A

person with a problem comes to a place where social worker helps him through a

well defined process. The person is a men, women or child, anyone who finds

himself, or is found to be, in need of help in some aspect of his social emotional

living, whether the need be for tangible provisions or counsel. As he begins to

receive such help, he is called a client. 22 The problem arises from some need of

obstacle or accumulation of frustrations or maladjustments, and sometimes all of

these together, which threaten or has already attacked the adequacy of the

person’s living situation or the effectiveness of his efforts to deal with it. 23 The

place is a social service agency or a social service department of another kind of

human welfare agency. It is a particular kind of social problems at large but with

human beings who are experiencing such problems in the management of their

won personal lives. Its purpose is to help the individual with the particular social

handicaps which hamper good personal or family living and with the problems

created by faulty person to person, person to group, or person to situation


The Process, named ‘social case work’ do denote its centre of attention

and its individualized aspect. is a progressive transaction between the

professional helper (the case worker) and the client. it consists of series of

problem - solving operations carried on within a meaningful relationships. the

end of this process is contained in its means to go influence the client - person

that he develops effectiveness in coping with his problem and / or to so

influence the problem as to resolve it or vitiate its effects. 25


The basic of social work is to enable the client to enjoy with some degree

of permanency, more satisfying, effective and acceptable experiences in the

social situation in which the finds himself. to achieve this goal efforts are made

to bring effective changes in the client’s environments or social living situation

through clarifying the client’s possibly distorted perception of its or

strengthening his capacities for coping with it. 26 Its essential task is the

facilitation of social relationship. According to Witmer ‘the chief aim of social

case work is that of helping people to mobilize their capacities for the solution of

the problems that brought them to attention of social agencies.27 the purpose of

social case work is not only to help those troubled in their immediate present but

to help in such a way that each client will, from the experience, be better able to

meet future difficulties with a more effectively, organized personal strength. 28

Most of the writers of social work like moffett. 30 have emphasized that one of

the main objectives of social case work is to bring about an adjustment between

the individual client and his situation of environment.

Towle31 has proposed both a remote and more proximate purpose of

social case work . According to her the ultimate and is the promotion of the

welfare of the individual in the interest of society, the proximate and is the

making available of certain special services in the areas of unmet needs.

Bowers 32 Mentioned two basic objectives: better adjustment in the social

relationships of the individual, and the developments of individual personality.

according to Perlman, within the boundaries of what the client’s wants, his

capacities, and the resources of skill and material means of the agency (and

community) the specific goal is to help him achieve his previous level of

functioning and / or to promote the most effective functioning of which he is

capable at this time.33

In general, the purpose of social case work is to help an individual client

to solve his psycho – social problems in such a way so that he finds himself

capable of dealing with these problems at present and also may solve in future if

such problems arise. thus social case work has the following objectives.

1. To understand and solve the internal problems to the individual.

2. To strengthen his ego power.

3. Remediation of problems in social functioning

4. Prevention of problems in social functioning

5. Development of resources to enhance social functioning.


The term ‘relationship’ in social case work was used for the first time by

Miss Virginia Robinson in her. Book ‘A Changing psychology in Social Case

Work in 1939. Relationship is the case worker’s responsible and disciplined use

of himself in working with a client. The relationship is the channel through

which the mobilization of the capacities of the client is made possible. The

relationship is the medium through which the client is enabled to state his

problem and through which attention can be focused on reality problems, which

may be as full of conflict as emotional problems. 34 A case work relationship is

the professional meeting of two persons for the purpose of assisting one of

them, the client, to make a better, a more acceptable adjustment to a personal

problem. 35. Within the democratic frame of reference the professional

responsibilities, recognition of other’s rights, acceptable of difference, with the

goal, not of isolation, but of socialized attitudes and behaviour stimulating

growth though interaction.36 The essence of relationship has been called an

interplay, a mutual emotional exchange , an attitude , a dynamic interaction, a

medium, a connection between two persons, a professional meeting and a mutual


Hollis38 distinguishes two types of relationship, the basic and the special.

The worker brings to all relationship in his ability to help and function as a

worker. This type of relationship is similar in many ways with some social




There are five ways in which the professional relationship may differ

from customary social relationships. 39

Social Relationship Professional Relationship

1. Duration Open – ended Ends when the problem

is solved

2. Time Not limited Limited, according to the


3. Place Home, Club, Invitation, Office or institution

4. Focus Mutual satisfaction of Focus on client’s needs

range of needs emotional, problem solving work

social intellectual, aesthetics


5. Role

Relationship Mutual Helper and helped


Perlman 40 has described the following characteristics of case worker

client relationship.

1. Vital relationship between people arise out of shared and emotionally


2. all growth producing relationships, of which the case work relationship is

one, contain elements of acceptable and expectation, support and


3. The identifying mark of professional relationship is its conscious

purposiveness growing out of the knowledge of what must go into

achieving the goal.

4. The case worker, too, has relationship, and part of his professional skill in

their management.


Despite the general concern with relationship, we find great difficulty in

specifying just what is meant by the term ‘relationship. Rapport41 explains this

problem thus that ‘Relationship is rather fuzzy concept since we cannot state

with clarity what aspect of relationship, what kind, what symbolic value, what

degree of intensity and so on are essential ingredients of treatment. The pertinent

question is whether there are components of relationship that can be identified.

These components are accurate empathy, non – possessive warmth and


Accurate Empathy

If refers to the ability of the case worker to perceive and communicate

accurately and with sensitivity both feeling and experiences of client and their

meaning and significance. The worker should be sensitive to express feelings of

the client as well as that may only be hinted by voice, posture and content ones.

Non - Possessive Warmth

If refers to the workers communication of respect, acceptance, liking,

caring, and concern for the client in a non- dominating way. When this

component is at low level the worker evaluates the client and expresses likes,

dislikes, approval, disapproval in a highly conditional way. At high level, the

worker warmly accepts the client’s experience as a part of his personality.


If refers to worker’s being himself, being real. He should be honest in his

approach, Whatever he reveals should be real aspect of himself.

These components can be measured and on that basis closeness of

relationship may be explored.


The case work relationship is the dynamic interaction of attitudes and

emotions between the case worker and the client, with the purpose of helping the

client achieve a better adjustment between himself and his environment.43 Thus

the purpose of establishing relationship is to help the client with his psycho –

social needs and problems. Other purposes are:

1. Better solution of clients problem

2. Exploitation of means for solving problem,

3. Stating reality and emotional problems.

4. Solution of the personal problem.

5. Development of personality.


Biestek44 has described seven principles of case work relationship.

There are

1. Individualization

Individualization is the recognition and understanding of each client’s

unique qualities and the differential use of principles and methods in assisting

each toward a better adjustment. Individualization is based upon the right of

human beings to be individuals and to be treated not just as a human being but as

this human being with his personal differences.

2. Purposeful Expression of feelings

Purposeful expression of feelings is the recognition of the client’s need to

express his feelings freely, especially his negative feelings. The case worker

listens purposefully, neither discouraging nor condemning the expression of

these feelings, sometimes even actively stimulating and encouraging them when

they are therapeutically useful as a part of the case work service.

3. Controlled Emotional Involvement

The controlled emotional involvement is the case worker’s sensitively to

the client’s feelings, an understanding of their meaning, and purposeful,

appropriate response to the client’s feelings.

4. Acceptance

Acceptance is a principle of action where in the case worker perceives

and deals with the client as he really is including his strengths and weakness, his

congenial and uncongenial qualities his positive and negative feelings, his

constructive and destructive attitudes and behaviour, maintaining all the while a

sense of the client’s innate dignity and personal worth… The purpose of

acceptance is therapeutic; to aid the case worker in understanding the client as he

really is thus making case work more effective, and to help the client free

himself undesirable defenses, so that he feels safe to reveal himself and look at

himself as he really is, and thus to deal with his problem and himself in a more

realistic way.

5. The non- Judgmental attitude

The non- judgmental attitude is a quality of the case work relationship. It

is based on a conviction that the case work function excludes assisting guilt on

innocence, or degree of client responsibility for causation of the problems or

needs, but does include making evaluative judgments about the attitudes,

standards, or action of the client. The attitude which involves both thought and

feelings elements is transmitted to the client.

6. Client self – Determination

The principle of client self – determination is the practical recognition of

the right and need of clients to freedom in making their own choice and

decisions in the work process. Case workers have a corresponding duty to

respect that right recognize that need, stimulate and help to activate that potential

for self direction by helping the client to see and use his own personality. The

client’s right to self – determination, however, is limited by the client’s capacity

for positive and constructive decision making, by the framework of civil and

moral law, and by the function of eh agency.

7. Confidentially

Confidentially is the preservation of secret information concerning the

client which is disclosed in the professional relationship. Confidentially is based

upon a basic right of the client; it is an ethical obligation of the case worker and

is necessary for effective case work service. The client’s right, however, is not

absolute, Moreover, the client’s secret is often shared with other professional

persons within the agency and in other agencies, the obligation then binds all


a. Generic Principles

1. The principle of acceptance

2. The principle of communication

3. The principle of individualization

4. The principle of participation

5. The principle of client self – determination

6. The principle of confidentially

7. The principle of case worker self – awareness

1. Differential Principles

1. In a stressful situation, involving a client who presents evidence of

inadequacies in current role functions, whose current mode of adaptation to this

loss seems appropriate (not markedly regressive) and who demonstrated the

possession of a clear perception of the problems and what may be needed for the

solution – which is an evidence of effective ego functioning – the goal and

techniques of environmental modification and ego support are applicable

2. In a successful situation, involving a client who presents evidence of

inadequacies in current role functions, and whose mode of adoption seems either

(a) appropriate (not markedly regressive) or else, at he other extreme,(b)

markedly inappropriate and regressive, and who demonstrates the possession of

either (a) a clear perception of the problems and what may be needed for their

solution evidence of effective ego – functioning or (b) markedly inaccurate or

distorted perception of the problems evidence of grossly ineffective ego-

functioning- the goals and techniques of environmental modification and ego-

support are applicable.

3. With a diagnosis of relatively strong ego- functioning, of some but not marked

regressive modes of adaptation, and of rather satisfying and effective

performance in key social roles, the case worker may engage himself with

clients in the goal and techniques of clarifying the effects and meaning of the

client’s behaviour.

4. When problems in role fulfillment are based primarily on intraspychic

hindrances and satisfying modes of adaptation and the client’s potential level of

ego- functioning is a high one, the goals and techniques of uncovering the

“forgotten causes” of behaviour are applicable.


There are three phases of social case work practice: Social investigation or

psycho-social study, diagnosis and treatment or management.


Nothing happens on this earth without any reason. In other words, every

happening has definite cause. Definite cause does not exist in vaccum rather a

natural phenomenon. It is very interesting to note that today man is just

considered the creature, rather a creator as well. This particular change in the

status of man has tempted him to quench his thirst of knowledge not only about

the natural phenomena but today’s man is much interested to understand human

behaviours in a very scientific and precise way. Social case worker is also

interested in gaining this knowledge for its successful functioning.

Before conceiving the term “Social investigation,” Mary Richmon herself

toyed with such terms as “Social – evidence”, “learned seeking”, “Social

inquiry” and ultimately shifted her choice upon the term “Social investigation.”

Social investigation is the foundation upon which the various helping processes,

actions and treatment techniques are built. For every social work activity,

whether it is at individual level or family level or community and societal level,

the find out the social realities of the clients and their families, to identify the

problem area and to formulate treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare strategies.

It is rightly pointed out by Hamilton that social investigation is a psycho-

social process. It transcends much beyond the assessment of the individual client

or family. The intra – psychic forces are inseparably linked with social forces.

To understand the individual as psycho – social entity, the analysis of his

relationship with others related with him is equally important.


Perlman46 has given the following contents of the case work study in the

beginning phase:

1. The nature of the presenting problem,

2. The significance of this problem

3. The causes(s), onset and precipitants of the problem,

4. The efforts made to cope with problem- solving,

5. The nature of the solution or ends sought from the case work agency,

6. The actual nature of this agency and its problem solving means in

relation to the client and his problem.

Social case worker attempts to investigate the following facts:

1. Picture of the problem

He tries to know major complaints, beginning of the problems, the nature

of the problem, severity of the problem, implications of the problem, location of

the problem, causation of the problem, scope of the problem (who are other

affected persons) etc.

2. Client’s Feelings and Reactions

Case worker attempts to find out the attitude of the client towards his

problem, the analysis and interpretation made by him about his problem, the

relationship between client and problem, capacities, competencies and

weaknesses of the client.

3. Client’s Efforts to Solve Problems

Social case worker acquires knowledge about the efforts made by the

client to deal with his problems, the help taken so far, help taking organization

and agencies, effects of help, client’s evaluation towards these help receiving

agencies, and the time spent in these agencies.

4. Social Conditions

He investigates the clear picture of family, its environment, and its impact

on the client. He also gains knowledge of schools and its effect on client. Apart

from these social agencies, he makes attempts to know the impact of neighbor,

working place and religious, economic and political institutions.

5. Psycho-social Development of the Client

In this area, the case worker gets information about the pre- and post-natal

care of the client, his early development, childhood, schooling, socialization

patterns, home environment, marital history, occupational history, habits,

relationship with others.

6. Personality of the client

For the proper diagnosis, the case worker gives much emphasis to gather

information regarding personality characteristics of the client i.e., knowledge,

feelings, wishes temperament, ego-strength, sensitivity, adaptability,

communication patterns, cooperation, sympathy, tolerance, responsibility,

expression of emotions, devotion to work, motivational state, and level of

aspirations and weakness in his personality.


There are two fundamental techniques of social investigations, i.e, (i) Interview

and (ii) Observation.

The process of social investigation is initiated and carried through by the

process of interview. Professional skill in this area requires not only theoretical

knowledge about the psychology of human behaviour but also considerable case

work experience in which the worker’s technique is repeatedly analysed. The

interview is used for securing information about the clients as well as his

problems including his relationship with other persons in his social and personal

environment. Through the interview situation, the case worker attempts to

inst4rcut and give both the client and others who play significant roles in his life

and attempts to manipulate the environment for the benefit of the client.

Observation is always coupled with interviewing. It makes possible to

record the behaviour of the client as it occurs. It yields clues as to the

pathological patterns of communication, pathogenic relation and defective role

playing and polarization of power and authority among the family members who

are of ehological significance.

Tools of Social Investigation

The following tools are used by social case worker in collecting the

relevant information for diagnosis and treatment:

1. Interview guide and schedule

2. Life chart

3. Video recording of family interaction

4. Tape recorded interview

Format of Interview Guide/Schedule

I. History of Problem

1. Major complaints( Problems)

2. History of the problems

3. Treatment or helps taken so far.

II. Personal History

1. Early development

2. Process of socialization

3. Coping patterns of day-to-day stress

4. Schooling – likes, dislikes difficulties, academic achievement, extra –

curricular activities, model teachers’ behaviour, significant incidence.

5. Marital History –age at marriage, willingness for marriage, types of

marriage, consanguinity, age of the spouse, personality of the spouse,

expectations from marriage, relationship and compatibility with the

spouse, with the in- laws and the offspring, sexual gratification, birth of

the first child and its impact on the marital life.

Difficulties in communication, role playing, interaction, reinforcement, stress

managing patterns and social support system.


i. Drinking, gambling, smoking, addictions, etc.

ii. Reading, creative activities, music, writing, painting, etc.

iii. Social habits.

6. Occupational History: When and why started working, job satisfaction

in every work, relationship with the supervisors and colleagues,

promotion work environment, reasons of changing occupation/job.

7. Income: Income per month, level of satisfaction, needs and income,

spouse’s attitude towards your income earning, capacity, debt, other


8. Sex experience: Sexual perversion if any, failure in love, its effects, etc.

III. Family History

1. Family structure

2. Economic status in community

3. Educational History

4. Occupational History

5. Marital History

6. Ethical and moral standards

7. Family Habits

8. Personality Patterns

9. Interaction Patterns

10. Patterns of decision making

11. Existing role structure in family

12. Patterns of managing problem

13. Social support system

14. Interaction of the family members with the client.

IV. Analysis and Social Diagnosis: Problematic Areas

V. Treatment Plan


Diagnosis like treatment begins with the first glance between the help giver and

help seeker.47 Social diagnosis is the attempt to arrive at an exact definition as

possible of the social situation and personality of a given client.48 It is a search

for the causes of the problem which brings the client to the worker for help.

Diagnosis is (i) an explanation formulated in the light of known facts ( both

tangible fact items and psychological fact items); (ii) an explanation made in the

knowledge of the other possible explanations; and (iii) subject to change or

revision whenever subsequent material warrants a different explanation.49

Diagnosis is, therefore, concerned with understanding both psychological or

personality factors which bear a casual relation to the client’s difficulty and the

social or environmental factors which tend to sustain it.50 The diagnostic process

consists of a critical scrutiny of a client – situation complex and the trouble

concerning which help is sought or needed for the purpose of understanding the

nature of the difficulty with increasing detail and accuracy.51

Content of the Social Diagnosis

The content of the case work diagnosis falls into the triangular pattern. It

consists of

1. The nature of the problem brought and the goals sought by the client, in

their relationship to;

2. The nature of the person who bears the problem (his social and

psychological situation and functioning) and who seeks (or needs) help

with his problem, in relation to ;

3. The nature and purpose of the agency and the kind of help it can offer and

/ or make available.52

The Process of Making Diagnosis

A diagnosis has been broken up into a number of stages: gathering the

data, the diagnostic study, the diagnosis itself or the evaluation, and the

diagnostic product.

Gathering Data

Data are gathered of the interview of the client, reports agency’s records

reports, from other members of the team, other agencies, schools, relatives.

Home visit is also an important source of data collection. The accuracy of data

depends on worker’s skill of interviewing, individualization, acceptance,

communication and involvement.

Diagnostic Study

The study attempt to identify the problem areas which are important for

social case work involvement.

Diagnosis or Evaluation

This means finding the nature of the problem, its organization and extent

and who is going to be affected. Factors responsible for the problem may be one

or more than one of the following:

i. Physical – Physical illness or disability, how the sufferer feels, how his

family and others feel. Effect of physical illness – dependent, tired,

irritable, depressed, self image lowering, distort relationship, disrupt


ii. Psychological – The assessment is made of the quality of libidinal

relationship, dependency, narcissistic tendencies, sexual identification,

quality of aggressiveness, channelization of aggressiveness, native of

super ego, consistency of ego and super ego, reality perception, self

analysis, self-criticism, judgment, defense used, degree used, degree of

discomfort the problem causes him, the nature of desire to change it, the

effect that change may have upon other members.

iii. Social – The following facets of social environment generally come

within the diagnosis:

1. Income level – High, low, consistent, uncertain, effect on the present


2. Housing – Loan taken, rented, adjustment with landlord/tenant,

overcrowding, basic facilities lacking/sufficient.

3. Neighborhood – Tolerant/intolerant/supportive/conflict, views toward client


4. Employment – Job availability, prospects, remuneration, level, security,

status, condition of work, job satisfaction.

5. Religion – Beliefs in values, offering support – consolation, expressive

outlets, sublimation, reinforcing problems – guilt, tension.

6. Availability/quality/attitude and attitudes (client) to social organization and

services : medical facilities, courts, credit organization, legal advice centres,

Post – Office, social security.

7. Prejudice, tension etc.

8. Educational problems.

Diagnostic Product

After identification of the problem areas and the factors relating to them,

the attempts are made towards possible solution. But before determining solution

we need to think about the potential contribution to solutions of the client,

others, the agency and the worker. The client’s work ability (capacity and

motivation) is the base for further determining the treatment techniques and

procedures. Perlman53 discuses this capacity under three headings:

Emotional – Ability to relate others, ability to feel, experiencing,

contacting, etc.

Social Intelligence Capacity - Perceptivity, attention, communication,

self- management technology, management of situations.

Physical capacity – How much the client has left over work on problem


Types of Diagnosis

Perlman 54 has described three types of diagnosis that is carried on in

social case work process. These are : dynamic diagnosis, clinical diagnosis and

etiological diagnosis.

1.Dynamic Diagnosis

Dynamic diagnosis gives an understanding of the current problem of the

client and the forces currently operating within the client, within social

environment and between him/his environment. It gives the answers of the

question – what is the trouble?, What psychological, physical and social factors

are contributing to it?, What solution is sought? What are the means available

within the client, his environment? What are organized services and resources by

which the problem may be affected? The nature of such diagnosis is changeable

because it is the beginning phase of social case work practice.

2.Clinical Diagnosis

Under clinical diagnosis, the case worker attempts to classify the client by

the nature of his sickness/problem. He identifies certain forms and qualities of

client’s personality maladaptation and malfunctioning in his behaviour. The

clinical diagnosis describes both the nature of the problem and its relation to the

client and the helping means and goals. Such type of diagnosis is useful only

when it becomes apparent that a disorder of personality accompanies the social

disorder, creating and complicating it.

3.Etiological Diagnosis

Etiological diagnosis is concerned with the explanation of the beginnings

and life-history of problem of the client, basically that problem that lies in the

client’s personality make up or functioning. The history of his development as a

problem encountering, problem-solving human being may provide the case

worker with an understanding of what his client suffers from and what the

extend of his coping ability is like to be.55 Etiological diagnosis is more useful in

explaining or rigid reactions. When in spite of the fact that the client’s present

problems are in the centre of attention, the clients responses are not in

accordance with, the past history and its appraisal in the light of client’s current

capacities goals and problems are used for the treatment. This type of diagnosis

contributes to understanding the nature of the problem to be dealt with, the

person who has the problem, and the ways and means can be anticipated as


Date for Diagnosis

The data for diagnosis can be collected by at lease three primary means:


Interview guides are used for collecting information. There are a number

of standard guides prepared by psychologists but most recent guide is of

Goldfried and Davison56 having the categories of information: Client’s

behaviour during the interview and physical description; presenting problem(s)

(nature of problems, historical setting, events, current situation determinants,

relevant organizmic variables, dimensions of the problem, consequences of the

problem): targets for modification; recommended treatment(s), motivation for

treatment; prognosis; priority for treatment; client expectations; other

information, comments, or observations.

2.Checklists and Inventories

The following inventories may be used: The Fear Survey Schedule (of

Wolpe)57, questionnaire on client’s perception of himself (Goldstein) 58, family

functioning (Stuart and Stourt)59 marital functioning (Knox), sexual functioning

(Annon) and instruments for assessing environments (Moos).

3.Direct Observation

Observation in those situation in which the behavior actually occurs, e.g.,

home or place of work makes the work of diagnosing very easy.

Steps in Diagnosis

The following steps are taken while diagnosing a problem:

1. The worker begins to focus on problematic behaviors. He begins with the

survey of both functional and dysfunctional behaviors in his environment.

He classifies the various complaints and problems in terms of excesses

and deficits. He evaluates client’s personal strength as well as of his


2. He specifies the target behaviors. This involves an attempt of breaking

down complex behaviors into their component parts, being as clear and

precise as possible about them.

3. Baseline date are collected to specify those events that appear to be

currently controlling the problematic behaviors.

4. The collected information is summarized in an attempt to anticipate any

and major problem in treatment and as a way of beginning to establish

objectives for treatment.

5. Selecting priorities for treatment as the final step of the diagnosis.

Concentration on one problem at one time makes treatment process more

manageable and allows both client and worker to channel their energies

into one area. It is the best of handling and proper use of available



Social case work consists of those processes which develop personality

through adjustments consciously affected ----------between men and their social

environment.60 Generally, two types of efforts are required for social adjustment

– environmental modification and /or change in behavior and attitudes. Early

case work treatment was placed on modification through the environment. Later

on the development of ego psychology helped social case workers to use

intensive and direct treatment techniques. Now the aim of social case work

treatment is to restore the individual to social functioning or to help him develop

this capacity in order that he may achieve at one and at the same time his own

and society’s betterment.61

According to Hamilton, treatment is the sum total of all activities and

services directed towards helping an individual with a problem. The focus is the

relieving of the immediate problem and, if feasible, modify any basic difficulties

which precipitated it.62

The objectives of social case work treatment are as follows:

1. To prevent social breakdown;

2. To conserve client’s strength;

3. To restore social functioning;

4. To provide happy experiences to the client;

5. To create opportunities for growth and development;

6. To Compensate psychological damage;

7. To increase capacity for self – direction;

8. To increase his social contribution.

Thus the objective of social case work treatment is to alleviate the client’s

distress and decrease the malfunctioning in the person- situation system. It is to

enhance the client’s comfort, satisfaction, and self – realization. This may

require enhancing the adaptive skills of his ego and the functioning of the

person- situation system.63

Social Case Work Treatment Process

Social case work treatment process begins with the initial contact with the

client. The process of treatment passes through many phases, i.e.,(i) Initial

phase, (ii) Motivation and role induction, (iii) primary contract, (iv) diagnosis

and assessment, (v) establishing treatment goals, (vi) developing treatment plan,

(vii) preparation for actual treatment, (viii) treatment in practice (ix) monitoring

and evaluating the effects of treatment, and (x) planning of follow-up

termination of therapeutic relationship.

I.Initial Phase

The main task of social case worker in the initial phase is to examine how

the problem was brought to his attention. He would attempt to focus on various

aspects of the problem that seem fit to case work treatment. Here the decisions

of the worker are tentative. The initial phase of social case work treatment will

be thought to be completed when the case worker meets the following


1. The issues have been sufficiently identified so as to substantiate that they

are appropriate to the purposes and goals of the service.

2. The participants understand the nature and meaning of the problem with

enough explicitness to permit engagement and participation.

3. The problem is appropriate to the programme, resources, and services of

the setting.

4. The problem fits the practitioner’s skill and capabilities.64

Social case worker develops a preliminary understanding of the problem and

of the client. He also provides psychological support and help to the client and

engages him in a therapeutic relationship. It is quite possible that through this

initial process of treatment, client may learn that he really does not need further

help as the problem has been sufficiently clarified and explained. It is also

possible that the agency may not have concrete service to the client and the case

worker may become bound to refer the case to the particular agency. If the case

is to be continued with the case worker, he takes a decision whether to move

system oriented treatment or towards person centered treatment.

II. Motivation and Role Induction

One of the most important tasks of social case worker at the beginning of

the treatment process is to build and develop the therapeutic relationship

between himself and the client. Workers’s empathy, warmth and genuineness

feelings are high motivating force for the client to take part in the therapeutic

process. The objective of this phase is to the minimizing of premature

terminations and enhance motivation to continue the treatment. At this phase the

worker find the resistances of the client, and its genuineness. He explores

client’s perception of why he is involved in the treatment and how he feels about

being in the agency. He also encourages the client to specify his expectations of

treatment and feelings about seeking help. He attempts to clarify the roles and

responsibilities of both himself and the client. He also clarifies about the type of

services agency can offer and extends the boundaries to those services. These

activities and role of social case worker help to engage the client in therapeutic


III. Primary Contract

The objective of this phase is to develop a preliminary contract with the

client. This contract may be oral or in writing. The case worker thus by making

psychological contract (relationship) sets the stage to move towards more formal


IV. Diagnosis and Assessment

Diagnosis and assessment process are ongoing throughout the entire

treatment. Social case worker provides detailed information about the problem

situation that will help in establishing the treatment goal, a strategy of treatment

and selection of specific procedures of treatment. The case worker assesses the

client’s ego strength, skillfulness, capabilities and capacities in relation to his

problem. He classifies the excesses and the deficiencies in his behavior, and

selects the specific treatment procedures to be used to overcome the problem. He

assesses whether the client needs advice, counseling, behavior modification,

crisis intervention or consultancy services like teaching, consultation,

interpretation, supervision or provision of adult services i.e., material help,

resource location and referral.

V. Establishing Treatment Goals

Social case worker after diagnosis and assessment of the problems of the

client establishes goals for the solution of the problem. He selects any one or

more goals of the following: (i) prevention of breakdown, (ii) ego strengthening,

(iii) restoration of social functioning, (iv)creation of opportunities for growth

and development, (v) self-direction experience, (vi) social participation

experience, (vii) change in the environment. Social case worker along with this

work, points out the negative and positive result that may come out due to

change in the behavior patterns of the client or due to environmental

manipulation. Though the client has the major say in deciding on goals the case

worker plays an important role by clarifying a variety of alternative goals for his


Developing Treatment Plan

Treatment planning involves three major dimensions: formulating of a

strategy, selection of specific treatment procedures and developing a method for

evaluating the impact of the treatment programme. Social case worker decides

whether the primary thrust of the invention or treatment will be system –

centered, person – centered or both. He, then, makes a judgment as to which of

the key roles of case worker are most suited to the particular problem. The entire

process of formulating a treatment strategy may be depicted as.

Preparation for Actual Treatment

Preparation for actual treatment phase involves several specific steps such

as collecting all possible information, formation of action system, preparation of

mediator (s) if needed, change of significant elements in the client’s environment

to increase the probability of getting desired result, make an attempt to make the

new behaviour acceptable to the client and to provide high level of close

relationship with the client.

Application of Treatment Methods

In order to achieve the goals set by the case worker, conventionally the

following method of social treatment have been mentioned

1. Administration of practical service

2. Indirect treatment (environmental manipulation)

3. Direct treatment.

1. Administration

The client is extended help to choose and use the social resources

afforded by the community. Porter Lee66 was the first social worker. Who

emphasized and classified such resources into executive and leadership.

Administration of practical service means to help the client in such a way that he

could select and use the resource available in the community. Social case

worker, helps he client for an adequate knowledge of available resources through

the techniques of discussion information. Clarification and direction. The use of

services is essential to solve any kind of problem and if the problem is of social

nature, then it becomes more essential for the worker to help the client in this

direction. These services take the form of treatment as they satisfy his needs and

give satisfaction. The client knows the type of services he need but he does not

know how to reach these services. It is the job of case worker to take the client to

the resources. Money, medical care, nursery schools, scholarships, foster homes,

legal aid, recreational facilities, etc., are such type of services that any person

may nee in order to resolve a given problem in his daily living.

Indirect Treatment (Environmental Manipulation)

Environmental manipulation means to bring change in the social

conditions of the client so that he may be relived from excessive stresses and

strains. The case worker suggests as to what steps may or may not help the client

to cope better with hi problems. He plans with him a to his emotional,

professional and recreational activities. He gives an appropriate advice to

members of his environment and modifies their attitudes favorably. Through

interview is used in this method but the man emphasis is laid to change in his

conditions. When social resources and systematized social conditions are used as

main sources for the solution of the problem, it becomes social treatment. Home

services, camps, group experience activities, training and employment for

livelihood and other activities of adjust mental nature are such type of

programmes. The purpose of such activities is always to minimize the load of

tension in the client.

Social case worker organizes such type of activities through which the

client’s experiences help in his personality growth and adjustment in the society.

Through practical services are also made available but eh focus is always on

change in conditions. Attempts are also make to change and modify the attitude

of parents, teaches, spouse, employer, friends and relatives in accordance with

the needs of the client.

In general, environmental modification (manipulation) is undertaken by

the case worker only when environmental pressures upon the client are beyond

the latter’s control but can be modified by the case worker. 67

3. Direct Treatment

Perlman sees direct treatment a the provision of a systematic but flexible

way in which the client can work over his problem, his relation to it and possible

solutions. Here case worker exerts his influence directly on the client. Direct

treatment techniques are used where the clients needs direction because of his

ignorance, anxiety, and weaken of his ego strengths. The degree of influence, the

case worker I able to exert, may depend on the relationship between himself and

the client.

Direct treatment is given through counseling, therapeutic interviewing,

clarification and interpretation leading to an insight. Supportive treatment for the

direct benefit of the client I provided through guidance, externalization of

interests, re – assurance suggestion, persuasion and advice.

Counseling: is a personal help directed toward the solution of a problem which

a person finds that he cannot solve himself and on which he, therefore, seeks the

help of a skilled person whose knowledge, experience and general orientation

can be brought into play in an attempt to solve the problem. It is a psychological

help in which information and clarification are used for making the client aware

about the problem. It is always used for some particular purpose like marriage

counseling, occupational counseling, family counseling, school counseling, etc.

Therapeutic Interviewing: Therapeutic interviewing is used where intra –

psychic conflict is projected to the environmental or neuroses or behaviour

disorders are acted out. The purpose of such interviewing is that of

psychotherapy which aims towards personality growth in the direction of

maturing, competence and self – actualization. For the analysis of the

unconscious, social case worker applies the techniques of free association, dream

interpretation, analysis of resistance and transference. For behaviour

modification, social case worker makes use of the techniques of positive

enforcement, negative enforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment,

systematic desensitization and covert desensitization.

Sometimes faulty communication, faulty interaction play basic role in

developing maladaptive behaviour. For the improvement case interpersonal

relations an correct communication social case worker practices martial and

family therapy techniques and transactional analysis.

Clarification: it is also a kind of counseling through which clarification of

clients himself, his environment and the public with whom he is associated is

made. Social case worker gives such an understanding to the client that he

becomes capable of understanding himself, his environment and his social

network. Clarification my consist of giving the client information about the

environment or people in the environment, which he does not posses and without

which he cannot see clearly what steps he ought to take. 68

Interpretation and Insight

Sometimes conflicting feelings and strong emotions lead the individual to

distort reality so seriously or react to it so inappropriately that understanding is

impossible without the deeper perception. Social case worker interprets the

factors of the problem, related fact, attitude of client and unconscious feelings in

relation to the reality situation. He helps the client to an awareness of his strong

projection of his inner needs and his subjective responses upon the outer world.
Insight development is always accompanied by some degree of clarification

and psychological support.

Psychological Support:

Psychological support is useful in decreasing tension and guilt, increasing

self – confidence, encouraging healthy functioning or a way of functioning that

maintains the client’s equilibrium and in helping him to build up compensatory

strengths and satisfaction. The following help is provided to the client. He I

encouraged to express his feelings. Case worker accepts him and his feelings,

and shows keen interest in him. He clarifies the problem and encourages him to

take his own decision. Social case worker, though psychological support does

not develop understanding in the client but applies reinforcement for his ego

strength through the technique of guidance, reassurance, suggestion, persuasion

and advice.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring provides the crucial feedback to case worker and the client

regarding whether the treatment programme is succeeding a desired, whether

established goals have been achieved, whether modifications in the programme

are necessary and whether the client is being helped in real sense. Social case

worker evaluates the content of the programme and its effectiveness inner

strength gained by the client and success of himself in helping the client.

Planning Follow – Up And The Termination Of Therapeutic Relationship

It is neither wise nor necessary for the termination to be an abrupt one.

The frequency and amount of contacts should be gradually decreased.

Particularly, the follow- up should be planned on a progressively demising basis,

first, perhaps alter two weeks, then a month hence then three months, six month

and a year following the termination of the formal programme.71


The goal of social case work is to solve client’s problems by developing

his capacities and capabilities so that he may realize satisfaction and happiness.

To achieve this goal, case worker studies social and psychological conditions of

each client. The problems generally arise when an individual fails to fulfill his

role in a particular situation or hi ego is not performing its obligations

satisfactory. Both the situation make the process of adaptation difficult for the

individual. Thus, the case worker studies social roles of the clients’ adaptation

level and ego functioning to put clear diagnosis for proper treatment. These

concepts, are discussed here.


The term role is used to designate the sum total of the cultural patterns

associated with a particular status. It thus includes the attitudes, values and

behaviour ascribed by the society to any and all persons occupying this status…

in so far as it represents overt behaviour.

A person’s role is a pattern or type of social behavior which seems

situationally appropriate to him in terms of the demands and expectations of

those in his group. When a number of interrelated behavioural patterns are

clustered around a function, we call this combination a social role.

Social rolemay be defined as the institutional group expectation as to

behaviour, attitudes and other attributes for the occupant of a given position in a

social system. Every society is composed of familial, educational, economic,

political, religious, etc, institutions of ensure the adequate development of each

and every member of society. the ensue proper and continuous functioning of

these institutions every individual is assigned to fulfill certain obligation.

Expectations vary according to the position the individual occupies in a family, a

work situation, in a school or in other institutions. Expectation are also being

changed according to the changing social system. Normally balance is

maintained between the changing expectation of the society an the changing

values and capacities of an individual.

When there are period of sharp transition either in individual’s life cycle

as he enters in another role expectations, or modification and sudden changes

happen in the social system, a critical imbalance develop between person –

social equilibrium. In such a situation he is bewildered and confused in

understanding his role. If he find position and status in society otherwise he will

no longer enjoy the same position is the social system. And because of lowering

of social position, he suffer from stresses and strains. When this kind of problem

occurs social work may provide services which enable the person to reassume

productive membership in the institutionalized group of his society. 76


The person’ ‘being and becoming’ bahviour is both shaped and judged

by the expectations he and his culture have invested in the status and the major

social roles he carries. Every person occupies some position or status in a

society. he has status in lieu of certain major functions which he fulfils. Every

status is associated with certain expectations. For example, a man in the role of

further is supposed to act in a certain way toward his children, a women in the

role of wife to behave in certain ways towards her husband. Such types of

behaviour in the form of roles an individual learns through the process of

socialization. In the social transaction if he fails to perform his roles as expected,

he feels shy and shame, mental stress and strains.


In complex society the individual needs high level of adaptability to

fulfill the numerous roles. He is supposed to perform different type of roles

every day. He may feel difficulty in doing so because of the lack of training or

knowledge or skill and thus conflict occurs within the person himself. On other

occasions conflict occurs when there is refusal or inability to conform to the

expectation inherent in status and role. Conflict may also arise when a person

has not adequate opportunity to learn the roles. Sudden new situations also bring

conflict in the performance of the roles.

When a person’s feelings and ideal of himself are compatible with each

other and with the social reality, and when he is clear about permissions and

obligations, his role is a source of gratification and of expansion of his

personality. If he feels satisfaction in performing a major role as of father/

mother/ husband, it becomes possible for him to learn or struggle with

frustration in other aspects of his life. But when he fails or feels disturbance and

barriers in the social outlets, some degree of frustration is experienced by him

resulting in self – devaluation.


The person who is in trouble approaches the social case work agency for

help. He needs help because he is unable to carry on one or more of his roles

with satisfaction. This maladjustment or be either because as to what,

realistically, the role’s requirements are, its firm requisites, and the range of

variations permissible within it. Then, within this objective frame of reference,

the individual client’s behaviour must be viewed and assessed as to the nature of

the maladaptation whether it stems from conflict between what he wants and

what he can be or between what he wants and what he must be, from some

unrealistic interpretation of what his role embraces, from some lack of

preparation to engage in the necessary behaviours, or from the loss of external

supports. 78


The forces of the human personality are combined in three major

functions: (1) the life emerges that seek satisfactory outlets;(2) the check system,

automatic or voluntary, that halts, modifies, or rechannels those drives to make

their ends acceptable to their owner and his environment; and (3) the organizing

and governing operations that control the negotiations and balance within the

person himself, as between himself and his physical and social environment the

names Freud gave to these are the ‘Id’, ego’, the super – ego.

Ego is the sum total of the integrating efforts of the personality, the sum

total of all the mechanisms of dealing with conflicts. The functions of ego are

four fold; perception of internal subjective wants and needs; perception of

external and relevant reality demands and opportunities, integration mediation

operations between the two sets of perception towards selection an choosing of

means for gratification by the ‘reality principle’, planning and/ or management

of conscious, voluntary behaviour. From the very beginning of birth to the

moment of death every human being is continuously engaged in problem –

solving work in order to maintain hi stability, and effectiveness to achieve higher

status in society. that process of ego functioning by which a person perceives

inner or outer reality, reads it mean, an variously adapts, defends, protects,

copes, accommodates, treats, renounces, compromises, chooses, grapples and

engages himself with his reality that process is the way by which a person feels

with his encountered problems, whether those problems are in the nature of

pleasure to be gained or unpleasantness to be avoided. 80 Ego qualities are many;

among them are abilities of perception (accurate/ distorted), judgment (rational/

irrational, considered/hasty), reality testing (working at things as they are, or,

resorting to fantasy), self – image (realistic, inflated / denigrated), impulse

control (too little, too much), and executants ability ( can they do things organize

themselves to achieve, persist). In persons with ‘weak’ or under – developed

ego, these functions may not be fulfilled satisfactorily and the person may feel

incapability in problem solving. The job of the case worker is to deal whose ego

functions either are undeveloped or are under the excessive anxiety, strains and


The problem under great stress and strains due to failure of ego –

functioning uses defense mechanisms consciously or unconsciously to protect

the ego. These defenses may be rational or irrational. Irrational defenses are

unstable techniques for adjustment as they create more problem. Social case

worker analyses other defences and tries to know how the client perceives his

current situation, utilizes knowledge gained in past experiences and how he tries

to solve his problems. He thus, by studying functioning of the ego, obtains the

knowledge of client’ inner strength, thought process and perceptional insight. On

the basis of this knowledge he prepares plan for his treatment or help.


When a person faces new adjective demand he receives it in the form of

particular problem based on its similarities to and differences from previous

ones. If he faces a stress situation for which existing categories are inadequate,

he is forced to examine it as a unique situation and tries to discern its key

dimensions. If the individual evaluates the stress situation as non – threatening

or only mildly menacing, he is likely to deal with it in terms of old patterns that

require little thought or effort. On the other hand, if he anxiety and to interrupt

other ongoing activities and focus on coping with it. The individual’s threat

appraisal may be in error. He may perceive danger where none exists, fails to

perceive it where it does exist or exaggerate, or minimize the threat.

If he feels competent to handle a stress situation, his behaviour tends to be

task oriented i.e., aimed primarily at dealing with the requirements of the

adjustive demand. He offers the bet channel for using and coordinating resources

in constructive action, but if he faces severe stress and feels incapable of meeting

the demand he uses mechanism such as denial of reality, fantasy, repression,

rationalization, projection, reaction formation, displacement, withdrawal, etc.

thus its is quite clear that adaptation to stressful situation is made basically on

three different levels:

1. Use of well known practiced method of adaptation.

2. Simple defensive mechanism like pairing, flight, withdrawal, etc.
3. Destructive defenses like severe regression, severe withdrawal, adathy,
and other mental disorders symptoms.

The first level of adaptation gives satisfaction and new energy to the

person but others two are harmful for he proper growth an development.

In a stressful situation, involving a client who presents evidence of

inadequacies in current role functions, and whose mode of adaptation seems

either (a) appropriate (not markedly regressive), or else, at the other extreme. (b)

markedly inappropriate and regressive, and who demonstrates the possession of

either (a) a clear perception of the problems and what may be needs for their

solution – evidence of effective ego functioning or (b) markedly inaccurate or

distorted perception of the problems - evidence of grossly ineffective ego

functioning, the goals and techniques of environmental modification and ego

support are applicable. With a diagnosis of relatively strong ego functioning,

of some but not marked regressive modes of adaptation, and of rather satisfying

and effective performance in key social roles, the case worker may engage with

clients in the goals and techniques of clarifying the effects and meaning of the

client’ behavious. 82



The diagnostic school is basically founded on the Frudian Theory of

Psycho - analysis. The credit for giving shape to these thoughts in the form of a

school goes to Mary Richmond who wrote a first book on social case work i.e.,

“Social Diagnosis’ in 1917. however, the approach changed drastically as it wa

influenced by the happening of the world and growth of personality and social


The contributors of this school were Marion Kenworthy (New York

School of Social work). Betsey Libbey ( Family Society of Philadelphia),

Gordon Hamilton, a teacher and writer, others were Bertha Reynolds, Charlotte

Towle, Florence Day, Lucille Austin, and Annette Garrett who contributed by

their writings and practices.

The Diagnostic School is based on the following main foundations.

1. Principles of Diagnosis

Social case work help is based on the understanding of each client

individually and his problem. It is essential because it gives a realistic basis for

differentiation and gives a base for the improvement of the client’s social
situation and personal satisfaction and adjustment. In 1922 Marry Richmond

pointed out that the case work involved two types of insights, one into the

individually and another into the social environment, and two types of action,

one through direct action of mind upon mind and another through indirect action

in the social environment. The diagnosis is based on the following principles:

1. The diagnostic process consists of a critical scrutiny of a client situation

complex and the trouble concerning which help is sought or needed for

the purpose of understanding the nature of the difficulty with increasing

details and accuracy.

2. Diagnosis is based on the knowledge of the worker about the interplay of

social and psychological factors effecting the clients

3. The knowledge of interaction between inner and outer forces influencing

the client makes the process of diagnosis helpful and therapeutic.

4. Every problem of the individual should be understood in the light of

multiple factors theory.

5. In the initial stage also, relieving of pressure of stresses and strains on the

client, helps the case worker to arrive at a proper diagnosis.

6. The initial appraisal of personality and motivations and their significance

in the development of client’s problem, provides the basis for planning

the treatment of the client’s problem.

7. For the solution of the problem of the client, it is of utmost importance to

gain some knowledge of his current capacity to work and to recognize the

motivating forces in his behaviour

8. The understanding of the psycho – dynamics and the pathological

symptoms of the personality of the client provides the basis of

determining the kind of help that can be appropriately offered.

2. Principles of Treatment

The main objective of the treatment is of alleviating the client’s distress

and decreasing the malfunctioning in the person – situation system. The above

objective is achieved by enhancing the adaptive skills of his ego and functioning

of the person – situation system. It is based on certain principles:

1. The focus of the discussion in the interview is centered on the problem

and ways of resolving it attention is paid to know the obstacles (both

situational and behavioral) that stand in the way of solution.

2. Nature and extent of both the social and psychological factors differ in

each situation, treatment goals and techniques are planned after the

careful study of the particular need of the client.

3. The success of the treatment programme is based on the utilization of the

relationship purposefully.

4. Change in the client is brought largely through a correctional emotional

experience in the relationship an through stimulating growth experiences

in the social reality.

5. Social therapy and psycho – therapy are the two broad classifications of

social case work treatment

3. Use of Techniques

The treatment objectives determine the use of techniques. They include,

within the framework of relationship, encouraging, emotional, discharge,

reassurance, support, suggestion guidance and direction, provision of new

experiences, clarification interpretation, and so forth.84

4. Use of Relationship

The relationship is the medium of treatment through which client is

enabled to find new ways to perceiving his problems and of handling himself. It

gives the client a sense of being listened, being given importance. The case

worker’s understanding of the dynamics of the relationship makes it possible to

provide some gratification, protection, an guidance to the client when his ego

need support, and at the same time to help the client marshal strength to meet his

life situation. 85


The ‘functional approach’ to social work practice was developed by the

faculty members of the School of Social Work of the University of Pennylvania.

This approach is based on the personality theory of Otto Rank. According to

Functional School social case work is a method for engaging a client through a

relationship process, essentially one to one, in the use of a social service toward
his own and the general social welfare. Function case work is a method of

helping people through special services given by social agencies, in such a way

that the constructive. 87 Thus the functional approach of social case work has two

inseparable aspects,

1. Potentials for help to a person is inherent in the existence of service. In

spite of the differences in the clients, an ways of using of agency’s

services, the kind of service an agency gives and its purpose remain the


2. The use of agency services gives psychological experience that differs

from the form of another kind of service regardless of the similarity of

problem in the people using the two services.


That diagnosis is most effective which is related to the use of some

specific service an which is developed in the course of giving the service. This

school does not recognize the significance to understand total situation of the

client. The worker bring his own understanding through a process of

professional education and experience.

Functional diagnosis recognizes that people cannot be categorized and a

plan with a specific kind of service or plan on the basis of firm diagnosis by

category of clients, may deny potential growth and change. In establishing a

diagnosis each individual makes his own diagnosis of himself and revises that

diagnosis, as he in fact becomes different. Diagnosis is a way of engaging in a

human relationship process which frees the help seeker to determine his own

goal for himself. He himself is the cantre for change capable of continuous

growth and development.


Functional School

A patient’s transference to the analyst is only that part of the patient’s

reaction to the analyst which repeats the patient’s reactions to a person who has,

at some previous time, played an important role in the patient’ life.93

When a patient recounts free associations, he soon speaks of events or

fanatics of vital interest to himself, and when these are told, the listener is

gradually invested with some of the emotions which accompany them. The

patient gradually begins to feel that the sympathetic listener is loved or hated, a

friend or an enemy, one who is nice to him or one who frustrates his needs and

punishes him. The feelings toward the listener becomes more and more like

those felt toward the specific people the patient is talking about, or, more

exactly, those his unconscious “is talking about”. This special of object

displacement during psycho – analysis is called transference. 94


‘Transfer’ was introduced into social work literature by Jessie Taft in

1924 who described it as “an emotional relationship to the client”. Hamilton

defines transference as a carrying over of irrational elements from other,

relationships, particularly in the past, displaced on to the social worker,

reflecting unconscious motivation. All relationships are based on previous

experiences with people however, the psycho – analytic term ‘ transference’

refereeing to specific irrational responses of the client to the worker, as though

the worker was some person in the client’s previous experience, is frequently

used to refer any positive or negative feelings of the client for the worker. In this

sense, the therapeutic relationships would be viewed as a transference

relationship, as opposed to a real relationship, thus permitting the worker to

insulate himself or herself from any true reactions and personally meaningful
interactions with the client. A from a home where his father was an arrogant

and domineering person. As a man the client has never been able to get along

with his boss or any other figure of authority. In the case work situation, he

transfers to the case worker hostile feelings of the type of he originally felt

toward hi father and accuse the case worker of the same arrogant treatment at the

hands of his father.


Transference is of two types: positive and negative. If the parents of the

client have been friendly an helpful, even though imperfectly or unsuccessfully

but with the child’s (client) interest at heart, he will transfer a desire for help,

friendship, guidance, emotional support and interest. It is positive transference.

If during client’s early development the parents had not shown interest in him

and were indifferent, then the client will transfer feeling of unfriendliness,

suspicion and distrust it is negative transference. If the transference is positive,

help can be given more quickly and easily. When the transference is negative,

then part of the work of the case worker is to help the client understand the

origin of he negative feelings and work toward making them more positive.


Relationship is a two way process. Social case worker has also

unconscious tendency to transfer out the client. As in the case of transference,

these counter transference feelings, both positive an negative, are unconscious

but operate with force. Therefore, it is the job of case worker to recognize his

feelings and must control them.


There are three stages in dealing and using transference in social case

work. these stages are:

1. Understanding the Transference.

2. Utilizing the transference,

3. Interpreting the transference. Understanding of the transference is

essential for the worker as it helps to understand the behaviour of the

client and to recognize its significance in his development process. It also

explains the present unconscious needs of the client. Understanding of the

transference of factors i.e. the present behaviour and problem, the

environmental forces, the past experiences and earlier relationships.

Utilization of the transference depends on the understanding of the social

case worker of the phenomena. It explains many cures or treatments of

emotional disturbance by life situations and by fortune relationships with other

problems. The recognition of a transference need permits the establishment of a

relationship between a case worker and a client which allows for the utilization

of such techniques a suggestion, advice, counseling, and education. 99

The interpretation of the transference, that is, confronting the individual with

the awareness that his behaviour is the repetition of a specific unconscious

infantile is definitely part of psycho – analytical therapy and requires is

preparation of the individual by the careful analysis of his unconscious


Use of transference in Diagnosis

The person who comes for help, knows external factors of hi problem and

has little resistance discussing them. In such case a positive reality relationship is

sufficient for diagnosis. When the emotional factors are involved in the problem,

the client will not like to disclose them easily and most of the time will avoid on

that particular issue. In such cases transference becomes necessary because apart

from the resistance due to personal reasons due to personal reasons involved in

the problem, he is not fully aware about its existence in him. Transference

diminishes these resistance to some extent and thus helps him to talk more freely

and friendly. It is the transference which gives clues by which social gives an

insight into the client’s personality and helps in identifying his weakness as well

as his strengths an ego functioning. On the basis of the understanding of the ego

strength, social case worker prepares treatment plan for the client.

Use of transference in Treatment

In case work, transference is developed in terms of psycho – social

interaction to reveal specific relationship and situations rather than being held
within the worker client focus, as such. Transference is designed to free the

patient sufficiently so that he may think and feel more realistically about his

behaviour and relationships, to support him in great feelings of adequacy and

confidence, and to mobilize him to express his powers creatively in social

situation. Transference promotes a feeling on the part of the client that his

problem is being shared and case worker is genuinely interested in his welfare.

This feeling of the client makes him easy, calm, less burdened with anxiety and

opens the road for fruitful solution.

The feeling of sharing of the client is his identification with the worker

who develops transference. Thus the transference helps in treatment in a number

of ways.

1. The mature ego strengths of the worker serve to reinforce the weak ego

strengths of the client.

2. The client feels relaxed.

3. The client starts abandoning resistances.

4. He perceives the problem situation more realistically.

5. The worker , when he does not respond neurotically, helps the client to

see and bear the reality.

6. Identification with the worker gradually helps the client to strengthen his

ego power and capacity for reality testing and problem solving.

The effects of transference are many but it is the leaven of treatment, not

treatment itself. 103


Counseling is social case work was started by Bertha Reynolds in 1932.

counseling is a personal help directed toward the solution of a problem which a

person finds the cannot solve himself and on which he therefore. Seeks the help

of a skilled person whose knowledge, experience an general orientation can be

brought into play in an attempt to solve problem. 104

Counseling is essentially a process in which the counselor assists the

counselee to make interpretations of facts relating to a choice, plan or adjustment

which he needs to make it is face to face situation in which by reason of

training, skill or confidence vested in him by the other, one person helps the

second person to face, perceive, clarify, solve, and resole adjustment problem.
The process by which the structure of the self is relaxed in the safety of the

relationship with the therapist, and previously denied experiences are perceived
and then integrated into an altered self is called counseling. It is a warm,

permissive, safe, understanding, but limited social relationship within which

therapist and patient discuss the effective behaviour of the latter, including his

ways of dealing with his emotionally toned needs and the situations that give

rise to them. 108

Counseling aims at enabling individuals to solve present problems to

prepare themselves for future tasks, to attain higher standards of efficiency and

well – being and to develop personal resources for growth 109

The Committee on Definition of Division 17 of the American

Psychological Association describes the objectives of counseling by stating that

the counseling psychologist contributes to the following.

(a) The client’s realistic acceptance of his own capacities, motivations and

self – attitude

(b) The client’s achievement of a reasonable harmony with his social,

economic and vocational environmental, and

(c) Society’s acceptance of individual differences and their implications for

community, employment, and marriage relations.

Classification is the most important technique of counseling. It is a tool

through the client becomes aware of certain attitudes, feelings, reality versus

subjective concept and permits him to see himself and his environment in a more

objective manner which allows better control of the himself an of situations.

Counseling may include the giving of information, explaining a regime and

analyzing its issue, and analyzing the steps involved in a course of action.


Social case worker not only offers financial relief, help in getting work,

medical and the like to his clients but in addition to these he also provides

counseling help. While the term counseling is used very little in case work

circles. It is used here precisely to emphasize the fact that in giving the client an

opportunity to release his feelings, to find new solutions to his adjustment

problems. The case worker is utilizing the same process a the one used by the

other professional individual described.11 Social case worker in all settings gives

much emphasis on the process of counseling for realizing services are burden

i.e., anxiety and strains. Mostly counseling services are rendered, sanatoria,

prisons, welfare agencies of different types, family welfare centres, etc,

Counseling is provided to the clients under the following conditions:

1. The individual is under a degree of tension, arising from incompatible

describe or from the conflict of social and environmental demands with

individual needs. The tension and stress so created are greater than the

stress involved in expressing his feelings about his problems.

2. The individual has some capacity to cope with life. He possesses

adequate ability and stability to exercise some control over the element

of hi situation. The circumstances with which he is faced are not so

adverse or so unchangeable as to make it impossible for him to control or

alter them.

3. There is opportunity for the individual to express his conflicting tensions

in planned contacts with the counselor.

4. He is able to express these tensions and conflicts either verbally or

through other media. A conscious desire for help is advantageous, but not

entirely necessary.

5. He is reasonably independent either emotionally or spatially, of close

family control.

6. He is reasonably free from excessive instabilities, particularly of an

organic nature.

7. He possess an adequate intelligence for coping with his life situations,

with an intelligence rating of dull, normal or above.

8. He is of suitable age – old enough of deal somewhat independently with

life, young enough to retain some elastically of adjustment. In terms of

chronological age this might mean roughly from ten to sixty.


Counselling is one technique of a social case work which is used to

prepare the client to participate in the treatment plan. These are:

1. Both have the same objective.

The purpose of social case work is to help an individual client to solve his

psycho- social problems in such a way so that he finds himself capable of

dealing with these problems at present and also may solve in future if such

problems arise. Counseling aims at enabling individuals to solve the present

problems, to prepare themselves for future tasks and to attain a higher degree of

efficiency in dealing with his problems.

2. Both deals with the same Type of Clients

The ‘client’ is a man, woman, or child, anyone who finds himself, or is

found to be, in need of helping some aspect of his social – emotional living,

whether the need be for tangible provisions or council.

3. Both deals with the Same Type of Problems

The problems within the purview of social case work are those which

vitally affect or are affected by person’s social functioning. The client of the case

worker sees his problems as lying in some interacting relationship between himself an

some other persons or between himself and his environment. Help is provided to the

client for some readjustment of the self in relation to the demands and expectations of

the social role he plays. Help is also directed to the readjustment of some parts of his

social environment. If the client finds that his inner problems exert such pressure over

his problems of social functioning, he may need counseling.

4. The effectiveness of Both Depends on ‘Relationship’

The relationship is the medium in case work as well as in counseling

through which help is provided to the client. It is the channel of the entire case

work process and counseling process through which the mobilization of the

capacities of the client becomes possible. It plans throughout in interviewing,

study, diagnosis and treatment.

5. Both believe in worth and dignity of the individual

Case work and counseling treat the client as an individual who has right

to get help and reorganize as a person of worth and dignity. He has every right to

make hi choice and decisions himself.

6. Both have common Principles

Social case work and counseling, both believe in the individualization of

all clients irrespective of their similarities in the problems. Both accept the client

as he is and provide opportunities for self – expression. Case worker and

counselor do not give their own judgment to the clients. Client has every right to

determine his own path for his easy recovery from malfunctioning.


1. In counseling, help is provided to the client without social service

whereas the main base of help in social case work is social service.

2. Agency is not essentially required in counseling but social case work is

always practiced in an agency.

3. Concrete help is not provided in counseling. Counselor and client talk

together on the problem but in social case work concrete services is

rendered along with oral discussion.

4. Counselor is concerned most of the time with one type of problem as

there as various counseling agencies but in case work client is studied and

understood as a whole.

5. Social case work gives an emphasis on activity but in counseling, the

client is enabled to understand his problems.
6. In counseling, an emphasis is laid on the problem, not the person
concerned but in social case work the emphasis is basically on client an
the type of service to be provided.
7. Counseling is self – dependent in his counseling but case work services
are provided through agency.


Just as the charity Organization Movement is the parent of social case

work, the club and recreation movements of the nineteenth century and early

twentieth are direct forebears of social group work. 13


Social group work, has developed as a method from two sources, the

Young Men’s Christian Association and Young Women’s Christian Association

and Settlements. YMCA was established by George William in 1844 with the

objectives of giving social and religious welfare and companionship. It was

realized that women and girls were in need of opportunities for recreation,

instruction and Christian companionship. In 1877, Mrs. Kinnird and Miss

Roberts decided to bring two organizations – prayer Union and Coneral training

Institute, together under the name of YWCA.

In America, the first YWCA was formed in Boston in 1866 with the

objective of the temporal, moral, and religious welfare of young women who

were dependent on their own exertions for their support.


Jane Addams was one of the founders of settlements for the purpose of

formation of clubs through the residents of the area could share the cultural

resources of more fortunate segments of the population. The identification of

settlement workers with the life of the area, and the responsibility of the same

group for social reform.14 These objectives were based on the philosophical

tenets. Of (i) the advantages to those who have not the sharing experiences, (ii)

the desirability of strengthening and perpetuating many racial and cultural

characteristics, (iii) the wisdom of providing an opportunity to practice the

Christian way of life, or in other than religious language, the opportunity to

practice democratic and humanitarian principles. 15


In 1885, Mariezakrzewska, who had visited Berlin where she had seen

children playing in sand piles in public parks, opened a sand garden in Boston.

The movement was first confined to the summer months but later on it become a

regular activity. The support of schools and of social agencies greatly

contributed to the rapid development of the playground movement. The school

saw them as a means of supplementing classroom instruction by providing a

form of socialized experience in harmony with the newer theories of progressive

education. Social agencies, including settlements, saw them as an outlet for

youthful and as a means of forestalling delinquency. 16

The War Camp Community Service organized during World War I,

helped greatly to accelerate the recreation movement.

Recreation activities such as playground, sports, athletics, pageants,

parades, Community music, dancing, handicrafts, discussion, debates, etc.

provide the opportunity for self expression and from them derive pleasure and



John Deway and William H. Kilpatrick of Columbia University used

group process for educational achievements, Kilpatrick profounded certain

principles as listed below for education and these principles, formed a

foundation for social group work.

1. Life is itself a positive good …. Not something to be denied or reduced or

simply to be postponed.

2. Personality as such is to be cherished in all men, and as far as possible, on

terms of equality.

3. Change is inherent in human affairs.

4. The free play of intelligence is our final resource to tell us what to think

and to do in all human affairs.

5. Society can no longer run itself on the individidualistic basis of each man

for himself alone.

6. the conscious improving of our culture should be a chief determining,

goal of both social and educational Endeavour. 17


Grace Coyle in ‘Social Process in Organized Groups’ Edward Lindeman

in social Discovery, Mary P. Follett in ‘the New State’ and other writers study

human conduct in society, especially in relation to groups. Their thesis is that for

the preservation of democracy and civilization, we must have education system

based on principles derived by Kilpatrick and social Organizations through

group associations. It is the human association through which development of

integrated personalities is possible and desired social change can be achieved.


The theories of psychology especially of mental hygiene have become an

integral part of social group – work, S.R. Slavson in ‘An Introduction to Group

Therapy’ writes: “In group therapy we work with children who are directly

rejected by parents, family, schools, street gang, and community centre, or

whose powers and personalities are indirectly rejected by pampering and

coddling, as a result of which they are unable to get on with their contemporaries

an with adults. These children are actively hostile and destructive or reject the

world by withdrawing from it. They are either excessively aggressive or

excessively withdrawn; obsessed with great fears on guilt, they overcompensate

for them by non – social or antisocial behaviour. 18


Dougias has mentioned the following basic assumptions upon which

group work practice is founded.

1. That group experience is universal and an essential upon of human


2. That group can be used to affect changes in the attitudes, and behaviour

of individuals.

3. That groups provide experience which can be monitored or selected in

some way for beneficial ends. Life outside the group is in no way

neglected the ‘here and now’ situation within the group.

4. That groups offer experiences shared with others so that all can come to

have something in common with the sense of belonging of growing


5. That groups produce change which is more permanent, that can be

achieved by other methods and change which is obtained more quickly


6. That groups assist in the removal or diminution of difficulties created by

previous exposure to the process of learning.

7. That groups as instruments of helping others may be economical in the

use of scarce resources, e.g. skilled workers, time etc.,

8. That a group can examine its own behaviour and in so doing learn about

the general patterns of group behaviour (process). 19

Coyle has narrate the following basic assumptions of group work. 20

1. A firm conviction of the value leisure time educational and recreational

activities can yield both to the individual and to society.

2. The group worker brings an insight to his job. The group worker always

is aware of two simultaneous streams of activity within the groups. One

the one hand, he sees the programme activities and their progress, games

discussion, business meetings, dramatics or ceramics as the case may be.

On the other hand, he sees an interplay of social relationships which make

the group.

3. The programme must be viewed always in terms of its effect of

individual. This involves, in the first place, keeping his relation to the

group person centered and not activity centered.

4. The group worker is aware of the emotional, social as well as physical

and intellectual aspects of the lives of those with whom he works as well

as their leisure time pursuits related to their work situations, their family

relations and their community attitudes.

5. If group workers are to help individuals seeking recreation and education

to find them in the most fruitful forms they need to understand behaviour.

In general, social group work is based on the following basic assumptions

1. Man is a Group animal,

2. Social interaction is the result of group life,

3. Man’s achievements can be increased, changed and developed through

group experiences.

4. The capacity to solve problems may be increased through group


5. Group experiences change the level of individual’s aspirations and


6. Group recreational activities are beneficial to both individual and society.

7. Group experiences have permanent impact on individuals.

8. Group work always focuses its attention on two types of activities-

programme and social relationships in the group.

9. Social group work believes in the principle of ‘whole man’

10. Evaluation of programme activities is done on the basis of its effects on

group members.

11. Individual member may be fully understood and helped in group


12. Knowledge of social sciences is essential for working with the group.

13. Professional knowledge and skills are essential for working with the



When we use the word ‘objectives’ we refer to what we are trying to

accomplish. Here our objectives are statements or formulations of what we are

trying to do in group work.21 Objectives are not merely goals; they are

motivating forces for action, and we move toward them or retreat by concerted
action. The objectives should be clear because they help the worker in the

determination of the kinds of programmes need for the fulfillment of the group

goals. They provide the guidance through which the group worker proceeds in

his mission. The utilization of skills, techniques, resources, financing,

equipments and other physical necessities are based on the objectives.

The group worker enables various types of groups to function in such a

way that both group interaction and programme activities contribute to the

growth of the individual, and the achievement of desirable social goals.23

According to Wilson and Ryland, social group work has two objectives: (1) to

help individuals use groups to further their development into emotionally

balanced, intellectually free and physically fit persons, (2) to help groups
achieve ends desirable in the economic, political and social democracy.

Trecker’s view is that the purpose of social group work is to bring about the

highest possible development of human personality, dedicated and devoted to

the democratic ideals. Specht thinks that social group work brings change in

internal personality; encourages to accept new roles; brings closeness in

interrelations among group members; improves the conditions of systems and

also in communication process.26 In short, it can be said that it enables groups to

achieve personally enriching and socially productive goals. 27

Konopka 28 has mentioned the following objectives of group work method.

1. Individualization – It helps the individual to free himself while being

helped to interact with his fellowmen.

2. Development of sense of belonging.

3. A basic development of the capacity to participate.

4. Increase of the capacity to contribute to decisions on grounds of rational

thinking and through group deliberation.

5. Increased respect for differences among people.

6. Development of warm and accepting social climate.

Heap 29 has mentioned different objectives on the basis of the type of groups.

1. Some social work groups aim primarily at alleviating social isolation.

Such groups have the preventive function of reducing the debilitating

effects of isolation, as well as more creative purposes of life enrichment

and increasing self esteem. This is a common aim of work with the aged

and infirm, handicapped and psychiatric patients.

2. Another aim is that of orientating and preparing people for new

experiences which may arouse uncertainty, disorientation, or fear, such

cases are the predischarge group prison inmates, or psychiatric patients,

intake groups in mental hospitals and children’s hospitals.

3. Other groups are mainly intended to contribute to the social learning and

maturation of people who encounter obstacles to normal social growth

and development. This kind of social group work is most often found in

the youth service and maladjustment children.

4. Another aim of social work with groups is that of solving problems.

5. It aims at solving specific environmental problems which affect the group

members i.e. helping slum dwellers for the improvement of the


In general social group work fulfills the following needs of the human being.

1. Social group work fulfills human needs such as need of love, affection,

feeling security, to have enjoyment, etc.

2. Social group work is a technique means of solving isolation problems

especially in urban areas where man lives among thousands but feels


3. Self – reliance is developed through group activities. Maladjusted

children are treated through group programmes.

4. The feeling of being accepted is satisfied with the help of group work

activities. Evidences have proved that in the becomes either a mental case

or antisocial case. Social group work provides the opportunity to each of

its members to feel creative and honoured member of the group.

5. Social group work helps in developing self – confidence. Every member

is given the responsibility to carry his role independently in relation to

other role. Thus, the essential element of life is again re-charged in group


6. Social group work helps in solving adjustmental problems. One fails to

adjust in family and community because of certain reasons. These reasons

may be: his authoritarian attitude, aggressive tendencies, inactivity, not

realizing his roles, tendency of dependency, denial of others’ authority,

misutilization of group resources or fantasy, Group experience is the best

remedy for all these abnormal behaviour symptoms.

7. Sometimes due to physical injury or congenital deformities, one becomes

totally or partially dependent on others. In such situations the sufferer

feels disgusted, isolated and helpless creature. Social group work gives an

opportunity to realize and accept his dependency and encourages to adopt

a new way of life that makes his life pleasurable.

8. Relations are made real and productive through group experience.

9. Psychosocial problems are solved and managed through the group work


10. Democratic values equality, opportunity, liberty and development, are

developed through group experience.

11. Social group work is the best method for proper development of


12. Social group work provides recreation.


In a general sense, skill means the capacity to perform. The Webster

dictionary defines it as “Knowledge of, and expertness in, execution and

performance”. Virginia Robinson refers as “the capacity in such a way that the

change that take place in the material is affected with the greatest degree of

consideration for and utilization of the quality and capacity of the material.31

Trecker defines method and skill: “Method means the purposeful use of insights

and understandings based upon a body of knowledge and principles. Skill is the

capacity to apply knowledge and understanding to given situation. Method is

the use of process; skill is capacity to use it.

To become more productive, a group worker needs to develop the

following abilities and skills in the group

1. To exchange ideas among the members freely and clearly, using language

understood by everyone and with no fears of starting arguments or

hurting feelings.

2. To examine objectively how well the group and its members are working.

3. To share the leadership jobs among the group members and to become

sensitive to the feelings of all.

4. To accept new ideas and new members into the group without irreparable

conflict, and to discipline itself to work toward long range objectives, and

to profit from failures.

5. To think clearly about its own problems, finding causes and working

through to some solutions.

6. To adjust its procedures and plans to meet the feelings and the desires of

the members.

7. To create new jobs or committees as needed and to terminate them, or the

group itself, when the need is passed. 33 Trecker 34 has listed the following

basic skills of social group work.


(a) The group worker must be skillful in gaining the acceptance of the group and

in relating himself to the group on a positive professional basis.

(b) The group worker must be skillful in helping individuals in the group to

accept one another to join with the group in common pursuits.


a) The worker must be skilful in judging the developmental level of the

group to determine what the level is, what the group needs, and how

quickly the group can be expected to move. This calls for skill in direct

observation of groups as a basis of analysis and judgment.

b) The group worker must be skilful in helping the group to express ideas,

work out objectives, clarify immediate goals and see both its potentialities

and limitation as a group.


a) The group worker must be skilful in determining, interpreting, assuming,

and modifying his own role with the group.

b) The group worker must be skilful in helping group members to

participate, to located among themselves, and to take responsibility for

their own activities.


a) The group worker must be skilful in controlling his own feelings about

the group study each new situation with a high degree of objectively.

b) The group worker must be skilful in helping groups to release their own

feelings, both positive and negative. He must be skilful in helping groups

to analyse situations as a part of the working through group or intergroup



a) The group worker must be skillful in guiding thinking so that interests

and needs will be revealed and understood.

b) The group worker must be skilful in helping groups to develop

programmes which they want as a means through which their needs may

be met.


a) The group worker must have skill in recording the development processes

that are going on as he works with the group.

b) The group worker must be skilful in using his records and in helping the

group to review its experiences as a means of improvement.

Phillips25 has enumerated the following skills of social group work:

1. Skill in using agency function

The skillful worker carries the function in himself, not needing to protest

it by words but directing all of his efforts consistency toward what the agency is

in the community to do, and contributing to the doing of it.

1. The Intake process

The worker who meets the applicant, while carrying out the agency’s

procedures for intake, will discuss with him what he particularly wants from the

agency as well as what is available there for him to consider both the privileges

and responsibilities of agency memberships.

2. Connecting the group with the agency

The worker relates the group more firmly to the agency by helping it to

understand what the agency stands for and what kind of responsible behaviour is

expected of them as well as of other groups.

3. Serving the individual through the group work process

Since the function of the agency includes helping group units to develop

in socially useful ways, as well as helping individuals, the worker’s attention

must simultaneously be on the development of the group as whole, and each

individual’s use of the group.

4. Working with the individual outside the group meetings

Although the worker’s help toward fulfilling the purpose is offered

primarily within the group process, part of that help may be given through

individual contacts with members, to the end that they may make better use of

the group experience.

5. The referral process

An important part of the group work agency’s service is to work with

members and their parents in a process of considering the use of other

community services for help with problems that cannot be dealt within the group

work agency, possibly eventuating in a referral.

II. Skill in Communication of Feelings

1. The Worker’s Feelings

High among the qualities essential to a social worker’s skill is the

capacity to feel the others.

2. The group Members feelings

The worker must be skilful in helping the group members to know,

accept, express and be responsible for their feelings

3. Group feelings

The interaction of each member to the others and to the worker produces

some group feelings. This worker helps the groups in understanding their

feelings and its meanings

III Skill in using the Reality of the present

1. Utilizing the Group’s Current Interest for purposeful Activity

2. Helping the group to responsible decision.

IV skill in stimulating and using Group Relations

1. Group relations as the focus for social group work process. Social

group work has focused its efforts on understanding and using the

worker’s activity in a process that enables each group member to find

and take his part in the whole, in relationship with other members.

2. The use of programme to strengthen group relations.

3. Containment of an essential quality in the worker.

4. Group relation in crisis: The group worker controls the process of

group relations but not the members, by enabling them to take their

active and appropriate part in it.


Douglas36 has described fourteen principles of social group works:

1. Recognition and subsequent action in relation to the unique

difference of each individual

2. Recognition and subsequent action in relation to the wide variety

of groups as groups.

3. Genuine acceptance of each individuals with his unique strengths

and weaknesses.

4. Establishment of a purposeful relationship between group worker

and group member

5. Encouragement and enabling of help and cooperative relationships

between members.

6. Appropriate modification of the group process.

7. Encouragement of each member to participate according to the

state of his capacity and enabling him to become more capable.

8. Enabling members to involve themselves in the process of problem


9. Enabling group members to experience increasingly satisfactory

forms of working through conflicts.

10. Provision of opportunities for new and differing experience in

relationships and accomplishments.

11. Judicious uses of limitations related to the diagnostic assessment of

each individual and the total situation.

12. Purposeful and differential use of programme according to

diagnostic evaluation of individual members, group purpose, and

appropriate social goals.

13. Ongoing evaluation of individual and group progress.

14. Warm human and disciplined use of self on the part of the group


Terence J. Cooke37 has derived the following principles to use as a guide in

applying the philosophy of St. Thomas

1. All individual have common human needs which they seek to satisfy in


2. The primary objective of social group work is the development of the

individual by means of the group in which some of these needs are

satisfied and/or the primary objective of group work is the development

of the individual and the group.

3. In social group work, the group work process, the dynamic interaction

among the members of the group and the worker and the group is the

primary means of personality growth, change and development.

(i) Group Programme

The programme is a means or tool of individual and group development

which should be derived from the basic needs an interests of the group.

(ii) Voluntary Attendance

Voluntary attendance of group members at meetings is essential to good

group work.

4. Since social group work operates in a controlled agency setting, the

group worker is essential to the group work process and he is necessarily one

who has knowledge, understanding and skill in the art of helping people related

to and work with each other.

Friedlander38 has mentioned the following basic principles of social group work:

1. The function of the social group worker is a helping or enabling one. This

means that his goal is to help the members of the group and the group as whole

to move toward greater independence and capacity for self – help.

2. In Determining his way of life, the group workers uses the scientific method –

fact finding (observation), analysis, diagnosis in relation to the individual, the

group, and the social environment

3. The group work method requires the worker to form purposeful relationship to

group members and the group. This includes conscious focusing on the purpose

the sponsoring agency, and as implied in the members’ behaviour. It is

differentiated from causal unfocused relationships.

4. One of the main tools in achieving such a relationship is the conscious use of

self – this includes self – knowledge and self – discipline in relationships

without the loss of warmth and spontaneity..

5. Acceptance of people without accepting all their behaviour: this includes a

basaic respect and love for people, a warmth relating to their strength as well as

to their weakness. It is not sentimentality and is enhanced by understanding of

individual needs and social demands.

6. Starting where the group is. The capacity to let groups develop from their own

point of departure without imposing immediately outside demands.

7. The constructive use of limitations: They must be used judiciously in relation

to individual and group needs and agency function. The forms will vary greatly.

The group worker will mainly use himself, programme materials, interaction of

the group, and awakening of insight in the group members.

8. Individualization

9. Use of the interacting process.

10. The understanding and conscious use of non-verbal programme as well as

verbal material.

Tracker 39 has explained the following principles:

1. The Principle of Planned Group Formation – In social group work, the

group is the basic unit through which service is provided to the

individual, consequently, the agency and worker responsible for the

formation of groups or the acceptance into the agency of already –formed

groups must be aware of the factors inherent in the group situation that

make the given group a positive potential for individual growth and for

meeting recognizable needs.

2. The Principle of Specific objectives – In social group work, specific

objectives of individual and group development must be consciously

formulated by the worker in harmony with group wishes and capacities

and in keeping with agency function.

3. The Principle of Purposeful Worker of Purposeful Worker Group

Relationship- In social group work, a consciously purposeful relationship

must be established between the worker and the group members based on

the worker’s acceptance of the group members as they are and upon the

groups willingness to accept help from the worker because of the

confidence the members have in him and in the agency.

4. The Principle of Continuous Individualization – In Social group work, it

is recognized that groups are different and that individuals utilize group

experience in a variety of ways to meet their differing needs;

consequently, continuous individualization must be practiced by the

worker. Groups and the individuals in the groups must be understood as

developing and changing.

5. The Principle of Guided Group Interaction – In social group work, the

primary source of energy which propels the group and influences the

individuals to change are the interaction or reciprocal responses of the

members. The group worker influence this interaction by the type and

quality of his participation.

6. The Principle of Democratic Group Self- determination – In social group

work, the group must be helped to make its own determine its own

activities, taking the maximum amount of responsibility in line with its

capacity and ability. The primary source of control over the group is the

group itself.

7. The Principle of Flexible Functional Organization- In social group work,

the process through which the worker guides the group in setting up

formal organization is just as important as the actual structure details of

that organization. Formal organization, should be flexible and should be

encouraged only as it meets a felt need, is understood by the members and

can function accordingly. The formal organizational of the group should

be adaptive and should change as the group changes.

8. The Principle of Progressive Programme Experiences – In social group

work, the programme experience in which the group engages should

begin at the level of member interest, need, experience, and competence

and should progress in relation to the developing capacity on the group.

9. The Principle of Resource Utilization – In Social group work, the total

environment of agency and community possess resources which should

be utilized to enrich the content of the group experience for individuals

and for the group as a whole.

10. The Principle of Evaluation – In social group work, continuous evaluation

of process and programmes in terms of outcomes is essential. Worker,

group and agency share in this procedure as a means of guaranteeing this

greatest possible self-fulfillment for all.

A National Committee of the American Association of Group Workers60

formulated the following definition of the functions of the group worker:

The group worker enables various types of groups to function in such as

way that both group’s interaction and programme activities contribute to the

growth of the individual, and the achievement of desirable social goals.

The objectives of group worker include provision for personal growth

according to individual capacity and need, the adjustment of the individual to

other persons, to groups and to society, and the motivation of the individual

toward the improvement of society, the recognition by the individual of his own

rights, limitations and abilities as well as his acceptance of the rights, abilities,

and differences of others.

Through his participation the group worker aims to affect the group

process so that decisions come about as a result of knowledge and a sharing and

integration of ideas, experiences and knowledge rather than as a result of

domination from within or without the group.

Through experience he aims to produce these relations with other groups

and the wider community which contributes to responsible citizenship, mutual

understanding between cultural, religious, economic or social groupings in the

community and a participation in the constant improvement of our society

toward democratic goals.

The guiding purpose behind such leadership rests upon the common

assumptions of a democratic society, namely, the opportunity for each individual

of fulfill his capacities in freedom, to respect and appreciate others and to

assume his social responsibility in maintaining and constantly improving the

democratic society.

Underlying the practice of group work is a knowledge of individual and

group behavior and of social conditions and community relations which are
based on the modern social sciences.

On the basis of this knowledge the group worker contributes to the group
with whom he works skill in leadership which enables the members to use their
capacities to the full and to create socially constructive group activities.

He is aware of both of programme activities and interplay of personalities

within the group and between the groups and its surrounding community.

According to the interests and needs of each, he assists them to get from
the group experience and satisfactions provided by the programme activities, the
enjoyment and personal growth available through the social relations and the
opportunity to participate as a responsible citizen.

The group worker makes conscious use of his relation to the group, his
knowledge of programme as a tool, and his understanding of the individual and
of the group process and recognizes his responsibilities to individuals and groups
with whom he works and to the larger social vales he represents.

In general, Social group worker performs the following activities:


1. Group Formation
Worker studies individual’s attitudes, interests, needs and desires and
unite them on the basis of certain principles. He forms the group according to the
motives and the needs of the agency. He after the interview of the members,
brings out such accepted terms and conditions which unite them together. In the
group formation process, the group worker desires (i) nature of group activities –
recreational, educational, social treatment or mixed; (ii) working methodology,
play, drama, role playing, discussion, work experience, etc; (iii) place of
activities; (iv) frequency of the group meeting; and its meeting time; (v) process
of communications; (vi) selection procedure of the group members ( age, sex,
member, educational, cultural background, etc); (vii) need of the community

2. Programme Planning
Though group members plan and organize activities for themselves but
the worker is the key factor in making these activities lively. He guides and
directs the group so that the maximum creative effects may come out room these
activities and group may avail full benefit out of these activities. He is more
involved in children’s activities. If he works with socially handicapped or
mentally retarded people, he dicides himself most of the activities.

The worker keeps his eyes on the interaction process of the group. If may
member is not taking interest or not participating as he is desired, the worker
helps him. He resolves group conflicts and directs them for healthy interaction.

3. Development of Responsible Participation

Social group work believes that when members of the group behave in a
responsible manner, the group has conductive with more effect on its members.

The following conditions show the nature of belongingness; member accepts the
objectives of the group, interprets them and shows interest in achieving them. He
fulfils his roles and helps others in doing so. He believes in healthy criticism.
The social group worker accomplishes the following activities to gain
responsible participation: He selects only those individuals who want to avail the
facilities in a real sense. He provides them full information above the
programme, facilities in the agency and working methodology. He directs the
group activities keeping in view the needs and desires of each member. He
develops leadership qualities in them so that they take leadership in their hands
and direct their activities. He does not allow any member to dominate the group
and individualizes each member regularly.

4. Direction to the Interaction Process

The basic function of social group worker is to direct the interaction process of

the group. He watches the activities and behaviour of every member of the group. He

keeps his eyes on member’s participation, its frequency, time, duration, order of

participation, interaction level and is direction, contents of interaction and meaning of

activities to the groups members. Generally disorganized interaction appears in he

forms of conflict and apathy. Group work resolves such problems with the help of his

professional skills.

5. Development of Leadership

Group members differ in their talents and abilities. Some are more capable in

the realm of leadership than others. Groups worker’s job is to locate those individuals

who show signs of being able to assume leadership responsibilities thus, the worker on

one hand, finds it necessary to work with these members who are carrying on

leadership duties, and on the other hand helps every member to try our his specific


6. Study and Help of each Individual Member

The group worker works with individual member following ways:

1. He makes aware each member about the aims, objectives, resources, facilities of

the agency.

2. He gains knowledge of attitudes, interest needs and problems of each

individualization. He introduces each member to the group.

3. He advises each member to fulfil his responsibilities and helps in his tasks.

4. When any member fails to fulfil his responsibilities and feels difficulty, the

worker develops an insight and brings the factors to lights which are responsible

for his failure.

5. When any member shows aggressive tendencies or shows of sign f withdrawal,

the worker helps in changing his behaviour.

7. Evaluation

Evaluation is an important task of the worker. Trecker14 has suggested the

following activities under evaluation:

Social Group Work

1. Formulations of objectives for groups and individuals in terms of agency


2. Identification of criteria for judging growth and development of individual and


3. Provisions of programme experiences designed to foster. Growth and changes.

4. Keeping of full records of individual and group behaviour.

5. Analysis of records by applying criteria of growth and development.

6. Interpretation of analytical data to determine whether objective are being


7. Review of programme content and method.

8. Modification of objectives, continuation of evaluation.


Group worker is an employee of the agency and therefore, he uses his knowledge and
skill as a representative of the agency. He must have the following knowledge about the

1. Aims and objectives of the agency.

2. Changing nature of the agency.

3. Geographical, social, psychological, and other factors of the agency.

4. Condition and facilities of the agency.

5. Internal and external policies of the agency.

6. The worker tries to change the group according to the policies of the agency.

7. He helps in the every meeting of the agency.

8. He helps in the growth and development of the agency’s resources.

VIII. Group Diagnosis

How to Diagnosis group Problems

Three most common group problems are:

1. Conflict or night

2. Apathy and non-participation

3. Inadequate decision-making 42

1. Problem of Conflict or Fight in the Group

We find the following group behaviour expressions in conflicting and fighting


1. Members are impatient with one another,

2. Ideas are attacked before they are completely expressed,

3. Members take sides and refuse to compromise,

4. Members disagree to plans or suggestions,

5. Comments and suggestions are made with a great deal of vehemence,

6. Members attack one another on a personal level in subtle ways,

7. Members feel that the group does not have the know-how or experience to get


8. Members feel that the group cannot go ahead it is too large or too small,

9. Members disagree to the leader’s suggestions,

10. Members accuse one another of not understanding the real point, of issue

11. Members bear distorted fragments of other member’s contributions.

Symptoms Possible diagnosis

1 Every suggestion made seems impossible for The group may have been

practical reasons given an impossible job

and members are frustrated

because they feel unable to

meet the demands made of


2 Some members feel the group is too small

3 Everyone seems to feel pushed for time

4 Members are impatient with one another

5 Members insist the group does not have the know

– how or experience to get anywhere.

6 Each member has a different idea of what the

group is supposed to do

7 Whenever a suggestion is made, at least one

member feels it won’t satisfy the large


1 Ideas are attacked before they are completely The main concern of

expressed members is to find status in

the group

2 Members take sides and refuse to compromise

3 There is no movement towards a solution of the


4 The group keeps getting struck on in consequential


5 Members attack one another on a personal level in

subtle ways

6 There are subtle attacks on the leadership

7 There is much clique formation.

S. Symptoms Possible Diagnosis


1 The goal is stated in very general, non-operational Members are loyal to

terms outside groups of

conflicting interests.

2 Members take sides and refuse to compromise

3 Each member is pushing his own plan

4 Suggestions are not built on previous suggestions

5 Each member appearing to start again from the


6 Members disagree to plans or suggestions

7 Members don’t listen to one another, each waiting

or a change to say something.

Symptoms Possible diagnosis
1. There is a goal which members The fight being expressed is constructive,
understand and agree to; members feel involved and are working
2. 2. Most of the comments are hard on a problem.
relevant to the problem;
3. Members frequently disagree to
one-another’s suggestions;
4. Comments and suggestions are
made with a great deal of
5. There are occasional expressions
of warmth;
6. Members are frequently impatient
with one another;
7. There is general movement
towards some solution of the

2. Apathy

Apathy may be expressed in the form of the indifference to the group task, lack

of genuine enthusiasm for the job, lack of persistence, satisfaction with poor work, etc.

The following symptoms are generally seen: frequent yawns, dozing off, no point of

discussion, low level of participation, conversation drags, members coming late and

frequently absent, slouching and restlessness, overquick decisions, failure to follow

through decision, ready suggestions for adjournment, failure to consider necessary

arrangement for the next meeting, reluctance to assume any further responsibility.

Symptoms Possible diagnosis
1. Questions may be raised about:
- What is their job?
- What do they want us to
2. Members fail to follow through
3. There is no expectation that
members will contribute
4. Confused irrelevant statements are
allowed to go without question;
5. Members wonder about the reason
for working on this problem;
6. Suggestions are made that we
work on something else;
7. The attitude is expressed that we
should just decide on anything;
8. The decision does not really
9. Members are inattentive seem to
get lost and not to have heard parts
of the proceeding discussion;
10. Suggestions frequently plopped are
tot taken up and built on y others;
11. No one will volunteer for
additional work.
1. Point are made over and over; Inadequate problem solving procedure.
2. Appears to be unable to develop
adequate summaries;
3. Little evaluation of the process;

4. Little attention to fact finding or
use of special resources;
5. Complaints are made that the
groups’ job is an impossible one;
6. Subgroups are formed;
7. No follow-through on decisions or
disagreement or what the decisions
really were;
8. Always demand for leader’s
1. Two or three members dominate Conflict among few members is creating
all over the discussion, but never apathy in others.
2. Conflict between strong members
comes out no matter what is
discussed, dominant members
occasionally appeal to other’s for
support, but otherwise control
3. Decisions are made by only two or
three members.

3. Inadequate decision-making

Symptoms Possible diagnosis

1. The group swings between making Decision is too difficult or group is low in
too rapid decisions and having cohesiveness and lacking faith in itself.
difficulty in deciding anything;
2. The group almost makes the
decision but at the last minute
3. Group members call for definition
and redefinition of minute points.

1. There are long delays in getting Though goal is important but members
started much irrelevant preliminary fear working toward the group-goal.
2. Embarrassment or reluctance in
discussion the problem at hand;
3. Members emphasize the
consequences of making wrong
decisions, imagine dire
consequences which has little
reference to ascertainable facts;
4. Members make suggestions
5. Members are over-tentative and
hedge their contributions with
may, if’s and but’s;
6. Solutions proposed are frequently
attacked as unrealistic;
7. Suggestions are made that
someone else ought to make the
decision – the leader, an outside
expert, or some qualified person
outside the group;
8. Members insist that they have not
enough information or ability to
make a decision and appear to
demand an unrealistically high
level of competence;
9. Humorous alternative proposals
are suggested, with the group
completely unable to select among
1. No one is able to suggest the first

step in getting started toward the
2. Members seem to be unable to stay
on a given point and each person
seems to start on a new track;
3. Members appear to talk of the past
to misunderstand one another and
the same;
4. Discussion wanders into
1. Lack of clarity about decision; Decision may be threatening because of
2. Disagreement as to where unclear consequences, fear or of reaction
consensus is; of others or fear of failure for the
3. A decision is apparently made but individuals.
challenged at the end;
4. Group members refuse
5. There is continued effort to leave
decision-making to leader,
subgroup or outside source.


Social group work is a professional service which aims to work generally with

the normal people to develop and strength their abilities to establish and maintain

positive relationships with others. Treatment in group work means management of

group situation ship and problems with a view to satisfy the group needs and achieves

satisfying group participation and growth. Persons poorly adjusted in a group are simly

those with poor adjustment in their social life. They have not learned to capitalize

suitably their own potentials. They are relatively static in the face of obstacles or retreat

from pressures instead of meeting the demands of reality.

When group work is used as a therapy, its objectives are different. It is mostly

used dealing with functional illnesses which aims at (1) to relieve tensions and

anxieties in the patients, (2) to help patients resolve some of their conflicts, (3) to assist

patients in arriving at a clear understanding of some of their trouble, and (4) to enable

patients to depend upon their personnel resources in substituting methods of behaviour

which have been chiefly which are satisfying and acceptable for those which have

chiefly defensive.


No specific method have been developed in social group work because its main

objective is to strengthen normal personality and socialization process. Group

members avail of this opportunity if they find the atmosphere of the group congenial

and interest promoting. Group worker’s success depends on the degree of rapport he

has built with group members.

In general, the following methods are used in social group work.

1. Empathy, warm Genuineness

Empathy means to perform the role of others or to realize other’s problems as it

own. The job of the works is to study the group members and mobilize them in

such a away so that they may develop members mobilize them in such a way so

that they may develop an insight of the problem. The worker express this

feeling by touching members, showing favourable facial expression and acting

accordingly. This helps in creating worker’s acceptance by the group members.

Genuineness means the appropriate methods and media for the group activities

to attain its objectives.

2. Self - Discloser

The worker express his own experiences before the group members. It helps

them in understating their problems and learn members. It helps them in

understanding their problems and learn to ease from tension and anxiety. The

time, content and nature of self-disclosure one important and the worker must

keep in accordance with group situation.

3. Disclosure of Confronting behaviour

Sometimes the behaviour of a member of the group is different than what he

says. For example, he says that he is not angry with anybody in the group but is

voice and word expression show that he is angry. They job of the worker is to

clarify these situations and warn members not to allow to happen such


4. Investigation

The group worker prepares an interview schedule for the group members in

order to know the internal and external and feelings of the members. This helps

the worker to diagnose the problem of the group.

5. Support

It is a psychological strategy which is used to strengthen or restructure ego

power in the members of the group. The worker provides an opportunity to the

group to express its feelings and clarifies the positive and negative aspects of

these feelings. He takes interest in group activities and helps at the time of need.

He enables the group to take its own decision for the programme and its


6. Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring refers to complex strategy for changing perceptions of

emotional sets, which seem to impede the group member’s abilities to changes.

Sometimes group fails to arrive at a such help so that it may perceive the reality.

It is the work of group worker to provider such help.

7. Role Playing

Role playing is such a method through which group members gain knowledge

of their roles and other’s roles. Through role playing a member expresses his

feelings, thoughts and action in reference to others. This method is used to

know the reality of life conditions.

8. Partialization

Group worker divides the whole problem into many parts and takes up one for

its solution. He directs the groups to organize activities accordingly. Thus he

enables the group to work in such a way so that it does not have unnecessary

tension. This process helps the group to understand that the problem can be



The major tools the social group worker are:

1. The conscious and disciplined use of himself.

2. The verbal interaction between himself and between members.

3. The discriminate use of programme activities related to the needs of the

individual and the group members themselves.

4. Interaction among the group members themselves.

The worker must have necessary knowledge of human and group behaviour, skills,

techniques, and problem solving capacity. The success of the group work depends on

him. If he is skilled, the group will certainly achieves its objectives. He contributes

especially in the following areas.

1. Establishes purposeful relationship with group, agency and the community and

always tries to make it more effective and purposeful.

2. Participates in the activities f the group, agency and approach and evaluates

himself according to the need of the group.

3. Uses his knowledge and relationship timely.

4. Develops self control, patience, tolerance in himself and works with group in

healthy atmosphere. The basic need for relationship is contact. Group members

and the worker have emotional and psychological variety of tools. They affect

another due to contact interaction. The interaction process donated the fact that

the worker’s reaction, gesture, words or abstracts, bodily movement stimulate

members and they in their turn act toward the worker and group. Stability of

relationship is dependent on the reactions of the participant and “interaction

among the group members themselves.” The worker must be skillful in

directing the interaction process.

The members reveal their personally patterns through the away in which they are

engaged in activities. Knowledge of the potentialities of programme media makes it

possible for the worker to understand the needs so expressed and to help the members

meet these needs through the programme to the group if it is possible to do so. There

are many programme media which are used according to the need of the group. There

are games, play, dance, music, story, telling, drama, arts, crafts, etc.

Growth and development in the group are the result of natural interaction among group

members. In the beginning phase of the group activities, group shows the

characteristics of collection of individuals and group consciousness is of fellow level.

Members take interest in their talks. The social group worker develops a common wish

or desire and increased later on. In general, group interaction has six stages.

1. Members collect together but each interest in him self.

2. Group feeling is developed, from of organization is determined and

programmes are organized.

3. Rules, regulations, and conditions are framed, closeness is increased.

4. High level of group feelings are found and objective are achieved.

5. Members start taking less interest, low level of interaction gradually appears.

6. Group is dissolved.

XI. Democratic Group Process

Process are the ways of dong things, the approaches one takes and the steps are

followed to reach one’s goals. Democratic group process occurs when there is a

permissive, democratic, experimental atmosphere as opposed to a punitive, hostile,

competitive, autocratic climate. The following characteristics are found in democratic

group process:

1. Everyone participates voluntarily.

2. All action is cooperative.

3. Regular interaction occurs among group members.

4. The group formulate goals.

5. Every group member is a ‘change agent’.

6. Group morale discipline are ‘we-centred’.

7. Leadership is a functional of the group.

Analysis of Group Process

To achieve maximum effectiveness with democratic group process, a needs group

thinking, group discussion, group planning, group decision, group, group action and

group evaluation.


It means group intelligence in working process. It shows the ability to work out means

for their accomplishment.


When there is an effective discussion, members participate freely, and the

atmosphere of the group is cooperative. Leadership is assumed by various members of

the group and passes from one to another. Questions stimulate group thinking.

The following techniques should be used to achieve group thinking and

discussion: (1) each person should express his views, (2) no debate but cooperative


3.Group action should develop intolerance of group pathologies such as inability to

arrive at a decision, failure to use member potential, inability to use resources, inability

to evaluate success or failure of group processes, rigidity of organization, prevention of

assimilation of new members, rigidity of role structure etc.


Group evaluation techniques are concerned with the following aspects of evaluation.

1. Evaluation of leadership,

2. Evaluation of the group process,

3. Evaluation of the outcomes or changes brought about in members, and

4. Evaluation of group action in terms of group goals.


By evaluation we mean appraisal or judgement of worth and effectiveness of all

the processes of social group work designed to meet the objectives of the group. It is

essentially the study and review of past operating experience. According to Trecker,

“Evaluation is that part of social group’s experience in relation to the objectives and

function of the agency. Evaluation may be centred upon individual growth, programme

content, on worker performance.49 Evaluation is essential because it enables the worker

to discover to what extent group has achieved its objectives. Evaluation enables the

group to see both strengths and weaknesses and is enabled to discover points at which

group members need to alter their procedures. Well planned evaluation help to

formulate new objectives and to renew unsuited objectives. It further directs the worker

to adjust and modernize his methods of working with group. Evaluation can be

stimulation to greater professional growth. It can be an extension of the learning

process because its very nature is scientific and its aim is educational. 50


Group worker evaluates the following:

1. Evaluation of Individual Growth

Group is composed of individuals. They become the member of the group

because of certain needs and desire. Therefore, the main objective of social group work

is to fulfil these needs and desires in accordance with the prescribed rules and

procedures. But how can the worker be able to know the level of fulfillment of their

needs without evaluating their growth process. The worker evaluates the presence of

each member. He evaluates their level of participation in the group activities.

Sometimes it happens, that the member because of difficulty in adjusting himself in the

group, remains usually absent giving one or the other reason. The worker evaluates the

growth of skills, methods of problems solving, behavior techniques or knowledge

gained by the member through the group experience. The chart (A) has been prepared

for the evaluation of the individual member growth.

(A) Chart for Evaluation

Individual qualities and Nature of growth and change


Regression as usual Slight Major

progress Progress

1 2 3 4

1. Attendance

2. frequency of participation

3.Contact with group

4.Self- esteem


6.Emotional control

7.Contact with reality

8.Frequency of responses

9.Behavioral dynamism


11.Leadership qualities


13.Sympathy for group

14.Loyalty for group

15.Capacity of problem


16.Discussion and


17.Ways of performing task

18.New Knowledge

19.Status in group

20.Breakdown prejudices

Douglas51 has proposed the following capacities to be evaluated for measuring

individual growth. These are : (1) encourages, (2) agrees, (3) arbitrates, (4) proposes

action, (5) asks suggestions, (6) gives opinion, (7) asks opinion , (8) gives information,

(9) seeks information. (10) Poses Problem, (11) defines position, (12) asks position,

(13) routine direction. (14) depreciates self, (15) autocratic manner, (16) disagrees, (17)

self – assertion, (18) active aggression, (19) passive aggression.

2. Evaluation of the group

Group is the medium for achieving individual’s objectives and individual

personality development. Therefore, it is essential for a worker to evaluate the effects

and growth of group as a whole. The group worker evaluates the group organization, a

social responsibility fulfilled by the group, maturity that has achieved, skillfulness, and

expertness has developed, the techniques of problem solving have been learned and

mutual understanding and cooperation have developed among group members.

Bernstein 52 has developed the chart (B) for evaluation of the progress in the group.

(B) Chart for Evaluation

Group Criteria Trends

Regression Static Slight Great

Progress Progress

1 2 3 4 5

1. Attendance

2.Group Organization

3.Group Standards

4.Wider Horizons

5.Social responsibility :

(a) To each other

(b) To agency

(c) To community

6.Enriched Interests

7.Handling conflicts

8.Leadership and


9.Cooperating planning

10.Group thinking

11.Group loyalty and morale

12.Acceptance of differences

13.Decreasing need of leader

Douglas53 has prepared the following yardstick for measuring the growth of a group.

1.How clear are the group goals:

1. No apparent goals

2. Goal confusion, uncertainty or conflict

3. Average goal clarity

4. Goals mostly clear

5. Goals very clear

2.How much trust and openness in the group?

1. Distrust, a closed group

2. Little trust, defensiveness

3. Average trust and openness

4. Considerable trust and openness

5. Remarkable trust and openness

3.How sensitive and perceptive are group members?

No awareness or listening in the group

Most members self- absorbed

Average sensitivity and listening

Better than usual listening

Outstanding sensitivity to others

4.How much attention was paid to process? (The way group was working)

1. No attention to process

2. Little attention to process

3. Some concern with group process

4. A fair balance between content and process

5. Very concerned with process

5. How were group leadership needs met?

1. Not me, drifting

2. Leadership concentrated in one person

3. Some leadership sharing

4. Leadership functions distributed

5. Leadership needs met creatively and flexibly

6. How were group decisions made?

1. No decisions could be reached

2. Made by a few

3. Majority vote

4. Attempts at integrating minority vote

5. Full participation and tested consensus

7. How well were group resources used?

1. One or two contributed but deviants silent

2. Several tried to contributed but more discouraged

3. About average use of group resources

4. Group resources well used and encouraged

5. Group resources fully and effectively used

8. How much loyalty and sense o belonging to the group?

1. Members has no group loyalty or sense of belonging

2. Members not close but some friendly relations

3. About average sense of belonging

4. Some warm sense of belonging

5. Strong sense of belonging among members

3. Evaluation of the Member’s Group Contribution

The focus here is on the contribution of the member to the development of the

group, not on his total personality. This calls for an assessment at the end of each

meeting. Bernstein has prepared the chart (C) for this purpose.

(C) Chart for Evaluation of Member’s Group Contribution

Constructive participation Name of member

1. Good attention and interest but no outstanding


2. Minor contributions, such as helping to arrange

chairs, getting equipment, etc.

3. More important contribution, e.g. thoughtful

consideration of new members.

4. A good job handling a committee assignment or

of something comparable.

5. An outstanding contribution, such as helping to

resolve confects, unusual effort in relation to

responsibilities, etc.

Destructive Participation

1. Inattentiveness and tack of interest and

2. Giggling, restlessness, and similar behavior.
3. Openly opposing and thwarting the plans and
activities of the group.
4. Name calling and other arts which tend to
stimulate aggressive and negative responses.
5. Violently destructive behaviour which makes it
impossible for the group to continue normally for a



1. Man is a group animal. He lives in the group for the purposes of

protections, education, exploration of adventure, treatment, promotion,

advisement, administration coordination, intergradations and planning.54

He has on existence far from group life. In modern times group life has

been adversely affected due to development of technological and

materialistic outlook. Man, though lives among thousands yet feels alone.

He now thinks himself as a machine. Values of happy life such as love,

affection, sympathy, friendliness, etc. are becoming rare values may be of

great help to the modern man.

2. Urbanization has increased the problem of isolation and separation. The

feeling of separation is gradually increasing. Man is considering himself

as a helpless creature and is limiting mental discarders. Social group work

attempts to deal with the problem of isolation.

3. Every human being has the basic desire of having importance, worth,

respect and a place in the society. Social group work keeps the members

busy by providing them worth, dignity, place keeps the members busy by

providing them worth, dignity, place, role, creative participation.

4. Modern age is affecting our adaptation abilities. Old techniques are not as

suited as those were in the times. Man has to learn new techniques of

behaviour for the proper adjustment in the various fields of life. Social

group work provides theis knowledge.

5. Self dependency is a basic characteristic for the personality growth and

development. In social group work, each member plays his role and thus

learns to fulfil his obligations of life without taking help from others.

Group also makes people economically self-dependent by organizing

training in small-scale industries and crafts.

6. Social group a new hope to the physically handicapped disable and aged


7. Social group work helps to achieve democratic goals such as liberty,

equality, fraternity and social justice.

8. It provides recreation, the most valuable medicine for keeping oneself

mentally healthy.

9. Human capacities and abilities are strengthened through the group work.

10. Social group work helps in solving psychocial problem.



Writing record generally accepted as necessary practice in social group work.

For the worker to keep an accurate, honest and thou ghtful account of the

processes which are occurring within the group, it is of utmost importance as no

worker is able to keep the variations of behaviour of a group in his mind.

Recording extends and supplements or memory recall, thus increasing the

volume of usable memory we have at our command.

Recording in group work means writing the description of the

individual’s activities, his relationship with the group. Social group worker

writes about the individual members and their responses to one another, their

behavioural pattern, type and extent of participation, movement, growth and

change in individual and group and his own role in the group processes.


Preparing records is essential because (i) records help the group work to

understand individuals in the group; (ii) help the worker to understand the group

as whole; (iii) provide cvidences of growth and change in the members and in

the group worker himself; (iv) help the worker to do more effective job with his

groups; (v) the worker can see merging and changing interests of individual

members; (vii) he gain knowledge of secial problems in the group; (viii) he

knows the emergence of group consciousness; (ix) he record provide content for

supervisory conference (x ) they are the source of future planning; (xi) they are

source of information for other workers; and (xii) the records provide a

permanents and continuous register of facts for the agency.


1. Identifying information of the group:

1) Name of the group.

2) Time of meeting.

3) Place of meeting.

4) Name of the present, absent members.

5) New members (if any).

6) Settings of the agency.

7) Important observations.

2. Member’s participation by name:

1) Role perfumed.

2) Conversation did

3) Talks began.

4) Expressed his views

5) Sequence of participation in activities.

6) Special contribution made.

7) Interaction type, level, duration, and creativeness, took place.

8) Emotional quality of participation.

3. Description of the group as a whole:

1) General atmosphere in the group – formal informal competitive,

cooperative, hostile, supportive, permissive.

2) Quantity and quality of work accomplished by the group.

3) Participation of group members – mostly all/few members talk and

participates, supported others, took sides/dominated group, etc.

4) Positive and negative responses.

5) Members feelings about their group

6) Group’s status in the agency.

4. Description of the group problems.

1) Conflict or fight-nature, type, reason, involvement, level.

2) Apathy – nature, level and possible causes.

3) Inadequate decision making.

5. The relationship and the role of the group worker:

1) Material provided by the workers.

2) Arrangement made.

3) Agents help taken.

4) Suggestion given.

5) Technique, used for problem solving.

6) Worker’s participation in group processes

6. Special assistance given:

1) Member’s name.

2) Problem.

3) Nature of assistance .

7. Evaluation:

1) Evaluation of programme activities.

2) Evaluation of the group member’s participation.

3) Evaluation of the workers role.


Lindsay55 has suggested the following basic principles of recording:

1. The principle of flexibility

The acceptance of this principle means that the group worker recorder as

a disciplined professional. As the nature and objectives of the agency and the

group change, the worker records accordingly and gives emphasis on the other


2. The principal of selection

Everything should not be recorded in the group work recording. The

worker records significant observations about individuals and their interactions.

He selects from the movement of the group, behavioural patterns of individual,

his own enabling contributions and skills and techniques applied in the group


3. The Principle of Readability

The most important aspect is to keep the record as simple as possible in

form, in language, in length. Records, must have face sheet, presenting a brief

outline of the factual data. If records are detailed, brief summaries should be

prepared. In describing individuals, verbatim quotations should be written.

Records should be written systematically.

4. The Principle of Confidentiality

One of the basic principles of recording in all social work is that records

are written on the premise that they will be held in confidence. If records are

used for other purpose such as training all names and other identifying

information need to be carefully obscured, with fictitious ones substituted.

Records should be kept in lockup.

5. The principle of Worker Acceptance

The worker should take up this responsibility as one of his important

assignment. He should realize that this work is as much important as other


6. Group Member Should Plan Their own Programme.

7. All Decisions Are Subject To Revision As A Result Of Taking Action.

If the decisions are not suited for action, the process of changing

decisions plays an important and costive role in group work programming.

8. There Should be Definite Rules and Regulations, of Group Activities.

9. Group Should be Found on the Basic of Schismatic Measures, On

Mutuality Of Interests, And Needs Of The Individual.


Programme media are tools which are used within the group setting to

help individuals and the group as a whole achieves desirable personal and social

goals. Many media such as games, social recreation, dances, music, story telling,

dramas, arts and crafts, drastic arts of cooking, sewing, photography, discussion,

educational activities etc. are used.


There are the elements of programming process, the members, the social

group working and the programme content. The members join the group having

their special interest, needs, abilities relationship and desire to advancement.

The worker has his norms, values, working methodology, and its variety of rule,

regulations, require a change in behaviour patterns. The interaction of these three

is essential in programme planning for successful functioning of the group.


Wiilson and Ryland59 have narrated the following role of the group

worker in progrmme planning.

1. Helping the Member Plan the Programme.

The social group worker help the group member to plan their own

programme. He enable them to engage constructively in the prograamme

panning process. He does this by the following ways:

(a) Observing, Listening Acting

The social group worker observes the actions and words of the members

as they make use of programme media, reveal their needs and interests. He is

sensitive no only to the actual words but to the way in which they are spoken.

The worker picks up conversations in the midst of activates and helps the

members to verbalize their troubled thoughts.

(b) Analyzing and Recoating

The workers makes ‘on the spot’ analysis which change his procedures

with the group. Through the records, he remembers and sees the events of the

meeting and the members’ reactions in a little different light and finds new leads

for programme related to the needs of the members and the group as a whole.

(c) Vesting and Counseliing

By another way the worker discovers needs and interests is through his

contacts with the family, the school and the community resources. He counsels

them to plan the activities according to their needs.

(d) Teaching and Leading

Sometimes the worker leads the activities when it is urgently needed in

such a way that the members enjoy participating in them. The worker his focus

on the group experience and on the members. He is catalytic agent between

people, programme, ideas, materials, and the facilities.

2. Discovering and Arousing Interests

(a) Assumed Interests

Because of his general knowledge of the growth and developmental needs

of individuals at various age levels, the worker can assume that a group

composed of members having the ordinary development for a certain age will

have certain interests.

(b) Expressed Interests.

Various devices are used to empress their interests. It is worker’s

responsibility to see what needs lie behind the expressed interests.

(c) Implied Interests

Many interest are implied or insinuated rather than expressed directly in

words. Group worker analyses these interests and brings them on conscious level

of the group.

3. Using the Environment

The worker makes an extensive use of the environment simulate new

programme actives. He uses agency’s facilities such as gymnasium, swimming

pool, game room, record player, library, kitchen, craft, shop, etc. to enrich the


4. Using Limitations.

Social group worker imposes limitations on the activities on the basis of

available materials, rules and procedures, resources and facilities. He also limits

the activities within the realm of the possibility of a successful accomplishments.

In groups in which some or all of the members are handicapped. The worker’s

responsibility is to help the handicapped person to function to the best of his

ability within the limitation of his disability.


1) Phillips. 11.U:Essential of Social Group Work, Association Press, New

York, 1957, P.2.

2) Montageu, A:On Being Haman, Henry Sehuman, New York, 1950.p.30.

3) Kulckhohn, C.Murray A.,Schneider, D.M: Personality, Society and

Cultrue, Knopf, New York, 1953,p.64.

4) Newsletter, W.I:What is Social Group Work? Proceedings of the National

Conference of Social Work, Ixii, 1935,p.151.

5) Coyle, Grace: Social Group Work Social Work Year Book, National

Association of Social Workers, New York, 1937,p.461.

6) Wilson, G.and Ryland, G:Social Group Work practice, Houghton Miffin,


7) Hamilton,G. op.cit.p.19.

8) Coyle, C:’Social Group Work Social Work Year Book, AASW, New

York, 1954.p.480.

9) Treckre, H.B: Social Group Work’ Principal ad practices Association

press, New York, 1955,o.5.

10)Konopka, G:Social Work: A Helping process, Prentice Hall, Englewood

Ciffs, 1963.p.29.

11)Trecker. H.B.op.cit.p.3.