Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

SOWK 505

Social Work Practice with Groups

This course presents theoretical and practical approaches to social work with small groups, with particular emphasis on the dynamics of small group process and appropriate worker interventions. A five-stage model of group work is the basis for conceptualizing, planning, assessing, intervening, and evaluating group work practice. Attention is paid to issues of mutual aid, empowerment, social and economic justice, and group work practice with diverse and at risk populations.

Through a generalist perspective, students explore both task and treatment groups, including committees, teams, and advisory boards, as well as groups for education, socialization and remediation. Critical thinking skills are emphasized throughout the course via decisions surrounding the appropriate use of groups as a method of intervention, the assessment of membership and the evaluation and research of group work practices. Other content areas address the roles and functions of the group worker, issues and considerations of ethical group work practice, and approaches for establishing and maintaining groups in an agency.