Posted: June 11th, 2022

MSW Module 6: Group Intervention Design Assignment

ATTACHED FILE(S)
Module 6: Intervention on Group, Community,
and Organizational Levels
Group Work
Two weeks ago, we looked at various dimensions of groups that need to be assessed to
determine how you as the leader may need to make changes so that your group can
succeed at its tasks. This week we explore the various interventions strategies that can
arise from such assessments, depending on the type of group. We take into account the
broad range of groups that have evolved in global social work practice. Dominelli (2012)
provides a typology of groups with which social workers practice: GELPS (groups in
everyday life practices), therapeutic groups, educational groups, community action-
oriented groups, and identity-based social action groups.
GELPS are those groups that form naturally through mutually supportive relationships,
such as families and older adults with their caregivers. While we leave these groups
primarily to the modules covering family assessment and intervention, we point out here
that group dynamics apply to these groups as well, and recognizing them as groups can
help social workers think more carefully about group issues such as power, decision-
making, and purpose.
Therapeutic and educational groups share a common goal of improving the repertoires
for successful living of the group members, but they differ in emphasis between new
behaviors that require psychological change and those that require knowledge and
skills. Community action-oriented groups and identity-based social action groups also
have a lot in common. They form around issues of common concern and seek to
address these through collective activism and awareness-raising rather than individual
change strategies. Community groups are usually based on a shared geographic
location, such as a neighborhood or village, whereas identity-based groups are
grounded in membership in a shared identity, such as being trans, being a military
veteran, or being an environmentalist. As you can see, these identities can be matters
of innate qualities, institutional membership, or shared values.
Think About It
If you are currently involved in group work, does your leadership role match the type of
group you are leading?
The type of group with which you are working will help to determine all of the group
variables discussed in Module 4. These, in turn, will help decide what type of leadership
you are providing: as an informal developer of group potential, as a group process
consultant, as a subject matter expert and coach, as a facilitator of empowerment
through stages of problem-solving, or as a participant-observer raising consciousness
and channeling grievances into action.
Let’s review the variables involved in group assessment, this time adding interventions
under each.
Group variable Intervention Strategy
1. Group definition: Groups can fail because they do not
really act as groups, but rather as collections of people. For a
collective to be a group, it must have structure and purpose.
Help the group members to define what they hope to come out
of the group, using open-ended questions and reflections of
meaning. Negotiate a group structure that will best meet the
desired outcome.
2. Group pragmatics: When a group is planned, one needs to
anticipate practical barriers to participation and find ways to
avoid them.
Survey potential group members about potential barriers to
group participation, taking into account their economic
realities and relationships of dependency. Ask them to
propose and mutually decided upon the best solutions.
3. Group composition: Who joins a group can either support
its development or destroy it. Common concerns, risks of
subgroups, and personalities that can work together are
important variables to consider.
Anticipate how group composition may lead to scapegoating,
marginalization, and domination within the group. Have clear
inclusion and exclusion criteria and do not violate them just to
get enough members. Orient potential members to ensure they
can abide by group norms.
4. Group engagement: What keeps group members showing
up? What is their level of commitment? Assessing motivation
for engagement is crucial throughout the life of a group.
Ask yourself why the group should exist. Does it really meet a
pressing community need? Are group members ambivalent
about what it takes to participate and benefit? Help members
connect their engagement with their own goals.
5. Group identity/cohesion: Do group members see
themselves as belonging to the group, do they feel close to
other members and does the group have a collective identity?
Without cohesion, no other goals can be met.
Whenever possible, refer to the group and its common goals,
experiences, feelings, and mutual connections. Ask the group
members what it’s like to be a member of the group,
especially after challenges have been met or disclosures have
been made.
6. Group climate: Each group has an emotional tone that may
change from meeting to meeting. If that tone is not conducive
to group functioning, it needs examining.
Ask these key questions: “What is happening in this group
right now? How does it feel to be in this group right now?
How do we want this group to feel and function? What do we
need to change to get there?” In other words, help the group
help the group.
7. Group interactions: Groups develop patterns in how they
communicate, and sometimes these patterns move the group
toward its goals, but sometimes these patterns interfere.
Insert yourself into maladaptive group communication
patterns. Depending on the type of group, you may want to
redirect the group, help the group examine its own patterns, or
deal with the challenges an individual member or subgroup
brings.
8. Group norms: Group leaders need to shape the informal
and formal rules of group interaction from the beginning.
When group norms undermine its purpose, the group needs
help identifying and changing them.
Facilitate the group in setting its own rules from the outset,
lending your expertise but mostly relying on the group’s
common sense and desire to be fair. Demonstrate why certain
norms that may seem helpful are not, like explaining to other
members why they are wrong.
9. Group leadership: Both the designated leaders of the
group and its members provide different forms of leadership.
Over time if group members don’t assume responsibility for
the group, it can’t reach its full potential.
Empower the group every time you speak. Ask members what
they think about and ho they solve problems. Highlight the
strengths that group members demonstrate. Depending on the
group’s philosophy, you may rotate formal leadership roles to
build community capacity.
10. Group development: Each group goes through stages of
development, on its way from a collection of individuals to a
functioning collective.
See the section below for specific interventions to help the
group move through each stage of its development.
Promoting Group Development
Transcript
Phase 1: Forming 
• First phase of the team-building process 
• All members are getting familiar with the members of the team 
• Objectives and purpose of the meeting are reviewed 
• Ground rules are established for communication  
Phase 2: Storming 
• Second phase of the team-building process 
• Team members may have differing views 
• Conflict may arise that can impact group process and productivity 
• Some resistance with changes 
Phase 3: Norming 
• The third phase of the team-building process 
• Group begins to accept others’ ideas 
• Start building a cohesive approach to group objectives 
• Re-energized for completing tasks 
Phase 4: Performing  
• Fourth phase of the team-building process 
• Tasks are getting completed 
• May see changes in team members or performance  
• Working towards the goal of team success 
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Phase 5: Adjourning  
• Fifth phase added after the original development 
• Group begins to phase out 
• Reviews that the objectives and outcomes are met 
• May experience some sadness over the demise of the group 
• Evaluations may be completed regarding the experience of the teamwork 
After examining the qualities of each group stage below, we will look at how the leader
can facilitate movement from one stage to the next – whether the group is therapeutic,
supportive, or a task group formed for community development.
From nothing to forming
• What helps a group form? Before the first meeting, a group only exists as a
potential. It is made up of separate individuals who do not yet realize what they
have in common or how they may be helpful to each other. To go from non-
group to a forming group, the leader must assess the need for such a group and
the fit of the potential members with that need.
From forming to storming
• Often it can be hard to distinguish what stage one is in at this point in group
development. Groups may bounce from tentative attempts to function within the
bounds set by the leader, to efforts to gain power in ways that unbalance the
group. Generally, the more comfortable people are, the more risks they take.
This means that dynamics that were previously kept in check are allowed to
play out, for good or ill. The group leader must distinguish between healthy
group development that includes conflict and unhealthy storming in which group
members try to replicate dysfunctional interpersonal patterns. The latter requires
intervention.
From storming to norming
• Before a group develops norms that allow it to function and achieve its goals, it
will usually default to the members’ existing ideas about how to interact in a
group. Some group members will be passive, others will seek to dominate, and
norms applying to everyday socialization – such as avoiding conflict, giving
advice, or talking about unimportant topics – will tend to regulate group
interactions. The leader must assess how and when to establish and reinforce
healthy group norms, by understanding what rules of interaction are already
being applied. It is not enough to state the rules to help groups move from
storming to norming. They must also learn how to deal with intragroup conflict
and conflict with you, the leader.

From storming to performing
• Continuing to bolster the development of effective group norms lead to a
performing or working group. How do we know it when we see it? A performing
group stays relatively on task, accepts individual differences, finds ways to
resolve conflicts without discounting anyone, and remains cohesive while
addressing challenging topics. This image of the performing group serves as a
compass for the group leader. When a group has a difficult climate, poor
attendance, or unhealthy patterns, the leader knows this by comparison with the
ideal. Then it’s time to diagnose the sources of the problem.
From performing to adjourning
• All groups must end. Ideally, your group ends when it completes its tasks, or the
group members achieve their individual goals. The processes of review,
celebration, and prevention of future problems are as important as any other
group processes. However, members drop out, sometimes without saying
goodbye; groups dissipate from lack of engagement, or from some practical
barrier. You must anticipate the transition to adjourning and be ready to make
the most of imperfect circumstances.
Community Functioning
Now that you have thought more deeply about group work and how it may apply to your
practicum setting, let’s look at the various community arenas in which that work may
play out through the last two types of groups: community action-oriented groups, and
identity-based social action groups. We explored various ways to assess community
needs, problems, strengths, and resources in Module 4. We also advised that the word
“community” covers a broad range of human collectives, some of which are already
vibrant and functioning, and some of which are divided, isolated, or both. Before we go
further into intervention at the community level, let’s try to understand what a community
is in its essence.
According to Fellin (2008), a community is created when ”a group of people form a
social unit based on common location, interest, identification, culture, and/or activities”
(p. 118). By understanding which functions a community performs for its members, we
can see ways in which communities break down and need group work to address social
injustices. Think about these seven community functions (Warren, 1978; Netting et al.,
2008):

Functions of Community
(1) production, distribution, and consumption
(2) socialization
(3) social control
(4) social participation
(5) mutual support
(6) defense
(7) communication
When the first, economic function breaks down, communities are at risk of failing at the
other functions. For example, factory towns in middle America have suffered from
decades of automation and outsourcing. As economic despair has mounted, the
traditional social networks in many towns have atrophied, and young people have left or
been caught up in opioid addiction and other ways of coping. Crime has increased as a
result of addiction and poverty, and the civic associations that provided venues for
communication have been supplanted by national media with their own agenda.
Communities have had difficulty defending against propaganda that has led them to
scapegoat minorities and immigrants rather than putting responsibility on corporations
and government institutions for supporting community resilience against the stress of
global capital.
Community Work and Democracy
The point of the exercise above, besides helping you recognize that community work
occurs in a context of finite resources, is that you should not make any decisions about
how to implement change by coming up with solutions on your own. Social workers
should map assets and social networks, then engage communities in building capacity,
resilience, and empowerment. The development of democratic norms for civic
engagement may be as important as any concrete victories. Cohen (1985, pg. 68)
emphasized the psychosocial dimension of community as essential to its health: ”a
system of values, norms and moral codes which provide a sense of identity with a
bounded whole to its members (p. 68).” Does the community your agency serves have
such a system? Does it see itself as a bounded whole? If not, if it more of a mosaic or
anomic community, then developing such an identity can be both a means to achieving
justice and an end in itself. By bringing people together and harnessing their common
dreams and frustrations, you can help them see their mutual connections and power.
A sense of community cohesion is not always enough, as when a community lacks the
internal resources to meet its needs. Forming linkages among communities who have
common needs, and between communities and formal resources such as research
expertise or development capital, can be important to reduce demoralization and
promote community functioning. In the case of social movements, these linkages also
serve to empower communities to advocate for change in the larger society. Identifying
decision-makers within the community and finding out what has already been tried to
solve problems are essential steps to forming these linkages.
Summary
This week we have picked up the thread of macro practice again, moving from group
and community assessment to group and community intervention. We have identified
ways in which both groups and communities may have trouble fulfilling their functions of
protecting and enhancing the lives and well-being of their members. For each of these
challenges, we have suggested how you may apply your knowledge and skills to help
groups and communities get back on course. The key is to activate collective potential.
As the community organizers in the video series point out, the heart of community work
is to listen and link: listen to the expertise of members, and link them with the missing
knowledge, skills, or resources they need to enact that expertise.
According to Dulmus et al (2102, pg. 64), “Community practice emphasizes working
mutually with citizens groups, cultural and multicultural groups, and human service
organizations to improve life options and opportunities in communities and to press for
the expansion of human rights, political equality, and distributive justice.” How does your
practicum site engage communities – or does it focus on the problems of individuals
within that geographic location, rather than the community as a whole. Think for a
minute about how your agency’s practice model would look different if it placed more
emphasis on macro practice. Would these efforts positively affect the problems that
individuals and families bring to the agency? Would such an approach be more efficient
in the long run, or are problems so deeply entrenched that it is better to focus limited
resources on the needs of each person or family?
We encourage you to keep grappling with these questions throughout your career, to
never lose sight of the global awareness that helps you ask “Is there more to this
picture?” Our last two weeks will focus on asking such questions as you evaluate the
processes and outcomes of your own evolving practice as well as the processes and
outcomes of the organization you are practicing within.
References
Cohen, Y. (1985). Neighborhoods and friendship networks. A study of three residential areas of
Jerusalem . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Dominelli, L. (2012) Chapter Two: Group Work: A Critical Addition to the Social Work Repertoire.
In Dulmus, C. N., Glisson, C. A., & Sowers, K. M. (Eds.) (2012). Social work practice
with groups, communities, and organizations: Evidence-based assessments and
interventions. John Wiley & Sons.
Dulmus, C. N., Glisson, C. A., & Sowers, K. M. (Eds.) (2012). Social work practice with groups,
communities, and organizations: Evidence-based assessments and interventions. 1-40.
John Wiley & Sons.
Fellin, P. (2008). Understanding American communities. In J. Rothman, L. Erlich, & J. E. Tropman
(Eds.), Strategies of community intervention (7th ed., pp. 118- 132). Itasca, IL: Peacock.
Netting, F. E., Kettner, P. M., & McMurtry, S. L. (2008). Social work macro practice (4th ed.). New
York, NY: Pearson.
Tuckman, B. W., & Jensen, M. A. C. (1977). Stages of small-group development revisited. Group
& Organization Studies, 2(4), 419-427.
Warren, R. L. (1978). The community in America (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.
PreviousNext

Welcome to Module 6!
We now turn to those levels of intervention beyond individuals and families: groups,
communities, and organizations. It should be noted that in all of these cases, we are
very likely working at the level of groups, whether they are designed to benefit
individuals struggling with personal problems, task groups convened to address social
problems, committees considering policy changes, or teams within organizations that
function to fulfill some aspect of that organization’s mission. Understanding how to
effectively form and lead groups is therefore essential to any ecological level beyond
individuals and families.
How might the global perspective inform our work at these levels? In terms of
attitudes and values, social workers who embrace a collectivist credo are best
positioned to navigate the dynamics of groups formed to deal with community
problems.
Being able to perceive the group’s climate and the common good that can unite the
community helps us to avoid the trap of an individualistic viewpoint that fails to see the
forest for the trees. At the level of knowledge and skills, our work in Module 4 in
assessing communities forms a foundation for action. This week, we will explore what
forms this action can take and create a space for application and discussion of these
skills relevant to your agency and the work you do there.

https://chamberlain.instructure.com/courses/103246/modules/items/14788957
https://chamberlain.instructure.com/courses/103246/modules/items/14788977
Module 6: Group Intervention Design Paper
Purpose
This assignment is designed to help you reflect critically on your group design and
leadership skills in a real or hypothetical context, and apply group theory to
understanding the complexity and importance of groups in promoting collective well-
being. Empower individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to
solve problems, heal, and create vibrant lives through culturally valid, empirically
supported, feedback-responsive methods at all ecological levels.
Guidelines
Identify a group you would like to conduct or are conducting to meet a
community need.
!!!!!! Opioid Addiction Treatment and Prevention
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. Describe the desired outcomes of the group, whether the resolution of the
individual problems of group members or the accomplishment of a community
development task.
2. Identify the global values that inform your vision for the group, and how you
are infusing or plan to infuse these values into the group process and
content.
3. Analyze challenges and solutions you may or have experienced in
achieving group outcomes. Refer to the literature on group stages, tasks,
therapeutic factors or community task group outcomes, and roles of the
group facilitator(s).
4. Describe what you have learned from mistakes, successes, and/or research
that you can apply to this group or future groups.

Two key points to emphasize:!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(1) your group can be one that you are leading or would like to develop
(2) the group can be focused on individual problems or community development.
Which of these you choose will determine which literature you use as evidence for your group
design and leadership choices.

Grading Criteria
Your assignment will be graded based on following criteria:
Criteria Points Description
Desired
Outcomes and
Global Values
20 Describes desired group outcomes, identifies global values that inform your
vision for the group, and explains how you are infusing or plan to infuse
these values into group process and content.
Challenges and
Solutions
30 Analyzes challenges and solutions you may or have experienced in achieving
group outcomes. Refers to the literature on group stages, tasks, therapeutic
factors or community task group processes and outcomes, and roles of the
group facilitator(s).
Growth as a
Group Leader
20 Describes what you have you learned from mistakes, successes, and/or
research that you can apply to this group or future groups.
Quality of
Writing
10 Writing is clear, logical, free of grammatical errors, and in APA format with
appropriate headings.
Total 80 A quality assignment will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.

Rubric
Group Intervention Design Rubric
Group Intervention Design Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is
linked to a Learning
Outcome
Desired Outcomes
and Global Values
20 pts
Highest Level of
performance
Clearly describes at
least three desired
group outcomes in
measurable terms,
identifies at least
three global values,
and explains in depth
how you are infusing
or plan to infuse these
values into group
process and content.
18 pts
Very Good or High
Level of Performance
Clearly describes at
least two desired group
outcomes in mostly
measurable terms,
identifies at least two
global values, and
explains in depth how
you are infusing or
plan to infuse at least
one of these values
into group process and
content.
16 pts
Acceptable Level of
Performance
Clearly describes at
least one desired group
outcomes but not in
measurable terms,
identifies at least one
global value, and
explains (but not in
depth) how you are
infusing or plan to
infuse this value into
group process and
content.
0 pts
Failing Level of
Performance
Describes one or no
desired group
outcomes and not in
measurable terms,
identifies one or no
global values, and if
one global value, and
does not clearly
explains how you are
infusing or plan to
infuse this value into
group process and
content.

20 pts
This criterion is
linked to a Learning
Outcome
Challenges and
Solutions
30 pts
Highest Level of
performance
Challenges in group
functioning are
carefully described
and analyzed to
generate effective
improvements in
approach.
27 pts
Very Good or High
Level of Performance
Challenges in group
functioning are mostly
carefully described and
analyzed to generate
effective
improvements in
approach.
24 pts
Acceptable Level of
Performance
Challenges in group
functioning are
somewhat carefully
described and analyzed
to generate effective
improvements in
approach.
0 pts
Failing Level of
Performance
Challenges in group
functioning are not
carefully described
and analyzed to
generate effective
improvements in
approach.

30 pts
Group Intervention Design Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is
linked to a Learning
Outcome
Growth as a
Group Designer
and Leader
20 pts
Highest Level of
performance
Describes in consistent
depth what you have
you learned from
mistakes, successes,
and/or research that
you can apply to this
group or future groups
in both group design
and group leadership.
18 pts
Very Good or High
Level of
Performance
Describes in some
depth what you have
you learned from
mistakes, successes,
and/or research that
you can apply to this
group or future groups
in both group design
and group leadership.
16 pts
Acceptable Level of
Performance
Describes in little
depth what you have
you learned from
mistakes, successes,
and/or research that
you can apply to this
group or future groups
in both group design
and group leadership.
0 pts
Failing Level of
Performance
Does not describe, or
describes in no depth,
what you have you
learned from mistakes,
successes, and/or
research that you can
apply to this group or
future groups in both
group design and group
leadership.

20 pts
This criterion is
linked to a Learning
Outcome
Quality of Writing
10 pts
Highest Level of
performance
Writing is objective in
tone, clear, with no
grammatical errors,
and follows APA
format.
9 pts
Very Good or High
Level of Performance
Writing is mostly
objective in tone, is
mostly clear, and has a
few grammatical and/or
formatting errors.
8 pts
Acceptable Level of
Performance
Writing is subjective
at times, is unclear at
times, and has some
errors including APA
format.
0 pts
Failing Level of
Performance
Writing is often
subjective, often
unclear, and has
frequent errors
including APA
format.

10 pts

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