Tuckman (1965) developed the group work theory as they considered that groups should have a purpose, or goal, and he proposed that there are four stages of groups in relation to the achievement of that goal; forming, initial group is formed; storming, boundaries and pushed, goals are questioned or clarified, groups can often fail at this stage due to different personalities and work methods; norming, people get to know each other, strengths and weaknesses are acknowledged and a group plan is formed to work together and move forward; performing, hard work starts to pay off and plans are put into action.
Successful group work relies on good planning and facilitation. As social workers it is important to use group work to be successful in participating in multi-professional group meetings. Group experiences help individuals and the group to meet individual and group needs, furthermore, it allows reflection on practice and encourages positive change for all.
Harriet: You could apply group theory in family conference meetings or morning debriefs.
Jess: You could also apply it when doing group work in university.
Positives of group work theory - Supports group members as they share life experiences and problems. - Members can share relevant information about services and relevant issues. - Empowering - Good for transformation and group members can learn from others, whilst self exposure can operate to enable emotional, psychological and cognitive growth - Can improve communication between groups and services.
Criticisms of group work theory - Not all members of the group will feel included whilst other individuals can be dominant - Can be time consuming and costly - Issues of confidentiality - Can be harmful as vulnerabilities are exposed and stereotyping and discriminatory behavior can take place.