General Overview of Concepts of Family and Group


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In this assignment I will be explaining the planning for group work model, the objectives in the beginning of the group, assessing the group members and ending the group as a whole. I will discuss the concept of family, the family systems theory, the constructivist approach, skills and techniques in group work, professional values and ethics used when working with families and formulate a group proposal for a case study.

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Question 1

1 A group that comprises of at least two people who characterize themselves as a family and who after some time accept commitments to each other and are related through marriage, ancestry, or adoption who live together in a common household.

2 Reflection- Reflection is the expertise utilized by the helper to add a considerable meaning to what the clients said. To let members know that they are heard and understood beyond the level of words.

Expressing warmth- This skill enables clients to feel free and accepted. It shows care and interest in the client and demonstrates acceptance and helps to build trust in the facilitator.

3 According to Tutorial Letter 102 for SCK3702 2018:56 cutting off is the term used to portray a facilitator’s preventing a member of the group from talking keeping in mind the end goal to redirect the discussion. It is utilized when members’ remarks struggle with the group’s purpose; when a member is saying something inappropriate or hurtful; When a member is saying something out of context; when the group worker wants to change the focus of discussion; when the session is drawing to the end; when group members are disagreeing.

4 Contract – a written or verbal agreement between two or more members of a group. Two forms of contract take place during the planning phase: contracting for group procedures and contracting for individual member goals. A written contract can be referred to in meetings to remind members of the purpose, outcomes and responsibilities which they agreed. (Toseland and Rivas, 2017)

5 Introduction enable individuals to share their common concerns and interests, and they create trust. The group worker should choose what data is essential for individuals to share with the group. Introductions can give individuals a beginning stage for communication. This procedure enables individuals to feel calm with each other and creates group cohesion by exhibiting to individuals that they are not the only one with their issues and concerns. (Toseland and Rivas, 2017)

6 Its important that the group leader helps members recognize themselves as a group of strong accomplices in a common group. The leader intends to assemble cooperation where common guide and regard are regulating. “The worker will have to tone down expectations for intimate disclosures implied by a member’s early disclosure or scale back unrealistic expectations about what can be accomplished, in order to guarantee that the requests of taking an interest in the group don’t surpass members’ capacities”. (Toseland and Rivas, 2017). Group leaders should point out common goals and interests among members to help them feel part of the group.

7 Self-observation refers to members’ examination and assessment of their own behaviour. Self-observation is useful in creating knowledge around ones behaviour, distinguishing examples of conduct, and looking at the impact of the environment. Individuals just review and portray their own particular behaviour, then examine and reflect on it with the assistance of the leader and other group members.

8 Referrals are usually done during the ending phase of group work and should be made after the group worker and the particular member have come to a common agreement about this members need for an additional service. Referrals are made when the member is motivated to seek other services but if they are not motivated and the group leader believes it will be in their best interest and beneficial then the leader should help the member explore reasons for resistance.

9 “Dealing with silence means refraining from verbal and nonverbal communication by allowing reflection and assimilation to sharpen focus and integrate emotionally intense material which can help the group use its own resources”. (Tutorial Letter 102 for SCK3702 2018:53)

10 According to Learning Theories, 2018 Constructivism as a worldview or perspective sets that learning is a functioning, helpful process. The student is a data constructor. Individuals effectively build or make their own particular subjective portrayals of target reality. New data is connected to earlier learning, in this way mental portrayals are subjective. “In a group context, the constructivist group leader is thus someone who believes in every member’s ability to play an active role in the group process as part of the creation and building of meaning and significance.” (Tutorial Letter 102 for SCK3702 2018:10)

Question 2

1 The family systems theory has eight basic assumptions that are central to the theory:

  • The whole is greater than the sum of the parts: A family has a holistic quality- it is much more than a collection of individuals who live together. Each member has a role to play in the family and finally his/her role impacts the whole family.
  • Locus of pathology is not within the person but is a system dysfunction: Systems theory believes that the location of the problem is not within the individual, instead the system that he/she is a part of (i.e. the family) that is dysfunctional and, therefore, it is the family that should be the unit of analysis.
  • Circular causality guides behaviour: Problems presented to counsellors are characterised by a variety of factors which are circulated around several difficulties. The best way to consider these factors is to understand the root cause.
  • Rules results from the redundancy principle and are critical in defining a family: From the behaviours of the families and their members, some common behaviours are selected to create their own rules. The structure that guides the behaviour of the family members emerge as members interact with their significant others. This may include the family’s religious life, their gender roles and family rituals
  • Feedback loops guide behaviour: Members give and receive feedback to and from one another. Feedback can either be positive or negative. Negative feedback is given when a member’s behaviour is deviating from acceptable rules of the family. Positive feedback serves as a reward for response to promoting change in the family. For example, once a child was found to have behaved in ways which are contrary to the family rules, then such behaviour will receive negative feedback and the moment she receives a negative feedback and change such contrary feedback, she will then be rewarded for correcting such behaviour.
  • Pathological communication contributes to relationship problems: pathological communication contributes to the problems facing the family. How members of the family relate and communicate to one another is one of the factors which conflict in the family.
  • All family members take on roles: All members of the family play various roles in their respective families and these roles keep the family functioning.

Family types are based on boundaries: Three types of families can be identified:

  • Open family- a family which is democratic in nature and members are bound together by love and respect for other members’ rights
  • Random family- there is disengagement amongst the members
  • Closed family- members who are closely connected to one another and protect their territory

1 Informed consent: It requires the group leader to ensure that members of the family must be informed about intervention programmes and members must agree to submit themselves to the processes. Intervention processes must be transparent, the risks and benefits must be explained to family members.

Dealing with involuntary membership: “group members find themselves compelled to participate in group programmes an example is those members who are compelled by the courts to attend some educational programmes.” (Tutorial Letter 102 for SCK3702 2018:61)

Freedom to withdraw from a group: Individuals from the group ought not to feel constrained to take an interest in a gathering up to the end of the session. On the off chance that individuals feel they have benefited enough from the group, the facilitator should not constrain them to stay in the gathering except if they are involuntary members.

Psychological risks for members: “Some members may find themselves emotionally overwhelmed by sensitive discussions which may remind them of past experiences.”


1 The rationale of this support group is support these young boys who have committed crimes in their community and as a result of this, experienced severe injuries from the community who have decide to take the law into their own hands leaving these boys needing support. The crimes these boys have committed include housebreaking, mugging and drug dealing. I have decide to link the causes of these crimes to the high rate of youth unemployment in South Africa. This support group will aim at eradicating the youth unemployment issue in this community which will reduce the crime rate keeping the community of Setswetla at peace. “During the last two decades, there has been a growing concern over youth unemployment and the transition from school to work as more and more young people are likely to experience a period of unemployment when first looking for work”. (Mlatsheni and Rospabé, 2002). According to Baron, 2008 Discoveries uncover that the impact of unemployment on crime is interceded and directed basically by different factors. Specifically, unemployment is adapted by outside casual attributions that prompt outrage regarding unemployment, which thusly prompts crime. The immediate impact of unemployment on crime is directed by monetary disappointment and insignificant work. Anger regarding unemployment is additionally the aftereffect of negative subjective interpretations of monetary circumstances and a continued attachment to the work market. “Youth unemployment also has dynamic effects for those experiencing it. It is a concern not only because of the immediate effects of inactivity for example, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, and other social problems.” (Rankin, Schöer and Roberts, 2018).


The rationale of the group

The rationale of this support group is support these young boys who have committed crimes in their community and as a result of this, experienced severe injuries from the community who have decide to take the law into their own hands leaving these boys needing support. The crimes these boys have committed include housebreaking, mugging and drug dealing. I have decide to link the causes of these crimes to the high rate of youth unemployment in South Africa. This support group will aim at eradicating the youth unemployment issue in this community which will reduce the crime rate keeping the community of Setswetla at peace.

The objective of the group

The main goal of the group is to support the young boys who have suffered severe injuries from the community as a result from committing crimes. To help them recover from their assault and offer continuous support to them. The support group will try to teach the social standards and qualities in delinquent youth group by building up an awareness of other’s expectations and good conduct among them. It will work towards upgrading the chance of employability and also advance independent work and entrepreneurship among them. This group will provide Counselling of those who experienced injuries and are having nightmares. Youth group will have a developed sense of belongingness. Providing of information and training opportunities on various training programmes and occupations. It will provide education to the youth and learned skills to help them qualify for employment and prevent further delinquent crimes in the community.

Practical considerations

The support group will take place in a hall in the community of Setswetla wear all the boys who have been a part of the crimes in the community and those young men who have no job will attend. The time of meetings will accommodate all the youth including those who are in school which will start at 16:30 and end at 17:30. The group sessions will be conducted in English, IsiZulu and Xhosa as that is the dominant language in the community of Setswetla in Gauteng. Recruiting will be done for volunteers who can tutor the youth with school work, Resource person for providing academic coaching who can provide training to qualify for jobs and a counsellor to deal with those who have been assaulted and dealing with drug problems. The group membership will not be voluntary for the boys who have been involved in the crimes in the community and sustained injuries.


We will have meetings from Monday to Friday which will proceed for 3 months. Recruitment of members will be through the Department of Social Development


An evaluation will be conducted after each session through the form of discussion where they will be asked about their experience. Youth group will have a developed sense of belongingness amongst themselves and awareness towards issues affecting their lives.


To conclude I have discussed the concept of family and skills used when working with families as well as the family systems theory. I have discussed the professional values and ethics and the stages of planning in group work and an example of a group proposal that could be used for the given case study. I have discussed different approaches the beginning and end of group work as well as assessing group members.

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