Group work in the Human Services Field
Group work has been cited as playing an integral role in ensuring that people achieve more collaboratively than working as individuals. In addition, group work has been perceived as a robust mechanism of helping people attain some novel skills and specific goals, mostly when a group is founded upon a particular objective. Nonetheless, despite these benefits attributed to working in groups, it is imperative to be cognizant of the fact that in many cases, it requires extensive efforts to ensure that a group evolves into an effective team. Against this backdrop, this paper will analyze the group work within the human service field with the focus group being ‘Open Doors’, whose operations are founded on the need to support young people who identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. It is fundamental to briefly explore this organization aimed at getting a comprehensive insight into its groups work operations, group work theory underpinning it among other tenets. Human Services:
Although the words ‘human services’ can mean different things according to individual experiences, not everyone understands the industry or field as a whole. The human service industry according to Woodside and McClam (2011:4-9) is extremely complex to define, although overall, it is the overarching industry of professionals that provide a diverse range of services to humans in need. The aim of the professionals within the industry is to work with people to support, assist and empower them to meet their own needs whether those needs are for food, shelter, physical or emotional to name a few. Therefore, the human service field is at the forefront of many of the youth services provided both locally and overseas.
Open Doors at a glance
According to Open Doors website (2012:1), this group is located at the center of Brisbane and its core undertaking revolve around the provision of counseling and support services for the young people between the ages twelve to twenty four who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). The core goal of this organization is to foster resilience among this target group through the facilitation of opportunities aimed at receiving supports which is need specific networks, as well as enjoying lives characterised by positive relationships. This is enabled through support provision, referral, advocacy and capacity development within the organization (Woodley, J 2012, pers. Comm., 20th August). In regard to the type of group work, Open Doors can be categorized as a social action group. According to Preston-Shoot (1987:16) this form of a group aims at the utilization of the resources at group level for collective power in the efforts to campaign for social transformations, as well as the inherent rights of the members within these particular groups. It is imperative to explore group theory in order to understand the undertakings of Open Doors. Group theory
According to Galanes and Adams (2007:8), the group theory perceives a group as being comprised of two or more people who have a common sense of purpose and make extended efforts to achieve a specified goal. Against this backdrop, it is apparent that the activities of Open Doors are based on the need to solve a common impediment in society which is the discriminatory attitude hulled against the LGBTs. Thus, individuals come together with the core goal of solving this challenge through diverse mechanisms like advocacy, referrals among others previously mentioned. Thus, the activities of Open Doors are founded on the ongoing needs in the society which call for redress. This is chiefly embedded in the vision statement of Open Doors which states that all young people from different genders and sexualities have the chance to enjoy full experience and have true knowledge of pride in life (Open Doors website, 2012:1). In reference to Open Doors, it is worth noting that groups undergo several...
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