Each student will present a proposal on developing and starting a group of your choosing. The proposal should include a rationale for the group development (based in scholarly literature); objectives of the group; selection and screening procedure; practical considerations; group rules; group outline and structure; ethical and legal considerations; evaluation procedure; and limitations. Please include a Title and Abstract. The following guidelines and questions are presented to assist you in developing your group proposal: Rationale A group begins conceptually with a generation of ideas. Behind every successful group is a rationale for its existence. The more carefully the reasons for conducting a group are considered, the more likely it is that there will be positive responses and outcomes. A clear rationale and focus are of uppermost importance in planning. Group leaders who are unclear about their purpose will end up being nonproductive at best and possibly harmful. Question to consider: What type of group are you forming? For whom is the group intended? Identify the specific population. What do you know about the developmental needs of this population? Objectives The objectives of the group serve as a map for the leader. Members and leaders must be clear about the both the general purpose of the group and the specific purpose of each session. Clarity of purpose helps the leader keep the members on course by suggesting relevant activities, asking relevant questions, and cutting off irrelevant discussions. Questions to consider: What are the general goals and purposes of the group? What will the members gain from participating in it? Can you clearly state what you most want to attain and how will you go about doing so? Are your objectives specific, measureable, and attainable within the specified time? Selection and Screening How a group is announced influences both the ways it will be received by potential members and the kind of people who will join. Some of the best ways of announcing the formation of a group are through word of mouth with professional colleagues, personal contact with potential members, and written announcements to a targeted audience. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these ways of publicizing a group. The Best Practices Guidelines published by the ASGW is a definitive and comprehensive document that provides guidance on the proper conduct expected of those who lead groups, including preparation procedures. The maturity, readiness, and composition of membership play a major role in determining the success of the group. Potential members should be screened and carefully chosen whenever possible. Questions to consider: How will members be recruited for participation in your group? Are there any people that you would want to exclude from this particular group? What screening and selection procedures will be used? What is your rationale for these particular procedures? How will members be prepared for the group experience? Practical Considerations Questions to consider: Is the group composed of voluntary or involuntary members? If it is mandatory, what special considerations would you address? How many members will be in the group? What is the cultural mix of the group, and what are the implications of the cultural mix for forming the group? Where will the group meet? How often will the group meet? How long will each session last? Will new people be allowed to join the group once it has started, or will it be a closed group? Group Rules Questions to consider: What ground rules will be established at the outset? How will you handle people taking some risks by participating in the group? What will you do to safeguard members from unnecessary risks? Group Outline and Structure Questions to consider: What topics will be explored in the group? What structure will the group have? What theoretical format will the group have? What techniques will be used? Why are these techniques appropriate? Have you selected specific techniques and procedures to meet the stated objectives? Are these procedures appropriate and realistic for the given population? In what ways can you employ techniques in a flexible manner to meet the needs of culturally diverse client populations? Ethical and Legal Procedures A number of major ethical and legal issues are involved in most kinds of group work. Among the most important issues are those involving training of group leaders, screening of potential group members, the rights of group members, confidentiality, personal relationships between group members and leaders, dual relationships, uses of group techniques, leaders’ values, referrals, records, closings, and follow-ups. Evaluation Procedure Questions to consider: What evaluation procedures will you implement? What follow-up procedures are planned? Does your proposal contain strategies for evaluating how well the states objectives were met? Are your evaluation methods objective, practical, and relevant? Students must have at least 5 scholarly references that do not include the course textbooks dated within the past 5 years. References older than that may be used but do not count for the required 5 scholarly references. The presentation is to be professional in nature to include a PowerPoint presentation and relevant handouts and is not to exceed 30 minutes.
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