Groups form a fundamental part of the social life that human beings live. The groups could either be on a small scale comprising as few as two members or be colossal with many members. Either way, it is vital to appreciate that human beings need groups since no man is an island as it is commonly said. Social groups can be of great benefit to people at the same time they can have a downside. Human, they are small group beings, we have always been, and that will not change (Gitterman & Salmon, 2009). The more efficient the group’s people belong to the more efficient their lives. This paper will suggest and create a group which will be used to discuss the factors surrounding the dynamics of group creation.
Drug and substance abuse is a topic that has been an issue for quite some time now. Living in a neighborhood in the ghetto or notorious suburbs of a city has exposed the residents to the vice of abusing hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. The vice has taken its toll on the community social norms down to the fundamental of individual residents (Fisher & Roget, 2009). Crime rates are through the roof, youth and children are dropping out of school, and people are dying due to withdrawal symptoms and the other debilitating effects of drug and substance abuse on the body (Fisher & Roget, 2009).
Seeing the devastating impact of drug and substance abuse in that community, the mayor has built a rehabilitation center for youth and adults alike. While in the rehabilitation center as a social worker, I have decided to create a group to help with the restoration process for the affected abusers. The group will be used during the group therapy sessions. The group will be a therapy group (Gitterman & Salmon, 2009). Membership if the group will be open to the members of the rehabilitation center and those who have completed the rehabilitation process. The group will comprise the youth and the adults together; this will helps in sharing of experiences that will be highly beneficial to the members.
During the group’s therapy sessions, the individual members will share their experiences with drug and substance abuse. The members who have completed the rehabilitation process will be helpful to those who have just enrolled in the program. Their success will serve as a motivation or source of inspiration for the new member who may need to see to get the hope that they would one day be free from the vice (Hyde, 2013). The group will be structured in a manner that there will be only one inclusion criterion; this criterion will be one being directly a victim of drug abuse. The group will have no other boundaries limiting membership; meaning that the group will have male and female, young and old, members of different socio-economic classes, religions, races and ethnicities.
The multicultural approach in the group structuring will serve to show that the vice can affect anyone and reduce the misconceptions. Ideologies, strategies, inspirations will also be better sourced from the large variety of religions, and cultures; these will be helpful in motivating recovery. As the social worker, my role will be to keep an updated list of the members of the group to follow up on each member. Secondly, since the group will have open sessions, my role will be to initiate and guide the discussion sessions. I will provide guidance on the type of stories to share (Hyde, 2013). After a while, I will create a group hierarchy structure with the older successfully rehabilitated members taking more responsibility in running the group affairs.
After structuring the group, there will be drafting of the group’s goals and mission. The goals will have to be SMART and will be created after consultation with the group members. The goals and mission will be subject to change as the group grows.
Having a familiar face running some of the sessions will help the members own the group. What’s more like the social worker I will also take up the liaison role. I will be the external link to the community and other organizations interested in the group’s activities. The other critical role that I will assume as the social worker will be to recruit new members. The recruitment process will only be subject to a potential member’s admission into the rehabilitation facility; this will confirm that the individual is directly affected by drug abuse. The choice of membership will be by free and informed consent. During the initial stages I will structure the group therapy sessions; the time frame for the sessions, the meeting days and the venue of the meetings (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015). The role will be performed after consultation with the members of the most suitable structures to use.
The group sessions will involve sharing experiences about the issue of drug abuse. Member will be encouraged to share their personal struggles with the vice. Sharing will enlighten the other members that they are not alone in the problem. There will be individual sessions with where people who have completed their sessions will share their full stories to inspire hope in the individuals. There will be other activities such as fun days that will be drafted into the timetable; they will serve as a distraction therapy (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015). Though not possible in the initial stages the groups will continue intent launch its vocational programs to help the community school dropouts.
The multicultural approach is a strength but at the same time may pose a great challenge to the unity of the group. The group may have trouble finding common ground due to different ideologies; differences in race, religion, and gender will present he challenges to overcome. The other issue will be sourcing enough funds to run the projects for the groups and host the sessions (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015). The group will need to be a separate entity from the rehabilitation facility and will therefore not be included in the budgetary allocation for the service. Therefore funds will be scarce to come by, however since the group is in its initial stages the finances will not be a major issue.
In conclusion, this paper has described the necessity of having groups to human beings. The groups are necessary because people complement each other and no one is a standalone project. The paper has suggested the creation of a therapy group for a neighborhood suffering under the burden of drug abuse and the debilitating effects of the vice to societal and individual norms. The paper has talked about the structuring of the group, its members, and its function. Finally, the paper has discussed the roles of the social worker and the likely challenges that may arise
Fisher, G. & Roget, N. (2009). Encyclopedia of substance abuse prevention, treatment, & recovery (1st ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
Gitterman, A. & Salmon, R. (2009). Encyclopedia of social work with groups (1st ed.). New York: Routledge.
Hyde, B. (2013). Mutual Aid Group Work: Social Work Leading the Way to Recovery-Focused Mental Health Practice. Social Work With Groups, 36(1), 43-58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01609513.2012.699872
Kirst-Ashman, K. & Hull, G. (2015). Understanding generalist practice (1st ed.). Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers.