Group work is one of the most rewarding and exciting parts of our job as youth workers. It comes in many forms and it looks different in every context it is used in. Until the 1950’s however, it was a relatively unheard of area of study. Today there are thousands of articles, books and training courses with different ideas on the who, how, what and why of working with groups. With so many different theories and styles it can also make group work one of the scariest parts of our job.
Whether you are running a group in a school, church, drug rehab, practically anywhere the rules are the same. But if you don’t know the rules groups can be extremely daunting. Knowing the rules of group work will help us as youth workers provide the best facilitation possible. It also lets us help our young people to settle in to the roles that suit them and challenge them to step into new ones.
Group work is our bread and butter as youth workers. We don’t necessarily do one on one counselling. We don’t all run programs. But it is likely that we have all run a group.
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