Harmonization of individual and group methods of social work while working with children from risk families

Jolanta Pivorienė, Birutė Abeciūnaitė


In the article, the authors analyse the application of different social work methods while working with children from risk families in day centres. Purposeful and deliberate selection of social work methods makes prevention and intervention more effective and appropriate for the satisfaction of children needs.
For the research, six experts were selected for an unstructured interview. Three respondent selection criteria were used: specialization (a person working in a day centre with children from risk families for no less than one year and using both individual and group methods), education (university level education in social sciences: social work, social pedagogy or psychology) and institution (working in Christian Non-Governmental Organizations). The qualitative data were analysed following the traditional process— transcription, rephrasing, coding, categorization, generalization.
The results of the research show that day centres apply the complex social work model integrating both individual and group methods, what confirms the conception of the system theory. This model developed as a result of a constant and precise analysis of client needs and the methods used. Experts acknowledge that generally methods should not be differentiated between better and worse; their application depends on particular situation and clients. Individual work is used when a child is in a crisis, when it is necessary to know a child and his or her situation better, while group work allows undertaking more educative activities, develops communication, integrative and social skills.
The integrity of methods allows disclosing personal and social dimensions of a human being in the existential sense, what leads to the development of a more harmonized and holistic personality.


social work methods; individual social work; social work with groups

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789