Group Work with Populations at Risk

Group Work with Populations at Risk

Group Work with Populations at Risk

Group Work with Populations at Risk


Group Work with Populations at Risk is a fundamental resource for social workers and those in related health professions. Accessible and practical as well as theoretically sound, it is an essential reference for students and practitioners with little specific training in group work. This extensively revised edition provides tangible techniques and concrete guidelines on applying group work skills to a variety of situations. It is a comprehensive guidebook for those working directly with clients facing social problems or health conditions such as AIDS, cancer, addiction, head injury, divorce, mental illness, or abuse. Specific resources for further study and materials for use with each population are essential chapter components. With new chapters on internet self-help groups, group work with Asian-American immigrants, community and organizational factors, victims of school and community violence, and evidence-based practice, this nuts-and-bolts resource offers students and professionals clear, practical guidelines for applying specific skills and assessment measures to a broad range of group work environments.


Since the final touches were put on the First Edition in 1996, significant world developments have affected the social work profession and group work. These developments touch all populations, those formerly at risk as well as those who would not have been identified as at risk. Some of these developments are gradual and the result of changes in the way society does business, while others were sparked by specific and horrific events. We have added chapters in this second edition to help readers address these changes.

The internet is one of the gradual developments. The web and email have become a powerful source of information and support, profoundly changing the way that people throughout the world communicate. For people in distress, chat rooms and on-line support groups abound. The understanding of the social work role in mediating these groups is in its beginning but rapidly developing, as is the social work role in on-line counseling. A new chapter, by Andrea Meier, addresses many of the thorny practice issues presented by internet users.

A second development is actually a continuation of a truly American pattern—immigration. Almost one million immigrants enter the United States legally every year. Many of these come from Pacific Rim nations and face difficult assimilation issues. Shoshanna Ringel's chapter describes ways in which social workers can help these new immigrants as well as the family members that preceded them to become acculturated to American society, while also being respectful of the culture in their country of origin.

A third development speaks to communities. With federal funding for Empowerment Zones in the mid-1990s, the importance of involving impoverished communities in solving their own problems was fully embraced. Elizabeth A. Mulroy describes why group work with populations at risk requires vigilance about community and organizational factors that will help guide and shape the direction of social work practice.

When we speak of specific and horrific events that affect the profession and group work, we are referring to violence and hate crimes. The shootings at Columbine High School and the September 11th attacks on . . .

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