UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors that impede the anti-social teen-age gang in the use of organized community programs : an analysis… Henry, Robert 1955

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1955_A5 H4 F3.pdf [ 6.11MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0106419.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0106419-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0106419-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0106419-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0106419-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0106419-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0106419-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0106419-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0106419.ris

Full Text

FACTORS THAT IMPEDE THE ANTI-SOCIAL TEEN-AGE GANG-- IN THE USE OF ORGANIZED COMMUNITY PROGRAMS An Analysis of the East End Boys Project an Attempt to Re-direct Anti-social Behaviour by ROBERT HENRY Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School of Social Work Accepted as conforming to the standard required for the degree of Master of Social Work School of Social Work 1955 The University of B r i t i s h Columbia i i i ABSTRACT This thesis i s a study of an experiment conducted by an experienced social group worker with a group of fi f t e e n anti-social teen-age hoys i n the last End d i s t r i c t of Vancouver. The writer's interest i n this study has grown out of his concern for youngsters who come to neighbourhood houses and community centers and search.in vain for companionship and enjoyable activity. In spite of their apparent desire they are unable to feel at home and take part i n the program services offered. Many of the youngsters, who experience this d i f f i c u l t y , d r i f t toward membership i n anti-social groups i n an effort to find some measure of satisfaction. The anti-social teen-age group does not appear i n a neighbourhood by chance but i n response to the unmet social and personal needs of i t s members. These needs have not been met through community services because of certain attitudes and feelings on the part of the members, the nature of the gang organization they create to protect themselves, and the response of the community to the way i n which they make their needs known. The group records of the East End Boys Project show the search of a group of youngsters for satisfying personal and group experiences. The members i n this group had not been able to find a constructive means of satisfying their need for security, status, recognition and meaning i n l i f e . The project demonstrates that, through the relationship with a social group worker, the factors that prevented some of these youngsters from using the opportunities for social experience provided by the community, can be isolated and overcome. In the security of the informal club room with an accept-ing, understanding adult these youngsters are able to relax and seek the assistance they need. In this atmosphere the social worker can u t i l i z e group work.skills and techniques and/his understanding of human behaviour i n the re-direction of/anti-social attitudes and a c t i v i t i e s . Through the medium or the natural gang group the social worker i s able to reach out and offer services to young people who otherwise could never be involved i n the helping process. The anti-social teen-age gang i s a symptom of an unmet social need in the community. Social work i n i t s concern for unmet needs wherever they appear, has recognized this symptom and moved toward the devising of methods of isolating and treating the underlying social ailment.. Social group work has a real contribution to make i n work with anti-social youngsters but such a contribution, to be effective, must be co-ordinated and integrated with a t o t a l program of youth services i n the community, & J 1' i i TABLE _ OF CONTENTS Chapter 1, The Anti-Social Teen Age Group as a Symptom of  Unmet Needs. Page Recognition of problem. Basis for the project. Initiation. Progress. Basis for study 1. Chapter 2. Development.of the Group Approach to the Anti- Social Gang. Basis of concern. P i l o t project - Toronto. Los Angeles Project. New York Youth Board. Conclusions from projects. Concepts from other studies • ..... 17. Chapter 3. Impediments to Participation i n Community Programs. Group i n the community: background on members; attitude toward adults; contact with.police; contact with other social agencies; d i f f i c u l t y i n search of employment. The group i t s e l f : group structure; group code; r e l i e f , of responsibility; group loyalty; dependence on group leader. The group members: social relationships; relations with opposite sex. Relations of individuals to group. Areas of impediment: i n members; i n group; i n community. Community response: reaction to i n i t i a l contact; staff response; worker attitudes that hinder therapy 40. Chapter 4. Remedial Process. Locating the group. Basis for relationship. Establish-ing relationship. Development of democratic structure. Testing of structure. Development of new group code. Evaluation of standards. Re-directing of.interests. Changing of attitudes. Exploring of new interests. Tentative steps out to community. Limitation of community resources. Change;: of workers. Progress during project 65. Chapter 5. The Responsibility of Professional Social Work to  the Anti-Social Group. Evaluation of the project. Yalue of group work methods. Relationship and remedial work. Integration with other youth services. Social work and the anti-social group...... 94; Bibliography 115. iv ACKNOWLEDGMENT The writing of this thesis was made possible through the co-operation of Mr. Harry Morrow, Supervisor of the project, Mrs. Kae McKenzie, .Group Work Division, Secretary Community Chest and Council, and the advisory committee for the East End Boys Project who freely offered; the use of group records, committee minutes and reports for this analysis. I would also l i k e to thank Mr. Dixon of the School of Social Work for his encouragement, Mr. Thomson and the staff at the Family Service Agency for their interest and my wife for l i v i n g with me and sharing my ups and downs during the past months. FACTORS THAT IMPEDE THE ANTI-SOCIAL TEEN-AGE GANG IN THE USE OF ORGANIZED COMMUNITY PROGRAMS CHAPTER >1. THE ANTI-SOCIAL TEEN-AGE GROUP AS A SYMPTOM  OF UNMET NEEDS. One of the most valuable contributions that the profess-ion of social work can make in the present-day world Is in the area of i t s awareness of the process of change, and i t s implica-tions i n the modern community. With the increased security of a body of knowledge and technical s k i l l , social workers have moved with growing responsibility to an application of this knowledge in the f i e l d of human relations. This has brought into sharp focus the process by which social workers assist individuals, groups and communities to move toward the kind of l i f e that gives them the satisfactions they seek. It has also raised searching questions about those individuals and groups who, by their behav-iour, indicate the need for assistance of a social work nature, but do not u t i l i z e the program of services available in the community. This has meant that there i s a group of people in the community who do not receive services at the point where such help could be of greatest assistance to them. The dual responsibility of social workers to this group of people and to the whole community has led to a more careful assessment of the means by which services are brought to the people who are in need of them. There i s increased recognition that the provision of a program of services alone w i l l not guarantee i t s effective use in overcoming some of the social ailments that are prevalent. New and more adequate recreational f a c i l i t i e s w i l l not solve, for example, the problem of juvenile delinquency; nor w i l l increased family counseling services cope with the problem of family breakdown* Social workers have considered the problem of resistance to change, and are aware of the .implications involved in the giving up of traditional patterns of behaviour for those that appear new and strange, i n spite of the assurance that they are more satisfactory. This resistance can be dealt with when i t appears in the relationship between social workers and clients, groups or communities, and the process of help can be continued., When this resistance is expressed in a more diffuse way, and the anxiety that often accompanies unsatis-factory ways of adjustment is overcome through anti-social behaviour or psychological withdrawal, then a more challenging problem is presented. Recognition of Problem The problem of incomplete use of established services has received consideration in a number of communities, the best known of which are the New York Youth Board project (1) in New York and the Los Angeles Youth Project in Los Angeles ( 2 ) . Both.these experimental studies were motivated by community concern about anti-social teen-age gang activity, and the apparent Inability of existing social and community services to,meet the needs expressed by this delinquent behaviour. Both these projects were earried out on a comprehensive scale, including an attempt to evaluate the Ji) Purman, Sylvan, ed. Reaching the Unreachedt New York, New York City Youth Board, 1952. (.2) Robinson, Duane, Change to Belong. New York, Woman's Press, 1949. 3~ program offered by agencies, and the means by which services were brought to the people in need of help. One of the important general principles that emerged from these studies was the need to consider problems of this nature in relation to the specific community where the problem has arisen. Vancouver Scene In the P a l l of 1951 the agencies serving the East End d i s t r i c t of Vancouver became acutely concerned about a problem of teen-age group behaviour and requested assistance in understanding and providing a program for a particular problem group of teen-age young people. Community planners in Vancouver have been aware for some time that the area bordering the downtown business section is one for special attention so far as an analysis is concerned of the indices of social disorganization (3). This is particularly true of the area which is bounded by Main Street on the West, Nanaimo Street on the East, the water-front on the North and the Railway Yards and Terminal Avenue on the South. This is a typical area of transition i n which the forces that work toward constructive community l i f e are minimizedt,by those of community breakdown. The single family dwellings which s t i l l remain i n some areas are interspersed with multiple family dwellings and rooming houses, and an increasing percentage of business and light industry. Demolished homes have been replaced with businesses or factories, rather than new homes or apartments. (3) Steiman, Boris, Community Organization for Social Welfare; An Analytical Study of a Low Income, Transitional District of Vancouver 1952-54 with.Specific Reference to the Problems of Inter-cultural Participation. M.S.W. Thesis, School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, 1955. 4-The assessed value of many lots exceeds that of the house and improvements, which acts as a deterrent to further improvement. Industry has made advances along many of the main streets, including Main, Hastings, Georgia and Prior streets and along Clark, Vernon, Commercial and Victoria Drives. The d i s t r i c t is f u l l of machine shops, foundries, e l e c t r i c a l shops, furniture and a l l i e d factories. Because i t s boundaries are set, there is no room for expansion i n the area, with the present residential d i s t r i c t caught between the water-front and the railway yards. In spite of the changes that have and are continuing to take place, i t is s t i l l an area of family l i v i n g . This d i s t r i c t meets the need in Vancouver for medium-priced family accommodation required by many families, where the breadwinner is engaged in seasonable work such as lumbering, fishing or construction, and must face the recurrent problem of winter unemployment. Job security to these families is indefinite, therefore limiting long-term planning. In addition many of the recent immigrants find temporary and sometimes permanent accommo-dation i n this area. As most families live here by necessity rather than choice, mobility Is high, with moves to more suitable dis t r i c t s whenever possible. There are small residential pockets within the area where various ethnic groups carry on the homeland pattern of livi n g followed before coming to Canada. This hetero-geneous mixture of cultural, r a c i a l and economic groups does not readily adapt i t s e l f to organization on a community basis. Community Services There are a number of social service and recreational agencies whose center of operation is located i n this district,and whose programs supplement those of agencies organized on a c i t y -wide basis; Some of these are established on a cultural or ethnic basis, such as the Association of Ukraine Canadians or the Serbian Canadian National Home Society. Others are on a religious basis, such as the Catholic Sailors Club or F i r s t United Church Welfare Industries. Some operate on the basis of a special service such as the Vancouver Police Mutual Benefit Association; the Rehabilitation Centre for Alcoholics; or the Strathcona Day Nursery. There are four recreational agencies that service this area; the Kiwassa Girls Club at Vernon and East Keefer, the Rufe Gibbs Boys Club at East Pender and Heatley, the Pender Y.W.C.A. at East Fender and Jackson and the Community Y.M.-Y.W. at Commercial and Venables. The four latter organizations limit their membership on a geographical basis, and so tend to serve this community more specifically than others whose offices are located in the d i s t r i c t , but who service the larger community. In terms of number of organizations and representation by ci t y -wide services, the East-of-Main area is f a i r l y well covered. However, situations such as the teen-age gang problem which arose at the Kiwassa Girls Club indicate there may be gaps in community-wide coverage on a qualitative basis. Basis for the Project The specific problem of the anti-social gang at the Kiwassa Club was brought to the attention of the Social Planning Section of the Community Chest and Council, through the efforts of the group work professor at.the School of Social Work at the 6 University of B r i t i s h Columbia. The agencies i n the area had given consideration to the problem presented by t h i s group and found that t h e i r respective f a c i l i t i e s for program and leader-ship were inadequate to meet the p a r t i c u l a r needs of these youngsters. The members of t h i s group were known to agencies' s t a f f through th e i r casual but disruptive p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the respective programs operated. The group as i t appeared i n 1952 had many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the a n t i - s o c i a l teen-age gang, and i t s reputation was well established i n the neighbourhood. In an e f f o r t to f i n d a solution to the problem posed by t h i s group and to a l l e v i a t e the pressure on agency services, the directors approached the School of Social Work with the hope that a specialized program could be inaugurated. Concern of the s o c i a l agencies aware of the problem i n the area was focused and co-ordinated through the Social Planning Section, and d e t a i l s of the project were worked out as a cooperative plan to meet the problem presented by t h i s group who at present were disrupting the program at the Kiwassa Club, breaking into the agency building and using i t as a "hang out" i n o f f hours. The group was attracted to the £iwassa Club because of the position which the building and i t s program occupied i n the community i n the past, and continued to do i n the current experience of the group members. The building the Kiwassa G i r l s ' Club now occupies has a long and varied h i s t o r y , but throughout the time of i t s operation there i s a thread of consistency that i s of p a r t i c u l a r significance to the group being described. The program has always been well footed i n the community and the members have had a f e e l i n g of belonging The building is an old f i r e h a l l that was turned over to a group of local business men to operate as a boys' club under the char-ter of the old Junior G-Men's organization. The superintendent operated a program on a part-time voluntary basis with the community supplying the materials required for hobby and small sports a c t i v i t i e s . He practically lived in the building and knew the members personally and in this way met their need to have someone interested in them regardless of their status or behaviour. The present nostalgic feeling expressed by this teen-age group toward past experience i n the agency i s a sign of the positive support that has been given to this agency i n the past. The activities operated at this unit were incorporated into the expanding work of the Vancouver Boys' Club Association and, although leadership was stabilized and program f a c i l i t i e s improved, i t lost something because i t no longer belonged exclu-sively to the local neighbourhood. The f a c i l i t i e s proved inade-quate and as soon as possible the Association moved to more suitable quarters for the type of program i t offered. A former Jewish synagogue at Heatley and East Fender was renovated and operations were transferred to that center. It was much more d i f f i c u l t , however, to transfer the feelings of loyalty and be-longing from the old building to this new f a c i l i t y and there is a continued evidence of this residue in the gravitation of this group of teen-age boys to the old fi r e h a l l under i t s present plan of operation. After the Boys' Club program moved to i t s new quarters, the Kiwassa Club, the women's counterpart to the Klwanis Club who 3 • f i r s t started boys1 club work in Vancouver, became interested in developing a program for g i r l s i n the area. It moved into the former f i r e hall as a base for offering such program. This formed a basis for the present program being offered by the Vancouver Girls' Club Association at the Kiwassa G i r l s ' Club. There was a residue of feeling by boys i n the neighbourhood, however, who found i t more d i f f i c u l t to accept this change than desertion by the Boys' Club through i t s move to another part of the d i s t r i c t . This feeling formed part of the basis for the appearance of the problem at the Kiwassa Club in the Pall of 1951 and later proved to be a valuable asset to the group worker, In establishing contact with the teen-age boys who were causing concern by their behaviour In the neighbourhood. Their positive feelings about past experiences in the agency acted as a backdrop of atmosphere that could be ut i l i z e d in re-directing their behaviour to more acceptable channels. In the loyalty to the experience which the neighbourhood had in the program, and the acceptance at the old f i r e h a l l at Vernon and Keefer Streets, can be seen one of the more subtle characteristics of this d i s t r i c t . This loyalty and nostalgic feeling for the local neighbourhood, while generated through positive experience, acts in many ways as a barrier that isolates this community, and has prevented free movement out of the dis-t r i c t to satisfy recreational and leisure time needs. Another factor that contributes to the tendency toward isolation, is the provision of employment i n local Industry, thereby further limiting ithe amount of mobility to outside communities. This group, which lives and works in the area, forms the more stable element in the community. Nevertheless their inter-ests are frequently limited to their own local neighbourhood. It is rather strange to find youngsters of twelve and thirteen years of age who have never been to Stanley Park or the c i t y beaches. There are a number of families who spend the majority of their time right i n this area, only moving outside when absolutely necessary* This feeling of isolation has tended to unify people in the area against outsiders, but i t has not provided the positive bond needed for a community to pull together toward grass roots community organization (4). It has acted rather as a. defence against the community feeling of difference and inadequacy because of limitations in housing, playgrounds, recreational f a c i l i t i e s and other community services. This particular aspect of the com-munity's attitude is particularly relevant in examining the factors that affected teen-age use of organized recreational program in the area. Initiation of the Project. In an effort to Isolate and examine the problem presented by the teen-age group of boys at the Kiwassa Club and to re-direct their activities toward more acceptable goals, an experimental project was set up i n the area. Leadership for this project was obtained through the School of Social Work at the University of Brit i s h Columbia under the supervision of Mr. Harry Morrow, then Director of Alexandra Neighbourhood House and later assistant (4) Ibid. i o minister at F i r s t United Church, which is located In the area. The project was guided by an advisory committee, form^of rep-resentatives from the Community Chest and Council and from the social agencies in the area. It was the function of this committee to give 1guidance and direction to the group worker employed on a part-time basis through funds approved by the Chest and Council. Through this experiment i t was hoped that the immediate problem of the dis-turbance of program and entry into the Kiwassa Club would be alleviated; that the behaviour of the members in tills group could be re-directed, and that through the experience provided in this program they could be assisted to reach out to other programs for their age group in the community. To this end a plan was developed to Introduce the social group worker to the members of this group through the director of the Kiwassa Club. This was achieved through a teen-age co-ed-ucational program which was. being offered as a temporary program for this age group. As soon as contact was established, a sep-arate evening of program was set up for this group of boys, with membership limited to fifteen members, and the f a c i l i t i e s of the Kiwassa Club were made available for their use one evening each week. The f a c i l i t i e s Included a games room on the main floor large enough to play such active games as floor hockey or "one basket" basket-ball, and a lounge on the upper floor where cards could be played and small dances held. Basic equipment was also supplied in the form of cards, record player, basket and volley balls and ping pong equipment. 11 The ease with which the members made themselves at home in the agency was a clear indication of their need for this kind of f a c i l i t y , where they could relax and work out some of their basic problems in relationship with their peers, adults and the opposite sex. This, however, does not mean that there were no problems in setting limits for destructive behaviour, i n gaining the acceptance and confidence of an essentially distrustful and suspicious'group, in assisting individual members to gain enough confidence to try new s k i l l s , and i n slowly helping those in the group to evaluate their standards and goals in the light of r e a l i s t i c consequences. Description of Group. Although the social worker i n i t i a l l y f e l t the group i n -volved in the experiment had many of the outward symptoms of the teen-age anti-social gang, the pattern of which is well known in most of the larger c i t i e s in North America, he later found as he gained acceptance by the members, that much of their behaviour was a camouflage for their real feelings. The members wore strides or drapes and l e t their hair grow long i n the traditional manner; they had intense feelings of loyalty to their friends and were antagonistic to outside groups, adults and authority as symbolized by the police. Much of their time was spent in neighbourhood pool-halls, cafes and on street corners. A number of the members had a background of involvement in car theft, breaking and entering and assault charges through clashes with other groups, adults and the police. However, as the worker gained their confidence he began to see behind the facade of their outward behaviour. It became 12 Increasingly obvious that one of the real reasons for the unity of the group was a self-protective need based on the insecurity of the members, and their desire to have some defence against the anxiety of their inadequacies in a community where they f e l t that everyone was against them. Independence and reluctance to accept assistance from an adult were often denial of deep under-lying dependency needs. Their casual sophistication hid fears about their a b i l i t y to compete In situations where physical or social s k i l l s were required. In the protective setting of their club night, in the company of an accepting adult who regarded them as individuals with strengths and weaknesses, these adoles-cent boys were able to relax, to verbalize their real feelings and to discuss the problems common to any teen-age group. The underlying concerns of the boys in this group were essentially the same as those which any adolescent faces In growing up and establishing himself as a part of the modern com-munity. They were concerned about emancipation from their families, about relationship with others their own age, about meeting and being comfortable with g i r l s , about employment and about their respective places in the pattern of l i f e of which they were part. The informal discussions in the lounge at the club were of utmost importance i n helping the boys to gain confidence in expressing their opinions and in providing a framework through which they could air the problems that were of v i t a l concern to them. The security gained in this manner enabled some of the members to approach the worker on their own for further assistance. Some of the feelings members had about admitting the pos s i b i l i t y ithey had problems with which they needed help, were overcome i n these f 3 sessions, and progress was made toward acceptance by the members of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own behaviour. The acceptance of t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s e s s e n t i a l i n any program of r e - d i r e c t i n g a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour, as the technique of projection i s an inevitable part of delinquent behaviour. Recognition was given to the l i m i t e d p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l s k i l l s of the members, through the provision of a c t i v i t i e s on the l e v e l at which they could perform. This gave them increasing confidence to improve t h e i r a b i l i t i e s and to t r y out new a c t i v i t i e s . The confidence and self-assurance gained i n the se c u r i t y of the club s e t t i n g , was the key to opening the door f o r greater s a t i s f a c t i o n i n s o c i a l l y acceptable a c t i v i t y , and i n enabling the members to examine with increasing understanding t h e i r t o t a l p o s i t i o n i n the community. Progress of Project. The s p e c i a l project at the Kiwassa Club was continued for a two and one-half year period, during which time encouraging progress was made i n a s s i s t i n g the boys to adopt more s a t i s f a c t o r y attitudes. There was a change i n leadership during the project, and the smoothness of t h i s change indicated the growing a b i l i t y of the members to accept other adults i n the ro l e o f group leaders. There were continued delinquencies, but these arose out of the a c t i v i t i e s of a sub-group within the membership, and had a l i m i t e d e f f e c t on the group as a whole. The continual change i n membership caused by the members leaving Vancouver f o r work, entering or returning from corre c t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , and staying away f o r less concrete reasons, handicapped the development of a consistent approach to the group. This continual change resulted i n frequent backtracking 14 » by the worker to help the newer members accept the standards which had been achieved in their absence. During the last year, i t was clear that members were holding on to an experience that had given them a real basis for security. It was also clear that the original need was no longer present, but the members were afraid of letting go because they were unsure of what the future held for them. At the end of two and one-half years, a review of the group indicated that movement had been achieved i n a number of the key problems that a l l adolescents face. Most of the boys had steady g i r l friends, some with g i r l s from the original g i r l s 1 group at the Kiwassa Club, and others with g i r l s from the d i s t r i c t . The social, s k i l l and security acquired through the small co-educa-tional program, and the follow-up group discussions were largely responsible for this progress. Most of the members had moved toward steady employment or had modified their approach to work to the point where such employment was much more l i k e l y . There was evidence of a growing acceptance of responsibility for their own decisions and movement away from the former dependence on their families. The majority of the members had matured beyond, the point where the closely knit teen-age group is so important a factor in helping young people to move out and make decisions for them-selves. A check of the present addresses of the members showed that most of the original group were no longer l i v i n g in the area; that they were making sincere attempt's; to establish themselves in other communities. The project was terminated by the committee -15 when i t became evident that the need f o r a speci a l i z e d program was no longer present i n the o r i g i n a l group of boys which was a cause of concern i n the neighbourhood. The committee f e l t that the majority of the members could now use other community f a c i l i t i e s when the need arose, and at t h i s point should be helped to terminate t h e i r experience i n the project setting. At the same time the committee recognized that there was a smaller group which the project had not been able to serve, because of deeper disturbance and a lack of r e a d i l y available treatment services. Basis f o r Study. The project undertaken at the Kiwassa G i r l s 1 Club r a i s e s a number of important issues which warrant more complete examina-t i o n . One.of the questions that arises, i s whether the behaviour of t h i s group of boys and the response they made to the kind of service provided, represents a gap i n community services. There i s a p o s s i b i l i t y that a sim i l a r problem may arise again because of the presence i n the neighbourhood of a younger counterpart of the group involved i n the project. Further, the committee's recognition that a l l members of the group were not helped through the r e - d i r e c t i v e process raises a question of more discrimination i n the use and l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r approach toward the handling of delinquency problems. This recognition also suggests a more ca r e f u l consideration of how present treatment services can be u t i l i z e d or extended, to aid i n the more complete use of the therapeutic r e l a t i o n s h i p established by the s o c i a l worker i n 'a program of t h i s nature. ,16. These issues underline the Importance of a careful assess-ment of the factors that prevent members of similar groups of youngsters from taking part in the program of services offered by the agencies in the area. It also Indicates the need for a more detailed consideration of the remedial process whereby teen-age boys who show anti-social tendencies, are helped to re-direct their interests and satisfactions, and to move outiand establish themselves in the community. CHAPTER 2 DEVELOPMENT OP THE GROUP APPROACH TO ' THE ANTl-SOClAL GAflfl. In the last decade there has been an increased awareness of, and interest in the process through which social group work assists individuals and groups to achieve the satisfactions that they seek. This Interest has come with the realization that the provision of f a c i l i t i e s and leadership alone w i l l not guarantee the effective moulding or redirecting of behaviour. It has also come through a desire to be more scie n t i f i c in the use of group process to obtain specific goals. No longer is i t f e l t that groups are good for everyone or that group experience in i t s e l f w i l l enable the majority of people to move toward more mature social relation-ships. The desire to be more specific and discriminating in the use of group process has led to experimentation in a variety of areas. The Group Dynamics movement and the experimental use of group process in problem solving or conflict situations are some of the trends that have developed in this search for greater understanding of the intangibles of group li v i n g . This movement has grown out of the social psychologist's Interest i n process, and the continuous change that i s part of the phenomenon of groups. Another facet l i e s in the growing Interest through therapeutic use of group experience in the treatment of disturbed and psychotic individuals. The psychiatrist, in his desire to 3,8 treat individual disturbances, has found that the group is a valuable tool for diagnostic and treatment purposes. As social workers have moved toward a definition of their specific area of competence and a determination of the most effective use of the variety of s k i l l s and specializations, they have given consideration to the integration of case work and group work methods and their co-operative use in meeting the to t a l needs of clients, A further area for specific study has developed out of concern for those groups and individuals i n the community who, for a variety of reasons, do not avail themselves of the program of services provided and yet,by their behaviour, indicate the presence of unmet social needs and a desire for assistance. A contributing factor to this concern has come through research in juvenile delinquency which indicates that, while some of the youngsters who appear i n juvenile court are known to recreational or other social agencies, relatively few are actively Involved in programs (5). A third influence l i e s i n a reaction against a trend in social work toward what has been called "socialized psychotherapy or psychological counselingV'(6) . There is some feeling that as social workers have become more accurate in their understanding of the process through which clients are helped and the client's part i n that process, they have also become over-selective in only offering service to those (5) United States Government National Conference on Prevention and Control of Delinquency. Report on Casework Groupwork Washington, 1946• (6) Purman, Reaching the Unreached, page 2 1'9 clients who take the i n i t i a t i v e in seeking i t , and who possess the necessary strengths to continue on a relatively intensive level. To some extent this has meant in group work that youngsters having d i f f i c u l t i e s i n group relationships or in con-t r o l l i n g their behaviour, are excluded from active participation i n programs. These factors, combined with the knowledge that the early detection and treatment of behaviour problems is essential in any program of social work services, have led to a number of experiments. Attempts have been made to identify these unserved persons, then to devise programs through which some of the values of group l i v i n g can be extended to them. A more detailed consid-eration of some of these experiments is of particular value when examining the factors that affect the use of organized community programs by anti-social teen-age persons. Pilot Project - Toronto - 1945. In 1943, the Big Brothers Movement in the c i t y of Toronto (7) undertook a limited experiment in the area of the need for spe-cialized services to "unattached gang groups" among the teen-age population. The rapid expansion of this urban community had resulted in a residue of unmet social needs for a l l people, but teen-age youngsters in particular. It was f e l t that wartime pressures of inadequate housing, limited parental supervision and inadequate recreational and leisure-time services, had precipitated a problem that could not be ignored. The most urgent symptom of this condition was the widespread teen-age delinquency (7) Rogers, Kenneth, Street Gangs in Toronto, Ryerson Press, Toronto, . 1945. ~ 20 and anti-social gang behaviour, of which the public was becoming increasingly aware. In an effort to gain greater understanding of this prob-lem, the Big Brothers employed several specialized staff members whose responsibilities were to meet as many gangs as possible in order to find out how they spent their leisure time. It was also hoped that In the short duration of the project a preliminary estimate could be obtained of the kinds of program and leader-ship techniques most effective in meeting the needs and interests of these youngsters. One of the f i r s t basic concepts that emerged i n this re-search into teen-age recreational interests was the fact that much of their behaviour was an effort to provide for social needs that were not met elsewhere. These youngsters had turned to the street when their interests were not met i n their homes or i n the neighbourhood. As the workers In the project came to better know the children i n these groups through attempting to interest them In programs already In operation, they found the attitude of the youngsters to the program, and of the organizations to many of the youngsters, did not f a c i l i t a t e such participation. On further exploration, this attitude proved to be composed of a number of elements, the most Important of which was a general feeling by many young people that they were not welcome in community programs. There had been experience i n the past when they were rejected as prospective members, because they could not come up to the standards of behaviour required by membership. It also appeared that program planning did not take into f u l l considera-t i o n the need for short-term, stimulating activities which would 21 i n t e r e s t r e s t l e s s youngsters seeking excitement. A further element that emerged was the l i m i t a t i o n i n physical and s o c i a l s k i l l s that existed i n many of the young-sters contacted by the s t a f f i n the project. When t h i s problem was discussed with l o c a l r e c r e a t i o n a l personnel, there was an expressed desire to co-operate i n a plan to bring more groups into established services but, at the same time, a pro v i s i o n made that they would have to j o i n as i n d i v i d u a l members who would be treated the same as any other member i n the program. This proved to be a stumbling-block because of the sp e c i a l need of many of the youngsters for an opportunity to develop more adequate s k i l l s and to experience an accepting, h e l p f u l r e l a t i o n -ship with an adult. When t h i s short-term experiment was evalua-ted, this l a t t e r need proved to be fundamental i n any program which sought to r e - d i r e c t the behaviour of a n t i - s o c i a l groups or in d i v i d u a l s . Findings i n Toronto Project The p i l o t project sponsored by the Big Brothers Movement i n Toronto provided a basis i n actual experience f o r the develop-ment of a v a r i e t y of group programs and imaginative leadership, i n order to p a r t i a l l y meet the s o c i a l needs of teen-age youngsters i n that area. The primary concern i n t h i s case was f o r the i n d i v i d u a l youngster and his p a r t i c u l a r problem. The approach was generally described as that of " i n d i v i d u a l guidance through group work." Contact was established through natural community groupings where the s o c i a l i z a t i o n process was well advanced within the group, but broader s o c i a l i z a t i o n had not taken place, which 22 made inevitable continual conflict with the community. Los Angeles Youth Project At almost the same time in Los Angeles, a similar problem had developed, as wartime expansion and pressure precipitated a near c r i s i s in certain areas of the c i t y (8). In this case, the situation that prompted the public and youth serving organiza-tions to definite action was the outbreak of riots between teen-age youth and members of the armed forces and between members of r a c i a l minorities. This condition was u t i l i z e d as a basis for introducing a comprehensive co-operative plan to service ten of the "less chance areas" of Los Angeles. Private organizations who were members of the Community Chest worked together to expand their present youth services, and to co-operate in meeting the obvious gaps in community services for this particular age group. This whole program was sponsored through a special drive for funds. It also received enthusiastic public support In the Community Chest annual drive for funds. Additional staff members were employed to extend present agency services and to staff the special services developed in the co-operative project. The main purposes of the Youth Project,as i t came to be known, were to bring regular recreational services to youth in the Project areas, and to carry out direct work with maladjusted youth as a means of preventing delinquency. The d i s t r i c t s selected for service included those where delinquency rates were high, where housing conditions were detrimental to constructive (8) Robinson, Chance to Belong, page 2. 23 family l i v i n g and where general social conditions hindered positive solution of the problems of young people. These areas were described as "less chance areas." They served as a focus for concentration of experimental programs aimed at alleviation of some of the contributing causes of juvenile misbehaviour, and at re-directing the interests of teen-age youth toward more satisfactory channels of expression. One of the most important aspects of the project, in terms of re-direction of behaviour, was the creation of the Special Service Unit. It fa c i l i t a t e d work with groups of youth who could not participate, i n regular agency programs. It was the function of workers attached to this Unit to meet with teen-gge gang groups in their natural setting, to gain their accep-tance and,through the exploration of interests, help them move toward participation In regular youth services. In the work attempted by the Unit, as In the Toronto experiment, the key to effective operation lay In the relationship established between the group worker and the members of the group with whom he was working. Through this relationship an adult gained the opportu-nity to influence the attitudes and values of young people and to help them toward more acceptable methods of handling their problems. Once a meaningful relationship was established with groups served by the Project, the workers found definite similarities that could be termed a common denominator In describing the problems and needs of youngsters who gravitated toward anti-social 24. teen-age groups. The members were basically insecure and had learned socially unacceptable ways of handling their problems. In their delinquencies and gang associations they were seeking security, status, and an outlet for their pent-up h o s t i l i t y . It was also clear that relationship was of primary Importance in developing an effective program aimed at the re-direction of be-haviour, that activities and the satisfactions gained through them were of secondary importance. The workers found that there was a strong feeling of loyalty among members, that this loyalty was readily adaptable to serve as a means of positive control once a constructive program had been initiated whose members looked forward to the successful completion of a c t i v i t i e s . Findings in Los Angeles The Los Angeles Youth Project has given valuable informa-tion about the kind of youngster who needs this specialized service, the type of leadership required and some indication of the auspices through which a program of services can be in s t i t u -ted. As a general rule the youth involved were easily frustrated, easily discouraged, had l i t t l e self-control, were dependent on strong natural leaders and showed limited development of physical and social s k i l l s . The worker interested in programs designed to meet such needs must be a patient, accepting person who under-stands the significance of delinquent behaviour. At the same time the worker must maintain his position as representative of the standards of the community, and not contribute to the further delinquency of the group members by being unable to maintain limits 25. 'or through over-identification with their problem situations. The worker must have adequate and skilled supervision to pre-vent him from f a l l i n g into the many p i t f a l l s inherent in work with anti-social and disturbed children. The sponsors of such programs need to give staff freedom to move at the pace required by the group, and not on the basis of predetermined objectives. The worker should be under no pressure through fear of loss of the agency's reputation, community pressure, or possible loss of position. Work with anti-social children is an exacting and demanding task, the effectiveness of which is greatly influen-ced by the confidence of the leadership, and the far-sightedness and imagination of the sponsoring organization. The reports of the Youth Project include general state-ments about some of the stumbling blocks in introducing anti-social groups to established programs, Most agencies were not in a position to handle aggressive acting-out behaviour, espec-i a l l y during the testing period when the preliminaries of re-lationship were being established. A general criticism was made that these youngsters had the wrong attitude, making i t d i f f i c u l t for them to f i t Into total program. The Project workers f e l t that attitude was a two-way process, often being a reaction to what the youngsters experienced or expected to experience. There was also a tendency to demand respect. When this was not forth-coming, the all-too-frequent response was the withdrawal of the group. This l e f t the members of the group with the feeling that they were not welcome, and the agency with the impression 26 that the group was not interested i n the activities offered. The desire for members of anti-social groups to stay together as a group within the agency and the reluctance to make suggestions about possible program, strengthened the conclusion that there was no real interest present. Lack of patience and understanding led to a rushing of the process whereby young people could gradually be moved toward constructive behaviour. Agency staff members experienced d i f f i c u l t y in maintaining their own standards, and at the same time accepting the behaviour of the group members as an expression of their level of develop-ment. The aggressive, hostile feelings of the predelinquent or delinquent person gave rise to confusion on the part of staff members in the setting, and maintaining of limitations. Awareness and understanding of these d i f f i c u l t i e s were deemed essential in the development of a program aimed at the re-direction of anti-social behaviour. Evaluation of Approach In an interim evaluation of the work of the Special Unit phase of the Youth project, several main principles were;;estab-lished. Work of the nature undertaken by the staff in this Unit must be an Integral part of an overall program of youth services. In the process whereby the anti-social group was re-directed to-ward constructive behaviour certain definite steps were indicated. The process divided i t s e l f into three phases: (1) locating the group.and establishing a relationship, (2) re-directing the group's interests along more acceptable patterns, and (3) transferring these newly developed interests to established agency services.The 27 third phase proved to be particularly d i f f i c u l t because the transfer involved a transfer of relationship from the Unit worker to the agency worker. It had to be very carefully handled in order to maintain the trust which had been developed between the group and the Unit worker, through the helping process. In this interim evaluation, an assessment was made of the advantages of the Special Unit worker system. This worker was not attached to any building or standard program, and was therefore more free to assist the group members in the develop-ment of activities that coincided with their level of Interest and a b i l i t y . He represented no authority and was therefore in a more effective position to assist the group in accepting res-ponsibility for i t s own behaviour, thereby developing i t s own authority. Where the worker had arranged f a c i l i t i e s for the group, and the plan was not successful, he was free to move out with the group and to help them in learning from the experience. He was at liberty to move at the pace required by the group, because there were no pressures to show results i n a specific period of time. The Unit worker had the real advantage of meet-ing teen-age youngsters in their own environment and learning about their families, friends, problems and total social situation. The Los Angeles Youth Project was set up as a comprehen-sive co-operative program among agencies who were concerned about the evidence of lack of quantitative and qualitative programs available to a rather large proportion of young people. It was organized to expand present services, and to devise new kinds of services where i t was necessary to involve youngsters unable 28 to,use the services of established agencies. The h i s t o r y and development of the project indicated a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour to be often a symptom of unmet needs, which ean be approached through Imaginative and f l e x i b l e use of understanding and accepting leadership. New York Youth Board ( 9 ) The New York Youth Board was established i n 1947 as an agency f o r the prevention and control of juvenile delinquency. This public agency, authorized under the New York State Youth Commission, was designed to provide both f i n a n c i a l aid and leader-ship i n developing community.services for youth. The Youth Board was composed o f public agency representatives and l a y persons appointed by the mayor of New York. The functions of the Board were :-to co-ordinate the a c t i v i t i e s of p u b l i c , private and r e l i g i o u s agencies; to make studies and analyses of the problems of youth guidance and the prevention of, juvenile delinquency; to seek to remove the causes of juvenile delinquency; to disseminate information on the prevention, treatment and causes of delinquency; and to approve the applications for f i n a n c i a l aid to public and private agencies i n the operation of recreation and youth'service projects ( 1 0 ) . The work of the Board i s based on a foundation of four principles.: l i T The recognition of the need f o r sound objective data on the extent of the problems among chi l d r e n and t h e i r f a m i l i e s and a knowledge of the services set up to meet those problems. 2. The recognition of the already e x i s t i n g services available f o r children, such as Child Guidance, Youth Counseling and Family services, and the need to expand these services to meet the known needs more adequately. (10) Ibid, page 3 . 29 i 3. The recognition of the need to reach out and detect behaviour and personality problems of children and youth at the earliest possible time and to secure adequate treatment services for them in the incipient stages of their problems — the time when they can best be helped. 4. The recognition of the value of widespread recreation in community programs in highly congested areas where neighbourhood conditions tend to endanger the physical and moral well-being of children and youth (11). Philosophy The main theme of the project l i e s In the opinion that, to effectively carry out a program of prevention of juvenile delinquency, social agencies must actively and aggressively go out to help children and parents who are either in, or approaching some kind of trouble. This concept runs through each level of organization devised by the Youth Board to carry out i t s work. In each of the eleven areas chosen for concentrated effort, referral units were set up to act as a detection and co-ordinating service, through which children with problems could be located and directed to the appropriate agency. To aid the work of these referral centers, borough f i e l d services were established and staffed by consultants, to f a c i l i t a t e the most effective co-ordination and use of available services for meeting the revealed needs of children. In addition to these services aimed at the more effective use of agencies already In operation, the Youth Board Initiated a number of special projects i n cooperation with interested organizations. Included In these projects were a program called Casework Service for Families and Children; a special program with disturbed children known as the Group Therapy Project; and a (11) Ibid, page 4. Couneil of Social and Athletic Clubs which co-ordinated the Board's work with street clubs or youth gangs. A l l of these programs were operated on a community-wide basis, but were integrated with the programs in each of the referral unit areas. Approach to Teen-Age Gangs The Council of Social and Athletic Clubs developed from experimental work of the Youth Board. It attempted to provide activities and leadership for unaffiliated and anti-social teen-age groups. The experimental work was undertaken in response to a need for action in counteracting the growth of teen-age gang conflict. In the organization of the Council an attempt was made to incorporate some of the findings of other experiments, and in this way to achieve a comprehensive attack on the problem presented by rising juvenile delinquency rates. The work of the Council i s based on an understanding of the importance of teen-age groups i n the process of change from childhood to adulthood. The teen-age group provides the struc-ture for group support in emancipation from the family, and move-ment toward acceptance of responsibility on a personal basis* It also gives the much-needed security to the adolescent through association with others his own age. In the security of this setting, the embryonic adult can work out the preliminaries in his relationship with the opposite sex, develop group loyalty, learn the value of co-operative effort and move toward an under-standing of his place In the modern community. The satisfaction of these needs is an essential part of the growing-up process. It is the opinion of the Council that the antI-social 31 u teen-age gang group i s an association through which i t s members seek s a t i s f a c t i o n of many of the normal adolescent needs f o r group experience. The intense need f o r group support combined with the re v o l t against a u t h o r i t y that i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of this age group, the i n a b i l i t y of many youngsters to handle hos-x t i l e negative f e e l i n g s , can have a strong influence on the d i r e c t i o n a teen-age group may take i n i t s development. When these factors are further complicated by more fundamental i n -fluences such as family disorganization, economic i n s e c u r i t y , d i s t o r t i o n of values and standards, and emotional maladjustments of leaders or members, there i s an almost in e v i t a b l e swing toward a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. These groups are accepted as legitimate attempts to f i n d s a t i s f a c t i o n of basic needs. Through the pro-v i s i o n of understanding leadership, the Council works toward the re-evaluation of standards and values, and the r e - d i r e c t i o n of behaviour toward more acceptable goals. The Youth Board followed a number of general, p r i n c i p l e s i n the organization o f the Council of Social and A t h l e t i c Clubs which arose from a review of the work of previous projects and on preliminary experiments carried out by the Youth Board. The "area approach" which was f i r s t used by C l i f f o r d Shaw in... the Chicago Area Projects (12), was selected as the most e f f e c t i v e method i n the r e - d i r e c t i o n of a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. This approach generally involves a program of community organization on a neigh-bourhood l e v e l where p a r t i c i p a t i o n of l o c a l people i s stressed, and attempts are made to use and strengthen indigenous leadership. (12) McCarthy, James E. and Barbaro, Joseph S, "Re-directing Teen Age Gangs" i n Furman,Sylman,Reachlng the Unreached page 100. 52 In i t s application to teen-age gangs, the method followed a pattern similar to that already described in the Los Angeles Youth Project, Again the key to success in re-channeling behaviour lay in gaining the acceptance of the group, and using relationship in assisting the members to find more com-plete satisfaction through socially acceptable a c t i v i t i e s . In some of the earlier experiments by private agencies In the use of workers detached from their own agencies, a fur-ther principle which emerged was the need for uniformity in application of approach, i n order to provide adequate supervi-sion and f a c i l i t a t e effective working relationships with other public and private agencies. On the basis of the problems arising in these experiments, a plan was devised whereby a l l work with teen-age gangs would be carried as direct services of the Youth Board through the Council of Social and Athletic Clubs. Similarly, from these experiments i t was found that effective work was dependent on the application of services on a "saturation basis." In practice, this meant that a l l gangs in a local area had to be serviced simultaneously, In order to avoid a hindering of the efforts at re-direction through contact of the members with other unserved gangs, whose attitude could precipitate further delinquency. A f i n a l consideration was the need to obtain qualified staff, upon whose personalities, s k i l l s and techniques depended the success of the project. The Council staff needed to have a fundamental appreciation of the environment from which these gangs came. They also had to have an understanding of group and 33 i n d i v i d u a l behaviour, together with an a b i l i t y to be f l e x i b l e and imaginative i n the use of t h e i r s k i l l s i n both areas. Toward thi s end a t r a i n i n g project was developed by the Board under the auspices of the S o c i a l Science Laboratory of the College of the City of New York. The project was focused on t r a i n i n g undergrad-uates i n the basic understanding of the approach to u n a f f i l i a t e d or pre-delinquent groups. It was found that t h i s basic knowledge formed a valuable complement to the s o c i a l work t r a i n i n g desired by the Youth Board for workers active i n the work with teen-age gang groups. Implementation of Project P r i n c i p l e s . The structure through which the objectives of the Youth Board were carried out, consisted of the Council of S o c i a l and A t h l e t i c Clubs which coordinated the e f f o r t s o f the s t a f f , and a technical and advisory committee which developed the adminis-t r a t i v e p o l i c y . The advisory committee acted as a coordinator of the interests of community organizations, giving them a chan-nel through which they could p a r t i c i p a t e i n the work of the Board with teen-age groups. There were four sub-committees: personnel, methods, locations, and research res p e c t i v e l y . The sub-committee on methods was p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l i n working out the i n t e r -r e l a t i o n s h i p between the Council workers and the law-enforcing agencies. The personnel, committee took early action i n devising standards for s t a f f t r a i n i n g and i n working out job analyses. It was a l s o concerned with the provision of adequate supervision, to f a c i l i t a t e o b j e c t i v i t y i n the d i f f i c u l t task of sorting out , and r e - d i r e c t i n g the interests and energies of adolescents. In 34 'the organizational structure, the Board incorporated many of the findings of previous experiments i n the hope that such planning would guarantee a f u l l scale attack on the delinquency problem indicated by teen-age gang c o n f l i c t . The following goals were formulated as a basis f o r working out the actual work to be attempted by the Council of Social and A t h l e t i c Clubs: 1. Reduction of a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour, p a r t i c u l a r l y street f i g h t i n g . 2. Fri e n d l y relationships with other street gangs. 3« Increased democratic p a r t i c i p a t i o n within the gang. 4. Broadened s o c i a l horizons. 5. Re s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r s e l f - d i r e c t i o n . 6. Improved personal and s o c i a l adjustment of the i n d i v i d u a l . 7. Improved community relations.(13) These goals are the basis f o r program and are implemented through the establishment of a meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p between the Coun-c i l workers, the gangs and t h e i r members. When the worker has moved through the process of lo c a t i n g the gang, establishing contact and gaining acceptance, he can then u t i l i z e the r e l a t i o n -ship f o r modifying the attitudes of the members and i n r e -d i r e c t i n g t h e i r behaviour. Findings of New York Project Work with teen-age gangs i n the manner undertaken by the Youth Board i n New York i s not put f o r t h as a panacea f o r a l l teen-age gang problems. It does show evidence of being one of the most successful methods of r e - d i r e c t i n g a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. A study of the s p e c i f i c groups serviced by the Council, shows that progress has been made i n a t t a i n i n g some of the goals out-l i n e d as the objectives f o r a program of t h i s nature. This (13) Ibid, page 108. 3(5 approach can reduce gang conflict, and through the use of rela-tionship, the workers can enable the gangs to function more positively. Through exposure to a more democratic group struc-ture and process, there has been increased participation in the planning and implementation of group ac t i v i t i e s . Such programs have given an opportunity for increasing s k i l l s , demonstrating to the members the value of planned follow-through of socially acceptable activity. Individual members have responded to the interest shown by the workers. They have used help In gaining understanding of their behaviour and in specific problems such as employment, emancipation and relation with g i r l friends. For the members who are in need of more intensive services, this method of service is of definite value in preparing the adolescent for such help and in selection of the appropriate service required. Much of the progress here described has been achieved through the use of supportative relationships and techniques that have assisted the youngster to move through the danger period of adolescence to the relative safety of young adulthood. This method w i l l no longer be needed as a re-directive technique, when the groups now serviced either develop past the stage where the needs for group association are not so strong, or are transferred to the ongoing programs of community agencies. The long term success of this approach as a measure to prevent delinquent gang activity can only be determined by i t s effect on the overall neighbourhood pa/fctern and attitude. Success can be further assured by the 36 acceptance of responsibility by youth-serving agencies for incorporating the basic principles of this method into their ongoing program of services, particularly in areas where gang problems exist; or where social conditions are such that teen-age youngsters may seek satisfaction of their needs through anti-social gang behaviour. Conclusions From Projects The experiments which have been discussed show the recognition of a social problem, the development of a method of approaching that problem, and the organization of a com-munity structure to implement that method on a comprehensive basis to find solutions to the problem. The p i l o t project i n Toronto developed to the stage where i t indicated the need for specialized services to teen-aged youth who for various reasons were not taking part in community services of a recreat-ional nature. The Los Angeles Youth Project shows the develop-ment of a method through the voluntary cooperation of private youth service agencies and the application of that method in the re-direction of anti-social teen-age groups toward estab-lished services. The New York Youth Board has developed a comprehensive publicly financed program, integrated with a wide-spread program of prevention aimed at reaching out to those in need of services who are unable to mobilize themselves to make application. The motivating factors in the development of these projects have been a concern for the rising incidence of teen-age 37 gang conflict, anti-social activity, and a desire to develop a re-directive program. A further factor was the realization that teen-age gangs were not being serviced to an appreciable extent by agencies offering recreational and group work ser-vices to this age group. This fact i s mentioned in each of the projects described and tentative reasons are given for this gap in services. Again, in each case the suggestion is made that agencies offering a program of youth service re-evaluate their services in order to consider the special needs of the youngster who gravitates toward the anti-social gang group. This evaluation would include consideration of the factors which affect individual or group use of program. An appreciation of these factors i s especially ^ asLttflhli when youngsters in a community indicate byitheir behaviour that they are seeking satisfaction for needs in group experience that have not been met through community services which have been devised with the satisfaction of group needs as a prime objective. Concepts from Other Studies The concern shown i n these projects for the youngster who does not use the group work and recreational programs in a community is further underlined in studies of delinquency and in consideration of some of the factors affecting membership in group programs. In the report on Casework-Groupwork at the National Conference on Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delin-quency in 1947, the following statements were made: If persons are to be happy, adjusted, and attain f u l l development, they must have opportunities for group 1 experience and a c t i v i t y which are essential for a 38 s a t i s f y i n g l i f e . Many children and youths are deprived of these opportunities and communities are beginning to see that provisions f o r constructive leisure-time a c t i -v i t i e s represent an es s e n t i a l s o c i a l service coordinate with health and education services. To invest i n youth Is to secure the future of our society through producing happy, resourceful individuals (14). and that: As the group-work method serves to help c h i l d r e n to develop well-rounded p e r s o n a l i t i e s with strength to meet everyday problems i t serves to prevent delinquency. It has been demonstrated that the group-work method which r e l i e s upon understanding a c h i l d ' s needs, i n t e r e s t s , and powers, and connecting these with appropriate outside st i m u l i through the interpersonal relationships and a c t i -v i t i e s i n the group, can be e f f e c t i v e with predelinquents and delinquents. However, i t must be said that many agencies providing group-work service have t h e i r focus much more on providing leadership and f a c i l i t i e s f o r the development of the so-called normal c h i l d than upon those whose l i f e experiences head them toward delinquency. For t h i s reason agencies seeking to serve those who need sp e c i a l help need to consider such questions as the following: Can agencies accept c h i l d r e n and youth as they are and e s t a b l i s h a more permissive atmosphere, a more f l e x i b l e program, a wider freedom of expression f o r release and control of emotional feeling? Can they include more accepting.and nonjudgmental workers among this s t a f f ? Is i t Inevitable that the agency must be geared predom-ina n t l y f o r the average c h i l d to whom i t caters i n the main without provision being made for those who are unsocialized, aggressive, and "always breaking r u l e s ? " Can d i f f i c u l t c h i l d r e n be f i t t e d into the pattern of established groups? Can s p e c i a l groups for those not ready f o r competi-tive group experience be established? (15) In papers presented at the National Conference of S o c i a l Work i n 1948, Hazel Osborn and Harriet Young discussed some of (14) Report on Casework-Groupwork National Conference on Prevention and Control of Delinquency, page 26. (15) Ibid, page 27. 3I ^he factors of resistance which a f f e c t group p a r t i c i p a t i o n (16) In t h i s discussion resistance i s i d e n t i f i e d as i t operates i n the group set t i n g and ambivalence i s shown to exist i n spite of voluntary membership. Resistance i s normal i n any s i t u a t i o n where change or i n t e r a c t i o n i s involved. Unwillingness to par-t i c i p a t e , a form i n which resistance i s expressed, may r e s u l t from factors a r i s i n g from the personality of the member. The attitude, philosophy and program structure of the agency may form the basis f o r s i m i l a r d i f f i c u l t i e s . The i n t e r a c t i o n bet-ween the member and the agency s t a f f may contribute a t h i r d source for active expression of resistance. When resistance i s viewed as normal, a program that i s designed to meet the needs of delinquent or pre-delinquent c h i l d r e n must be prepared for a f u l l - s c a l e expression of t h i s phenomenon i n a l l i t s d i f f e r e n t disguises. The East End Boys 1 Project carried out at the Kiwassa G i r l s ' Club provides a basis for study of an a n t i - s o c i a l group i n a community where there are recr e a t i o n a l resources which the members of the group have not been able to u t i l i z e . The group records of t h i s project form a basis f o r the analysis of the factors that prevented t h i s group of boys from taking an active part i n the acceptable a c t i v i t i e s i n the neighbourhood. The work of the project also demonstrates the process, by which a n t i -s o c i a l youngsters can overcome some of t h e i r problems i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and move out into community l i f e with a f e e l i n g of security and with a greater chance of s o c i a l s a t i s f a c t i o n . 16. Osborn, Hazel and Young,Harriet, "Some Factors of Resistance Which E f f e c t Group P a r t i c i p a t i o n " i n S u l l i v a n , Dorothea, ed. Readings in-Group Work, New York, Association Press, 1952. CHAPTER 3 IMPEDIMENTS TO PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY PROGRAMS. The Kiwassa Club experiment with the group of a n t i - s o c i a l teen-age boys was undertaken to meet an immediate problem, and to gain further understanding of the basic problems presented by this group. This p a r t i c u l a r group was selected because of the disruption i t caused i n the program at the Kiwassa G i r l s ' Club and because there were indications i n the behaviour of the mem-bers of a desire for organized group a c t i v i t y . One of the objectives of the project was to experiment with the provision of leadership and selected program to a group that had not attached i t s e l f to any of the neighbourhood programs. It was hoped that i n thi s way some influence would be made toward coun-teracting the trend i n the group to a c r y s t a l l i z e d delinquent pattern. It was further hoped that the experiment would uncover the factors that prevented th i s group from using the f a c i l i t i e s of the Community Y, the Pender Y.W.C.A. and the Rufe Gibbs Boys' Club, a l l of which are located in the neighbourhood. This experiment i n r e - d i r e c t i v e group work was undertaken with an eye to the ' wider implications of work with a n t i - s o c i a l groups i n Vancouver. The use of the group work approach to the problem of a n t i - s o c i a l group behaviour i s not new i n Vancouver. Some of the more recent projects that have been undertaken include ,41. Mrs. June Wanden's work at the Y.W.C.A. In 1946 (17), ,t Glen Hamilton's analysis of the work with a delinquent gang at Alexandra Neighbourhood House i n 1949 (18) and Miss Josephine Spicer's survey of gang a c t i v i t i e s i n Vancouver (19). Further concern about this.problem Is shown through the creation of the -Youth D e t a i l i n the police force and the inauguration of the Mayor's committee on Youth A c t i v i t i e s . The e f f o r t s to date have not been coordinated on a community-wide basis and integrated with the on-going services of the community. One of the wider objectives of the experiment was to involve the community i n a process of community organization that would provide a basis for planning on a community-wide l e v e l . GROUP IN COMMUNITY  Background on Members One of the problems to consider i n a study of a n t i -s o c i a l teen-age a c t i v i t y i s the l i m i t a t i o n o f background material on i n d i v i d u a l members. This l i m i t a t i o n makes i t d i f f i c u l t i n some cases to i n t e r p r e t behaviour or to validate tentative conclusions. This problem i s inherent i n the s i t u a t i o n (17) Wanden, June, Eva, Working With Delinquents. M.S.W. Thesis School of Soc i a l Work, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1947. (18) Hamilton, Glen, The Teen Age Gang i n the Community: Study and Treatment of a Teen Age Gang with Implications for Community Services and Recommendations fo r S o c i a l Action. M.S.W. Thesis School of Soc i a l Work, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1949. (19) Spicer, Josephine, Summary Eeport on Gang Organization i n C i t y of Vancouver, Noweanber 1950 - May 1951. Survey prepared for p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of f i e l d work requirements, Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1951. 42 ^because the anti-social teen-age group i s a defensive device which protects i t s members from feelings of inadequacy, and supports them in their denial of dependency needs. The sophis-ticated, casual and independent gang member cannot admit even to himself that, beneath the surface, he i s a puzzled youngster who is fearful of close relationships and unsure of his a b i l i t y to handle his own inner drives. This defensive attitude con-tributes to the distrust and suspicion of adults that i s common with youngsters who attempt to resolve their d i f f i c u l t i e s through identification with anti-social gang groups. This situation means that the provision of activities on an informal basis at a level which the members can use, is of particular value in giving an opportunity to the worker with such a group to observe members i n their day-to-day behaviour, and in providing a chance for a meaningful relationship to develop. The planned acti v i t i e s act as a medium through which the members come to know the worker, and the worker i n turn obtains an understanding of the underlying personalities of the members. This understanding i s supplemented by information ob-tained through talks with individual members. In. many cases, however, certain assumptions have to be made on the basis of the use made of the group, other, activities and the relationship to the adult worker. This is the case i n the present study. When a l l the Information on the individual members was compiled, there was s t i l l only a bare outline of the background and families of the members. An examination of the use made of,and ' the d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered by the boys' group at the Kiwassa 43 Club gives a picture of the impediments that affected i t s use of other community recreational programs. Attitude Toward Adults. One of the f i r s t areas of d i f f i c u l t y to appear lay in the attitude shown by the group toward the adult worker. This attitude was a combination of distrust, suspicion, defiance and denial of their need for adult assistance. This last factor continually reappeared throughout the project. It is one of the basic elements in the relationship between this group and adults in the community. The testing period,which is part of the f i r s t stage of a developing relationship, extended beyond that of most adolescent groups. This was to be expected because of ambivalence toward a l l adults, and the great need of most of the members to. be certain of the adult in whom they confided. During this period the members tested the worker's a b i l -i t y to set limitations, to keep confidences and to stand by his own convictions about standards and social values. One of the primary concerns of the members was the worker's relationship with the police. It was not un t i l considerable time had elapsed, during which the worker repeatedly showed his concern and real interest for the members, that the worker received indications of acceptance from the group. There was a basic assumption by the youngsters in this group that their behaviour was disapproved of, and that adults would react with criticism, ridicule and restrictive measures. Much of the group's behaviour was aimed at proving this assumption, and there was evidence that they had some success in so doing. 44 i Contact with Police One of the areas where proof of the above assumption was most successful was i n the group's contact with the p o l i c e . The behaviour through which t h i s group expressed i t s feelings toward authority and found s a t i s f a c t i o n f o r h o s t i l e , aggressive f e e l i n g s , brought the group into frequent clashes with the p o l i c e . The continued presence of a teen-age gang i n t h i s neighbourhood was a threat to the p o l i c e , i n that i t was a r e f l e c t i o n on the effectiveness of the methods used to control a n t i - s o c i a l a c t i v i t y . The measures used were repressive i n nature and were motivated to some extent by the provocative attitude of the group and by pressure from the p u b l i c . These measures were regarded by the group members, as proof of t h e i r f e e l i n g that adults were c r i t i c a l , r e j e c t i n g people whose main idea was to break up their group. Because of the intense need of the youngsters i n this group f o r group support and t h e i r fear of lon e l i n e s s , t h i s threat represented a n n i h i l a t i o n so f a r as the members were concerned. The protec-tive function of the group was strengthened by t h i s outside threat, and so was the s o l i d a r i t y and unity of the gang group. The f a i l u r e to recognize the basis on vfaich gang groups are often organized, has meant overlooking one of the strongest factors i n the motivation of the behaviour of the group members. The p o l i c e , by t h e i r actions, had proved the assumption made by the group, thus becoming a legitimate focus f o r h o s t i l e and 45 I negative group feelings. In the early work of the project i t became clear that the police and other law-enforcing o f f i c i a l s were on the defen-sive so far as the project was concerned; that there was not an adequate basis of understanding on which to build a co-operative working relationship. This hindered the progress of the project because of misunderstandings about the role of the worker, both by the members and by the police. It was d i f -f i c u l t to establish that acceptance of behaviour did not mean condoning that behaviour; that the worker's efforts were aimed at the re-direction of the anti-social behaviour, through assisting the members to find satisfaction in acceptable ac t i v i t i e s . Contact with Other Social Agencies. A further evidence of the group's d i f f i c u l t y in relation-ships with adults and also with other youngsters of the same age, was to be seen in the limited contact the group members had with other youth-serving agencies. In this situation the problem was complicated by limitations in social and physical s k i l l of the members. This made i t even more d i f f i c u l t for them to fe e l at home because they could not compete i n activities with any degree of success. There was a general feeling that there was too much "red tape" involved in becoming members of these agencies. They had d i f f i c u l t y accepting the rules and regula-.tions inherent in programs involving more than one group and i a variety of activities. They could not share f a c i l i t i e s with 46 oi^her groups and had l i t t l e respect for the wishes of other agency members. The members had d i f f i c u l t y facing competitive s i t u a -tions without the support o f the r e s t of the group. This i n e v i t a b l y led to d i f f i c u l t i e s within the agency. The reaction of agency s t a f f to these l i m i t a t i o n s on the part of the members, led them to believe that they were not wanted as prospective members. The problems that the members had i n relationships with adults made i t impossible f o r them to tackle and overcome the l i m i t a t i o n s outlined, so they looked elsewhere f o r s a t i s -f a c t i o n of t h e i r group and s o c i a l needs. These agencies were not set up to provide a s u f f i c i e n t testing period, i n order that the members could c l a r i f y t h e i r mixed feelings about adult s t a f f members. Again, there was a presupposition by the members that they would be rejected as prospective members and much of the i r behaviour revolved around proving t h i s assumption. D i f f i c u l t y In Search f o r Employment A f i n a l i n d i c a t i o n of the problem of re l a t i o n s h i p with adults was seen i n the d i f f i c u l t i e s that the members faced i n the i r search f o r employment. Because of the limited t r a i n i n g of most members, the only available jobs were of an u n s k i l l e d nature, where competition was heavy. They were unable to use the National Employment Service because the procedure was f r u s t r a -t i n g and the complicated system of departments was overwhelming. Often when they did f i n d employment, the period of stay on the job was shortened by t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to compete with other employees, 47 and to function adequately under the c r i t i c a l supervision of employers. The group had developed an attitude that work was for "suckers" as a means of denying the problem that had been experienced i n finding and holding jobs. Here again the worker found that the members had preconceived ideas about t h e i r accept-a b i l i t y by employers and t h i s attitude acted as a further hindrance i n f i n d i n g suitable employment. THE GROUP ITSELF In each of the situations outlined where there was a problem i n the members' re l a t i o n s h i p with adults, there was also a defensive attitude on the part of the members, based on a projection of t h e i r own feelings of being unacceptable. This defensiveness on the part of the members drew a c r i t i c a l response from adults i n the community, thus completing the c i r c l e . As the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the group and the worker became more meaningful, i t was c l e a r that the defensive attitude of the group members and much of t h e i r behaviour acted as a protection against a v a r i e t y of feelings of r e j e c t i o n , inadequacy and unworthiness. Group Structure Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the group that affected i t s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n other r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s was the autocratic structure of the group. At the x^r-art outset of the project, the leader i n t h i s group was a h o s t i l e aggressive youngster, possess-ing l i t t l e a b i l i t y to r e l a t e himself to adults or to other young-sters i n the group. He functioned as an autocrat and demanded absolute l o y a l t y by the group members. Group control was maintained 48 ^through a threat of expulsion from the group. The members accepted t h i s leadership, because i t gave them an opportunity to express t h e i r own negative and h o s t i l e feelings without too great a burden of g u i l t about t h e i r actions. The group code formulated by the group acted as a sub-society f o r the mem-bers and i n thi s way met t h e i r need for se c u r i t y , status and l i m i t a t i o n s . Because o f the intense need by the members f o r group support, t h e i r need f o r a channel to express pent-up fee l i n g s and t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to face the loneliness and v u l n e r a b i l i t y which would follow expulsion, they accepted and conformed to the a n t i -s o c i a l standards and values of the group. Group Code The a n t i - s o c i a l gang group code Imposes a s t r i c t l o y a l t y that prevents rel a t i o n s h i p s with other groups, or p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s not sanctioned by the group. "Scapegoating" was used as a technique to enforce l o y a l t y and also to express feelings of f r u s t r a t i o n which had accumulated. This was accepted as part of the requirement f o r membership i n the group. This whole pat-tern of leadership and group structure was not c r y s t a l l i z e d at the point that the project was introduced, but there, was clear evidence of the fundamentals of such a° development. There was also a healthy r e b e l l i o n against some of the techniques;;and attitudes of the gang leader, which gave the worker a chance to a s s i s t the group members i n moving toward democratic procedures and s o c i a l l y acceptable behaviour. In the se c u r i t y of the club-room setting, the gang pattern was relaxed and the group appeared 49 tas a loosely k n i t c o l l e c t i o n of sub-groups. The unity of the group was undermined by c o n f l i c t among the members f o r status i n the group, and by i n d i v i d u a l members using the group setting f o r a place to express t h e i r disturbed f e e l i n g s . However, when the gang met outside the club room, they presented a united front against the community that threatened them. This could be seen i n the periodic c o n f l i c t with other teen age groups and with adults i n the neighbourhood. R e l i e f of Re s p o n s i b i l i t y As w e l l as o f f e r i n g s e c u r i t y to the member, the gang group also r e l i e v e s the member of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for i n d i v i d u a l decisions or behaviour. This pattern i s i n d i r e c t contrast to the s e l f - d i r e c t i n g democratic group which encourages the develop-ment of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within the group. The dependence on auto-c r a t i c leadership that i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a n t i - s o c i a l group members, acts as a b a r r i e r to the adult leader who works toward increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n group planning and decisions. The adult leader i s a threat, therefore, to the natural gang leader who operates on the basis' of the autocratic pattern of leader-ship. Where the gang leader i s a disturbed or psychopathic youngster who cannot e a s i l y r e l a t e , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to develop sa t i s f a c t i o n s that w i l l compensate for his loss o f prestige and power when the pattern of leadership i s changed. Group Loyalty The l o y a l t y of members to their fellow-members, combined vwith an i n a b i l i t y to think i n terms of the whole group, hinders 50" "the development of group r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and s e l f - d i r e c t i o n . In the case of the group at the Kiwassa Club, the group protected the member who broke the rules and conditions under which the group used the agency f a c i l i t i e s . In spite of the threat to the whole group, the l o y a l t y to group members made i t d i f f i c u l t to conform to rules and regulations. At thi s point the worker t. became an outsider i n spite of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the group and with i n d i v i d u a l members. Dependence on Gang Leader When the natural leader was removed from the community through incarceration, there was a lack of d i r e c t i o n i n the group and a reluctance on the part o f the members to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r planning. The former dependence on the gang leader was p a r t i a l l y transferred to the adult worker during th i s period, which f a c i l i t a t e d the r e - d i r e c t i o n of behaviour. The group's attitude toward the former leader when he returned to the neighbourhood indicated that there had been a change during his absence, as he was not accepted back in^the group In his f o r -mer capacity. He was unable to f i t himself i n on any other basis and remained on the edge of the group f o r the remainder of the project. The gang structure i n t h i s group developed i n response to a need by the members f o r security, and f o r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with a strong leader through whom they could f i n d expression f o r t h e i r h o s t i l e aggressive f e e l i n g s . This group offered the members status, prestige and protection, but also hindered the s o c i a l i -z ation process by the conditions of membership. 51 INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY OF MEMBERS After the project worker had known the members f o r some time and was accepted by them, he became aware of the basic underlying problem that motivated the a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour of the members. This problem l a y i n the feelings of i n s e c u r i t y , inadequacy and unw'orthiness of the members. These f e e l i n g s were only revealed to the worker i n the s e c u r i t y of the small informal group " b u l l sessions," but th e i r existence had been indicated from the f i r s t by t h e i r uncertainty i n the program developed at the Kiwassa Club. S o c i a l Relationships From the outset, i t was cle a r that the members of the group were not pri m a r i l y interested i n a c t i v i t y as such, but rather i n being with others of t h e i r own age and i n sorting out some of the rel a t i o n s h i p problems that plague a l l adoles-cents. They were interested i n those games which required a minimum of s k i l l , competition and f r u s t r a t i o n . At the same time, they provided enough active p a r t i c i p a t i o n to r e l i e v e r e s t l e s s energies. The members showed limited a b i l i t y to follow the rules f o r more organized games, and a tendency to adapt the rules i n t h e i r favour, when such a move was necessary to avoid loss of prestige. Losing i n a game usually resulted i n impul-sive acting-out behaviour, through which the loser gave vent to his f r u s t r a t i o n and loss of status. The favourite a c t i v i t y consisted of a combined card game and informal discussion. Through thi s medium the worker had the best opportunity to know the 52 members as persons. Participation in these discussions varied from one member asking for information from the worker, to a f u l l group argument where the worker was not directly involved. These sessions were gradually formalized to provide the plan-ning structure for the group but, at f i r s t and for some time, program ideas were implemented directly from these informal sessions. Relations with Opposite Sex One of the recurrent subjects discussed during these informal talks was that of relationships with the opposite sex. The discussion varied from relating of sexual experiences to the. discussion of plans for dances or parties. The ideas expressed showed a fantasy about social relationship with g i r l s that far exceeded the actual a b i l i t y of the members in this regard. It was d i f f i c u l t to help the members plan r e a l i s t i c a l l y for a kind of activity that would give them a real feeling of success and accomplishment. Their feeling about social events had undercurrents of fear of failure and also of fantasy about success, which made i t d i f f i c u l t to work with them on a r e a l i s t i c basis. The group was dependent for partners on a teen-age g i r l s 1 group at the Kiwassa Club. These g i r l s were younger and generally passive in their relationship with the boys' group. They took no active part i n the planning of social events and accepted the boys' decisions on most matters. Occasional mention was made of the fact that the members should be able to find partners outside t h i s group. They did not do so u n t i l the project was almost completed. The boys resented t h e i r dependency on the g i r l s , a n d , as a r e s u l t , treated them i n an offhand casual manner that denied the intense need which they had f o r them. In many ways the g i r l s became an audience through which the members acquired status and some degree of s o c i a l contact. It was evident that the members i n the group had acquired some sexual experience, either d i r e c t l y or by vicarious means through the exploits r e l a t e d by older boys i n the community. These experiences were discussed f r e e l y In the informal meetings. From the ideas and attitudes revealed, i t was clear that much of t h e i r talk and behaviour i n the area of sex was beyond t h e i r l e v e l of emotional development. There was a mixture of adult experiences and romantic c h i l d l i k e wishes that resulted i n a great variety of behaviour. The c o n f l i c t i n handling sexual feelings led to acting out behaviour, which would not have been accepted i n larger teen-age programs where the structure was more formalized and a greater sublimation of sexual feelings was expected. The problem of resolving the c o n f l i c t around sacred and profane love, which i s t y p i c a l of adolescents, was accentuated i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n by l i m i t e d s o c i a l s k i l l s through which the members could meet comfortably with the opposite sex. The absence of these s k i l l s was covered up by a sophi s t i c a t i o n which denied the i n s e c u r i t y of the members, but at the same time did not provide a basis for working out r e l a t i o n s h i p s . S o c i a l events 54 ^ were i n c l i n e d to deteriorate into relationships between couples who were p r i m a r i l y coneerned about themselves, and not the s o c i a l a c t i v i t y as a whole. The form that s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s generally followed showed the need f o r a place where members of the group could meet with t h e i r g i r l f r i e n d s , play records, cards and i n an informal way get to know each other as people. The d i f f i c u l -t i e s i n this area of r e l a t i o n s h i p with g i r l s were expressed i n the security of the protected club room se t t i n g i n company of an accepting adult. To the outside community the boys i n t h i s group presented an attitude of confidence, s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and worldllness which was i n contrast to t h e i r r e a l feelings or experience. The members i n the boys' group at the Kiwassa Club were attracted to co-educational programs i n the community but did not p a r t i c i p a t e to any extent. The reasons f o r t h i s a r e shown i n the small club program that was developed as part o f the pro-j e c t . The members lacked the s k i l l s by which relationships are formed and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s achieved. Further, they lacked s e c u r i t y and confidence i n t h e i r own a b i l i t y to acquire the p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l s k i l l s involved. The basic fact emerging from t h i s pro-ject indicated these youngsters to be l i m i t e d i n their a b i l i t y to r e l a t e themselves to people outside t h e i r immediate groupj or to the larger community. This i n a b i l i t y was handled through the creation of an a n t i - s o c i a l gang which gave them security and status and protected them from the outside community. This organization offered p r o t e c t i o n to the insecure, inadequate youngster who was seeking some means to s a t i s f y his need f o r s o c i a l relationships,but 55 was hindered by his l i m i t e d a b i l i t y to r e l a t e himself to others. This group also attracted the disturbed youngster who was seeking a channel for the expression of his anxiety through h o s t i l e aggressive behaviour. Relation of Individual to Gang The a n t i - s o c i a l gang as pictured by the group at the Kiwassa Club, has developed i n response to the needs of a c e r t a i n section of the teen-age population. A group of t h i s nature i s legitimate, insofar as i t represents an attempt on the part of youngsters t o f i n d s a t i s f a c t i o n s i n group experience that they have not been able to f i n d elsewhere. This kind of group organi-zation, however, tends to be sel f - d e s t r u c t i v e because of the negative basis o f unity, the autocratic group structure, and the i n a b i l i t y to relate i t s e l f to the wider community. The structure of the group and the pattern of leadership are aimed at main-ta i n i n g the status quo, i n terms of the relationships within the group and to other groups i n the community. There i s no f l e x i b i l -i t y i n the group structure or provision f o r the development of the leadership p o t e n t i a l of the members. Because of the negative aspects of the cohesive force i n the a n t i - s o c i a l group, the focus of a c t i v i t y tends to l i e i n the expression of negative feelings toward others, rather than i n the development of the posit i v e interests of the members. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the gang group do not appear as lim i t a t i o n s to the i n d i v i d u a l group member. The only r e a l demand made on the member i s that|of l o y a l t y to.the gang group. In return f o r t h i s l o y a l t y the member receives status, prestige, 56 a' feeling of belonging and protection against the outside community and his inner feelings of inadequacy. In a group of this nature, physical and social s k i l l s are not important. Similarly, the a b i l i t y to get along with other people i s not a prerequisite to membership in the gang. The relationships between members of the group are casual and inclined to be superficial. There is l i t t l e pressure toward intimate sharing relationships. This fact i s important, in that many of the youngsters who move toward the gang group are limited in their a b i l i t y to relate to others, on a mutual give-and-take basis, because of their fear of intimate friendships. Gang membership is a f a i r l y effective method of denying the need to depend on others. It also provides a feeling of a l -most omnipotence; a soothing balm to the basically lonely and frightened youngster. The code of the gang gives security to the members. At the same time, i t relieves them of Individual responsibility for actions carried out on behalf of the group. The group at the Kiwassa Club possessed most of the above charac-t e r i s t i c s , either i n crystallized form or in the beginning stage. AREAS OF IMPEDIMENT The factors preventing youngsters in this specific group from using other community recreational programs revolve around three main areas. The f i r s t centers around the insecurity and inadequacy of the individual members. The feeling generated by the existence of these factors, and the method by which the members handled this feeling, acted as a barrier against free movement into neighbourhood.programs. A second area that 57 gjave rise to further impediment could be seen in the gang group structure, which developed in response to the specific needs of the members. The autocratic leadership and gang loyalty emphasized the self-sufficiency of the gang group, discouraging contact with other groups or any admission that the satisfaction of needs could be met outside the gang group. This structure i s clearly seen as a protective device which denied the group members1 need for acceptance by the larger community. A f i n a l group of impeding factors lay i n the reaction of the community's adults to the behaviour of the youngsters in this teen-age group. This reaction was shared by some agency board and staff members of the organizations providing recreational programs for young-sters in this age group. , Some of the aspects of this f i n a l group of impediments have been indicated in the discussion of the group members' attitude toward the worker with the project and toward other adults in various positions in the neighbourhood. However, a further examination of the implications of this reaction of adults is important because a relationship with an adult holds the key to both an understanding of the anti-social behaviour and the re-directing of activities of a teen-age gang. The members i n this specific group were suspicious of 'the adult worker. While their behaviour indicated a desire for assistance from an adult, they consistently denied this need on a verbal basis. In the same way they denied their need for outlets in sports and organized social activity. The techniques of denial and projection were used exten sively by the group members to handle feelings which could not be 58 •"faced d i r e c t l y . Most of the members acted on the assumption that t h e i r behaviour would be unacceptable by adults, and there-fore went out o f t h e i r way to provoke a c r i t i c a l response through exaggeration of t h e i r behaviour. The c r i t i c a l response was used by the members to j u s t i f y t h e i r negative fee l i n g s toward the community. One of the r e s u l t s of th i s technique was to i s o l a t e the group even further from others i n the community. COMMUNITY RESPONSE The adult community finds i t hard to accept youngsters who show l i t t l e or no g u i l t about t h e i r deviant behaviour, and who rebuff the attempts made by adults to guide them toward being better c i t i z e n s . The 'righteous indignation' expressed against the behaviour of teen-age youngsters.arises from a va r i e t y of feelings s t i r r e d up by the s p e c i f i c incident. These f e e l i n g s , and the action a r i s i n g from them, help to prevent an awareness that teen-age gang behaviour i s symptomatic of under-l y i n g c o n f l i c t s and unmet v. needs. Further, to the teen-age gang member, i t proves his assumption about adults, j u s t i f i e s his negative attitude and keeps attention focused on h i s outward behaviour rather than on his own problems and Inadequacies. Again, t h i s preoccupation with symptomatic behaviour may r e s u l t i n an overlooking of the e s s e n t i a l ambivalence of the adolescent as a means for explaining his apparently contradictory behaviour. In t h i s regard, Miss Hazel Osborn has raised a number of p e r t i n -ent questions about resistance and ambivalence i n the group setting. ^(20) Osborn and Young, i n Sullivan,ed. Readings i n Group Work. 59 Resistance and Ambivalence in I n i t i a l Contact Resistance and ambivalence are evident in a number of situations in the group setting, most apparent at the point where the prospective member comes in contact with the agency program. In applying these concepts to groups, Miss Osborn has pointed out that social workers have tended to assume that voluntary membership implies total acceptance of a program of services. In r e a l i t y this i s not the case, as members have mixed feelings about any given program. A "five to three feeling" about new experience is a more accurate description. She suggests that In order to gratify some of their desires they have to deny others. These other desires do not abdicate when they are outvoted but stay close by exercising the prerogatives of a l l minority groups (21). Again, she shows how this misunderstanding about the basis of membership can lead to preconceived ideas about a member's acceptance of the purposes of program, as well as his own and agency staff's responsibility in i t s development. An awareness that most of the behaviour of youngsters, particularly i n new situations, is characterized by both positive and negative expression of underlying feeling i s essential i n work with people and is especially true in work with youngsters, who cannot verbalize their feelings. A further consideration pointed out i n this a r t i c l e i s the residue of community feeling which the prospective member brings with him toward the organization when he becomes a member. Added to this residue are his experiences in applying for membership (21) Ibid, page 6. 60 and being introduced to the program of services. In this regard, the mechanics involved in joining a club or center may become the focus for feelings of resistance. Miss Osborn points out that one of the factors that made Teen Canteens particularly successful in reaching recalcitrant youngsters, was the infor-mal membership policy and f l e x i b i l i t y of procedure in joining. For this reason there is value in keeping the structure In this area as closely geared to the needs of the particular group or individual as is possible, within the total organizational-structure of the agency. In this way both positive and negative feelings can be taken into consideration, and handled i n a manner that most effectively meets the total needs of the par-ticular individual. Staff Response Miss Osborn also suggests that social workers have not resolved some of the basic problems i n the handling of negative feelings and states that: For the most part i t has been d i f f i c u l t to give up our lay ways, to try to understand what negative behaviour means and to want to deal with i t in some way other than through excluding youngsters or adults who have i t to give to us, or who can only feel safe In places where they are free to be both good and bad. If we con-tinue to hope that by keeping the price high (so to speak) we w i l l help people to hoard their goodness u n t i l they can afford to come in, what then? (22) Further she indicates that the handling of negative feelings in others i s closely related to the social worker's preparation (22) Ibid, page 9. 6.1 i n his own experience to accept the posit i v e and negative i n people's p e r s o n a l i t i e s . When negative feelings are combined with suspicion, defiance, denial of dependency needs and a strong desire to provoke a defensive or negative response, the resultant s i t u a t i o n i s one that requires c a r e f u l and serious consideration by any agency or s o c i a l worker. Part of t h i s consideration should, therefore, include an understanding of the motivations of s o c i a l workers or organizations who attempt remedial programs with a n t i - s o c i a l youngsters. Because of t h e i r need to be sure of the person i n whom they confide, this group of people, perhaps more than most, thoroughly test the motives and convictions of the adult who works with them. Unsureness, inconsistency or other l e s s tangible evidences of confused motivation, can have a serious influence on the re s u l t s of a program of r e d i r e c t i o n . In a paper presented at the National Conference of Soc i a l Work i n 1953, Donald A. Bloch Included some comments on the emotional response to delinquents.(23) He presented the concept of delinquency for consideration as an interpersonal integration, suggesting that delinquency should be considered as an in t e r a c t i o n between people.(24) Dr. Bloch pointed out that, i n the treatment s i t u a t i o n , the therapist should be considered as the other half of the Integ-r a t i o n . For t h i s reason he f e e l s that a consideration of the reactions and motivations of the therapist i s important i n under-(23) Bloch, Donald, Dr. "Some Concepts i n the Treatment of Delinquency" presented at the National Conference of Social Work 1953 and reproduced i n Children, United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, March-AprII,1954.Vol. l,No.2 (24) Ibid, page 49. 62 standing some of the factors i n the successful treatment of delinquents. Further, he underlines c e r t a i n attitudes which he f e e l s hinder work with the delinquent youngster who tends to be an agressive, anti-authoritarian, acting-out person (25). Worker Attitudes That Hinder Therapy The f i r s t of these attitudes i s the need to help, when this desire i s influenced by a search f o r help on the part of the s o c i a l worker or therapist. This desire may lead to an attempt to provide c l i e n t s with what the worker f e e l s he needs himself. Dr. Bloch states that: This sort of vicarious g r a t i f i c a t i o n has some advantages i n that i t aids us i n empathizing. It provides, however, very unsteady motivation for working with groups who are extremely r e s i s t a n t to thinking of themselves as needing help, whose own self-perceptions do not allow for weakness, or f o r accepting anything from another. Enforced intimacy may often cause the delinquent to panic. Moreover the therapist, i n tedious and unrewarding work with quite r e s i s t a n t cases, may often have his need to help severely frustrated. (26) A second hindrance i n work with delinquents l i e s i n apprehension which arises when the therapist i s placed i n a po s i t i o n of helplessness, and attempts to deal with his d i s -comfort through f a l l i n g back on words and t h e o r e t i c a l explan-ations. Dr« Bloch feels that control can r a r e l y be regained by t h i s method. The person working with delinquents must have achieved an integration of theory and experience through which he can handle such situations without undue discomfort. (25) Loc. C i t (26) Loc. C i t S3 A t h i r d source of d i f f i c u l t y may arise from a tendency to use the delinquent f o r vicarious g r a t i f i c a t i o n of h o s t i l e , e r o t i c or s a d i s t i c impulses (27). Dr. Bloch feels that s o c i a l workers need to be aware o f t h i s tendency, because by nature they are people who handle problems by t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l processes, and therefore can be drawn to people who handle s i m i l a r problems through outward behaviour. A fourth hindrance sometimes arises. vfrom a difference In socio-economic backgrounds between s o c i a l worker and c l i e n t s . This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n communication, where the same words may have d i f f e r e n t connotation or meaning. It can also lead to problems i n the understanding of value systems, where the worker's knowledge tends to be i n t e l l e c t u a l rather than emotional. A f i n a l area of d i f f i c u l t y l i e s i n the worker's handling of authority, e s p e c i a l l y where he i s s t i l l struggling with problems i n his own re l a t i o n s h i p with authority. This may lead to repressive or overpermissive handling of situations where the use of authority i s required. Dr. Bloch f e e l s that these f i v e general areas of motivation are important to a consideration of the treatment of delinquents, because they contribute to the atmosphere i n which the delinquent l i v e s . The points Dr. Bloch has raised i n the therapeutic s i t u a -t i o n follow along the general suggestions made by Miss Osborn i n regard to a possible d i f f i c u l t y i n the handling of negative behaviour by s o c i a l workers, when t h e i r e f f o r t s are hindered by ce r t a i n attitudes or unresolved problems. The material presented ^.in these a r t i c l e s bears out the p o s s i b i l i t y that one of the general (27) Loc. C i t . 64 ; i areas of impediment to p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the teen-age gang member i n community programs, l i e s i n the emotional response aroused i n the board and s t a f f of such community organizations by the behaviour of t h i s group of youngsters. The experimental project c a r r i e d out at the Kiwassa G i r l s ' Club provides material to form a f a i r l y c l e a r picture of an a n t i - s o c i a l group i n a neighbourhood where there are re c r e a t i o n a l resources of an organized nature. It also provides material from which an understanding can be obtained as to why these p a r t i c u l a r youngsters did not make use of the re c r e a t i o n a l resour-ces that were available to them. F i n a l l y , t h i s project outlines the remedial process through which the behaviour of a n t i - s o c i a l teen-age youngsters could be re-directed toward more s a t i s f y i n g a c t i v i t i e s . A s a t i s f a c t o r y r e - d i r e c t i o n of behaviour would r e s u l t i n the removal of the impediments that stand i n the way of e f f e c t i v e use of community services. CHAPTER T4  REMEDIAL PROCESS The work undertaken with the boys' group at the Kiwassa Gi'rls' Club i l l u s t r a t e s some of the basic considerations i n the development of a program aimed at the r e - d i r e c t i o n of a n t i - s o c i a l destructive behaviour toward more acceptable and s a t i s f y i n g i n -t e r e s t s , relationships and a c t i v i t i e s . A study of t h i s group and the stages through which i t passed demonstrates both the impact of the increased pace of change i n present society on a group of insecure individuals and the r e s u l t of undirected change on the development of group and individual personality. In "Learning and Teaching i n the Practice of Social Work" (28) the author, Miss Reynolds, suggests that: Change i s ine v i t a b l e , but change f o r the better i s not, unless we so understand the dynamics of growth that we who are working now, aid what i s s o c i a l l y useful and t r y to i n h i b i t forces that are destructive to human well-being. Process of Change Soci a l workers have a s p e c i a l Interest i n understanding the process of growth and constructive change because t h i s process i s the core on which depends the e f f e c t i v e use of the helping r e -l a t i o n s h i p . This process holds the key to success or f a i l u r e i n work with people. Social work has concerned i t s e l f with the factors 4 (28) Reynolds, Bertha, Learning and Teaching In the Practice of  Social Work, New York, Farrar and Rinehart, 1942, page 4. 66 that a s s i s t or hinder the movement of i n d i v i d u a l s , groups or communities toward more s a t i s f y i n g adjustments. D a i l y prac-t i c e has demonstrated the universal presence of resistance to change. It has also shown that change can only be achieved through the careful creation of an atmosphere that nurtures the p o s i t i v e and constructive, and represses the negative and destructive. Change cannot be accomplished on a permanent and sustained basis through coercion, force or external pressure. Such acts only strengthen the resistance and further hinder constructive harnessing of the growth process. Constructive change i s dependent on the establishment of a motive, through which a strange and uncertain method of adaptation can be substituted f o r one which up to that time has offered the only security the i n d i v i d u a l or group has been able to create. The a l t e r n a t i v e has to be f e a s i b l e . It must o f f e r some guarantee of the same or greater s a t i s f a c t i o n than that derived from the present pattern of adjustment. It also has to be introduced by someone who i s i n a p o s i t i o n of accep-tance, at a time when there i s s t i l l f l e x i b i l i t y i n both group and personality structure, when d i f f e r e n t ideas s t i l l can be given consideration. The a n t i - s o c i a l group member i s not as he i s by choice, but as a resu l t of forces within h i s own make-up, i n h i s environment, and i n the i n t e r a c t i o n of these two groups of forces. He i s as he Is because he has no a l t e r -native. H e can only be helped to see the p o s s i b i l i t y of one, when his trust i n himself and others i s restored or established 6-7 when this t r u s t can be u t i l i z e d to provide a corrective or remedial experience. The problem of motivating constructive change i s one of the basic issues In planning for a remedial program with a n t i - s o c i a l groups. The group has grown i n response to the unmet needs of i t s members; through the need fo r protection against the h o s t i l e community, and against the inadequate f e e l -ings of the group members. This group a s s i s t s the i n d i v i d u a l member to deny his unmet dependency and to bolster up his b a s i c a l l y weak sense of personal worth. This denial acts as a b a r r i e r against the s o c i a l worker who wishes to help the a n t i - s o c i a l group and i t s members find more s a t i s f y i n g ways of adjustment. Further, the a n t i - s o c i a l group can only be helped to give up i t s current basis o f operation through experiencing the p o s i t i v e s a t i s f a c t i o n s of constructive group a c t i v i t y . The worker who approaches such a group must be prepared to handle the h o s t i l i t y of the group members to adults, to cope with the inevitable resistance to new Ideas, to e s t a b l i s h himself as a person who i s interested i n the welfare of the members, but who at the same time i s prepared to stand by his own convictions and standards of s o c i a l values. He must be able to accept the confused f e e l i n g s about authority, but not play into them by i d e n t i f y i n g with the members i n t h e i r aggressive attacks on the hostil e community. The s o c i a l worker, through his r e l a t i o n -ship, offers the key to the successful operation of a program of r e d i r e c t i o n aimed at helping s o c i a l l y maladjusted youth to f i n d mdre s a t i s f y i n g outlets f o r t h e i r inner s t r i v i n g s . A step-by-step 68 study of the work carr i e d out i n the Kiwassa Club project shows the process by which an i n i t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p i s estab-l i s h e d , then u t i l i z e d to a s s i s t the members i n moving toward more s a t i s f y i n g experiences. It i s established f i r s t i n the shelter of the club program and then In the broader community. REMEDIAL PROCESS In the l a s t ten years remedial work with a n t i - s o c i a l groups has developed to the stage where a f a i r l y c l e a r p i c -ture of the steps i n the process can be outlined. The work with the Kiwassa Club group follows i n a general way the pattern already discussed i n regard to the Los Angeles and New York experiments. The actual techniques applied within the process vary from group to group, and from worker to wor-ker, but many of the underlying p r i n c i p l e s hold f o r a l l work of t h i s nature. The approach i s based on the general p r i n c i p l e that the a n t i - s o c i a l gang group i s a legitimate group that can be assisted to modify Its goals and standards, to be u t i l i z e d as a medium through which i t s members can move toward more s a t i s f y i n g experiences. It i s also understood that the members of such groups w i l l , after the i n i t i a l t e s t i n g phase, accept an adult who represents the standards of the community. They w i l l move with him through the tangle of confused fee l i n g s and pat-terns of behaviour toward happier personal l i v e s and more con-structive relationships with the general community. Locating the Group The primary step i n such a program i s the locating and establishing of contact with the group i n i t s natural surround-ings. With the Kiwassa group, the i n i t i a l contact was f a c i l l -69 tated by the intere s t of the members i n the co-educational program being offered as part of the g i r l s * club program. The building and physical f a c i l i t i e s symbolized a po s i t i v e experience the members had had i n the past i n t h e i r own community. The stage f o r a program was further set by the of f e r of f a c i l i t i e s i n the b u i l d i n g for a club type of program on one night of the week. Again, a natural meeting with the group members was possible through the G i r l s ' Club di r e c t o r , who already knew many of the gang members through t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the co-educational program. Through t h i s contact there was an i n d i c a t i o n of a desire f o r a r e -lat i o n s h i p with an accepting adult who understood t h e i r be-haviour, and at the same time understood the needs thus expressed. These fac t o r s provided a backdrop for the smooth introduction of the worker and the establishing of a basis for continued program f o r the members. Basis f o r Relationship In the i n i t i a l stage of contact the worker took care-f u l steps to c l a r i f y with the members his basis of i n t e r e s t i n them and his p o s i t i o n as a representative of community standards. Prom the outset, members were suspicious of the worker's i n t e r e s t i n them. They held back u n t i l they were clea r where he stood i n his r e l a t i o n s with the police and other law enforcement o f f i c i a l s . They did not respond to his int e r e s t by giving information about themselves or by giving any in d i c a - ' t i o n that they had need f o r him. Their reluctance to enter into 70i a close relationship where they might be prematurely exposed to their own shortcomings was very clear in the f i r s t group meetings. They also showed their need to test and re-test the worker to be sure both of his interest and his conviction in the standards he represented. The early steps taken to make clear to the members the basis of the worker's interest gave the members a sense of security in this relationship which enabled them to move with greater confidence into revealing i their own problems and shortcomings. During the i n i t i a l meetings of this group, i t was clear that the group members wanted assistance i n setting and main-taining limits which would give them security in the handling of their impulses. On the basis of the members' interest in an informal games room program, the worker moved quickly to-ward the establishing of conditions under which this program would be possible. In doing so, he had to see beyond the casual sophistication of the members to the underlying need for an. accepting relationship with an adult, who could help them estab-l i s h for themselves a more satisfactory basis of relationship. The worker was able to accept the limited response of the members, and not to become anxious because of the appearance they gave of not needing his help. In this way he avoided thrusting a relationship on the members that was beyond their a b i l i t y to use at this point. Shortly after the worker was introduced to the group and the f i r s t meetings had been arranged, he had a further n to opportunity^clear his position with the group so far as the police were concerned. At the same time he was able to point out his own position to the members in regard to delinquency. Part of the group was involved i n a breaking and entering i n -cident and had turned to the rest of the group for support. The worker was able to accept the delinquent act of the mem-bers, but at the same time make i t clear to them that such acts involved them i n d i f f i c u l t y i n the neighbourhood, which, in the long run, did not give them the satisfaction they sought. The support the worker received in his action showedvfchat the delinquent pattern in the group was not crystallized, and that there was a basis of support within the group to establish non-delinquent goals. This incident also gave the worker a concrete chance to show the group that he was not an agent for the police. At the same time he would encourage anyone involved in delinquent acts to face the implications of such actions. This meant the basis for help to members could be clearly established at the beginning, in that i t was the worker's responsibility to help the group members face reality, wherever this was possible. This was clearly established in spite of a misunderstanding on the part of the police, who tended to feel that the worker identified with the group members and protected them.from police action. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding continued in spite of efforts to explain the basis of work with the group. However, so far as the: group i t s e l f was concerned, they were able to accept the fact that the worker stood for certain stan-72 dards of conduct. This was brought home when the worker joined the s t a f f at the Boys' Ind u s t r i a l School a f t e r the f i r s t session, J and yet continued to function as the project worker without any change i n r e l a t i o n s h i p . Establishing Relationship Once the basis f o r the development of both program and relati o n s h i p was established, the worker moved into the second step of the process. This consisted of providing an atmosphere i n which a growth of rel a t i o n s h i p with the worker could be nur-tured, and a democratic group structure encouraged. The mem-bers of the group were not pri m a r i l y interested i n a c t i v i t i e s as such, because of the pre-occupation with feelings about them-selves and concern for t h e i r relationships with others. However, a c t i v i t y provided the medium through which they could t e s t out the r e l a t i o n s h i p with both the worker and with other members i n the group. Program planning was based on an understanding of the l e v e l of s k i l l and a b i l i t y of the group to accept f r u s t r a -t i o n i n competitive s i t u a t i o n s . Because there was l i t t l e develop-ment of controls, and impulsive acting-out behaviour was common, the worker had to set and maintain d e f i n i t e l i m i t a t i o n s for the control of a c t i v i t y within the bu i l d i n g . This action on the part of the worker gave members an area of security, i n which they could acquire the beginnings of s o c i a l s k i l l and confidence i n t h e i r own a b i l i t y to c o n t r o l themselves. At the same time as the worker i n i t i a t e d a c t i v i t y i n the games room, he proposed a general structure for the formation 'of a d e f i n i t e club group. The worker took the i n i t i a t i v e i n 73 ^suggesting a l i m i t on the number of members and a plan f o r the introduction of new members. This structure was set up through the medium of the informal " b u l l session", which l a t e r became the real,key i n the remedial work with the group. The members d r i f t e d to one spot toward the close of the even-ing and a very informal planning session was carried out. The group structure was autocratic at t h i s point, control being maintained by the gang leader and his supporters. The group also used t h i s session to test out the worker's acceptance, by t e l l i n g vulgar s t o r i e s and l a t e r by r e l a t i n g stories of t h e i r e x p l o i t s . The worker was c a r e f u l not to threaten.the natural leader i n the group. Every e f f o r t was made to form a r e l a t i o n s h i p with him, through which he could be helped to modify the group structure to allow f o r consideration of the interests of the other members. This was a d i f f i u l t task, because the recognized leader was a psychopath whose main i n -terest l a y i n delinquent h o s t i l e attacks on the community. During t h i s period, the group s t i l l presented a united front to the community. However, within the s e c u r i t y of the club-room setting, i t was revealed that i t was r e a l l y a loosely knit group of individuals and sub-groups, drawn together through mutual need and outside pressure. It was also c l e a r that there were continual s h i f t s f o r p o s i t i o n within the group, and that the natural leader only maintained his p o s i t i o n because of the focus f o r feelings he provided f o r the members against the outside community. He appeared as a strong figure to the rest -of the group, who were very dependent on him because he showed T4 no fear or g u i l t about the delinquencies i n which he was involved. However, when the r i g i d structure broke down i n the relaxed atmosphere of the club room, with no external pressures to maintain unity, the gang leader was revealed as an insecure, frightened boy who could withstand l i t t l e f r u s t r a t i o n , had limited s k i l l i n games, and whose ideas were far from r e a l i s t i c . Development of Democratic Structure and Process As the worker gained acceptance i n the group and was able to encourage other members o f the group to take some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r planning and decisions, there was a s h i f t i n the club sessions from dependence on the gang leader to dependence on the worker. This involved members' admission of t h e i r need for r e l a t i o n s h i p with an adult, and of t h e i r desire to assume some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the plan-ning o f group a c t i v i t i e s . I n i t i a l l y they r e l i e d on the worker to act as an autocratic leader, but the worker was able to help the group develop i t s own leadership, and take increasing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for both planning and l i m i t i n g i t s membership. The f i r s t e l e c t i o n held by the group showed verbal acceptance of the democratic Idea and i t s implied responsi-b i l i t y . At the same time, i t did not indicate that the mem-bers of the group were prepared to make a stand against the gang leader. The gang leader refused nomination, but made i t c l e a r that his position i n the' group had not been changed by the e l e c t i o n of a president. The member elected to o f f i c e 75 had l i t t l e status i n the group but was very interested i n r developing constructive program ideas. The group supported t h e i r president i n the open, but r e a l control of the group remained with the gang leader and h i s supporters. The e l e c t i o n showed the presence o f c o n f l i c t i n g forces within the group. These same forces were indicated ear-l i e r i n the support the worker received from part o f the group, when he expressed his point of view on the delinquent acts committed by some of the members. These c o n f l i c t i n g drives also were present within the i n d i v i d u a l members. The e l e c t i o n symbolized t h e i r desire f o r an opportunity to show what they could do, i f they were given a chance. The members o f the group entered into the f i r s t planned a c t i v i t y with a great deal of enthusiasm and vigor, i f not r e a l i s t i c planning. They took pride i n the f a c t that they were putting on a party f o r the remainder of the group, and also f o r the g i r l s who attended. Testing of New Structure The f i r s t party showed the group that they were able to plan and carry through a successful a c t i v i t y . They were very conscious o f the f a c t that i t had to be a success because they had so much at stake. The worker gave considerable support i n helping the group to carry out the a c t i v i t y and i n assuring them that the e f f o r t was a success. In the s p i r i t of accomp-lishment and general optimism the group showed r e a l a b i l i t y to set i t s own l i m i t a t i o n s and to bring non-conforming members into l i n e . This a c t i v i t y gave the members a taste of what was possible, f i r i n g t h e i r imagination for future programs. At the 7 6 same time i t raised some r e a l i s t i c problems with regard to the s o c i a l s k i l l s of the members, when they attempted to function on a non-gang group l e v e l . Shortly a f t e r the e l e c t i o n , the gang leader was involved i n a gang f i g h t and removed from the community. This incident caused a mixed reaction on the part o f the remaining members. In group meetings previous to this Incident, the worker had attempt-ed to help the gang leader to see that a change i n group structure did not mean a change i n group leadership. However, he was unsuccessful, and the encouragement of an e l e c t i o n represented a threat to the gang leader. He showed his uneasiness through i r r i t a b i l i t y i n the sessions, through bids f o r attention, and through attempts to form an a l l i a n c e with the worker on a basis whereby his p o s i t i o n as gang leader could be maintained. Before a r e a l c r i s i s arose, the gang leader was removed and the group was l e f t to i t s own resources. The tentative structure of the group was i l l prepared f o r t h i s s h i f t of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The elected o f f i c i a l s showed t h e i r lack of confidence In t h e i r new roles i n the group. There was a greater dependency on the worker for some time, who responded by giving support to the democratic structure and i t s elected o f f i c i a l s . The group members were confused i n t h e i r l o y a l t i e s at this point. The gang code demanded that they remain l o y a l to th e i r leader, but the new experience they were achieving raised r e a l doubts about his value to the group. The worker was c a r e f u l not to express d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m of the gang leader, but rather helped the members to be r e a l i s t i c about the kind of leadership he 77 offered and, at the same time, encouraged them to use t h i s opportunity to develop t h e i r own ideas. The worker also took a d e f i n i t e stand on the destructive influence of gang f i g h t s by pointing out that nothing was r e a l l y achieved by them. At the same time he made every e f f o r t to a s s i s t the gang leader i n his attempt to adjust himself to i n s t i t u t i o n a l l i v i n g . In this action the worker showed his i n t e r e s t i n the gang leader, but also showed that he was unable to accept hie behaviour or v the standards he represented to the group. Development of New Group Code The progress made at this time i n helping the group members to sort out t h e i r feelings of l o y a l t y to the gang leader, and the revised basis on which the club group was now operating, was put to a r e a l test a short time l a t e r , when the gang leader escaped from the Boys' In d u s t r i a l School and re-appeared i n the community. He sought the support of the members i n his attempt to avoid the p o l i c e , and In an attempt to regain status i n the group f o r his e x p l o i t s . His presence i n the community made the group members anxious, putting pressure on t h e i r f e e l i n g o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the club program. The worker received support i n his e f f o r t to encourage the leader to give himself up and return to the Ind u s t r i a l School. The majority f e l t t h i s to be the wisest course of action. At this time the group turned i t s back on acceptance of deliberate delinquent acts as part of the group code. This does not mean that there were no further delinquent acts, but rather i t re f l e c t e d the recognized standard to which the members directed 7-8 t h e i r e f f o r t s within the club structure. At t h i s phase i n the remedial process, the worker had moved well into the second stage, that of acceptance by the group as an adult who accepted the members as they were and, at the same time, represented the s o c i a l l y acceptable standards of the larger community. Part of the process i n gaining acceptance lay i n helping the group achieve a measure of success i n a c t i v i t y . Through t h i s , i t s members would at least f e e l that p o s i t i v e exper-ience was possible through t h e i r own i n i t i a t i v e . The members f e l t that the worker understood t h e i r mixed l o y a l t i e s to others i n the group who became involved with the law. They also knew that the worker saw behind the sophisticated exterior to the frightened and insecure adolescents, who desperately needed his help i n resolving the normal adolescent problems. Through the worker, the group had been able to recognize c e r t a i n standards for behaviour of i t s members. These standards were t h e o r e t i c a l at t h i s point.. They needed to be re-affirmed i n actual proof of t h e i r value i n on-going behaviour and relationships. The group had made a stand on a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. It had also recognized the value of the democratic group structure as a means of i n d i v i d u a l and group development. Further, the members r e a l i z e d that the basis of their r e l a t i o n s h i p with others needed overhauling and evaluation, i n l i g h t of the questionable premises on which previous behaviour was based. The progress made to t h i s point was limited to an acceptance of p r i n c i p l e that operated only within the protected setting of the club meeting. These ideas had to be tested and re-tested before they could be extended beyond the club meeting 79 t6 the community. The worker was now able to move into the actual mechanics of r e - d i r e c t i o n , because he had the acceptance of the group and a basis f o r helping them to t r y out new a c t i -v i t i e s and new forms of r e l a t i o n s h i p . Evaluation of Standards This next phase of the remedial process was one i n which the ideas and a c t i v i t i e s were tested, attitudes and standards evaluated, and the relationship of the group to the worker was exploited f o r obtaining Information on almost every subject. The actual program d i f f e r e d not so much i n content as i n motivation. The members no longer needed a medium through which to test the worker. They could now use a c t i v i t i e s to tes t t h e i r own growing s k i l l s . Again, they d i d not need to deny t h e i r de-pendency on the worker, because he knew they were dependent on him. At the same time he had not used t h i s f a c t to exploit the members for his own ends. They could now plan t h e i r own a c t i v i -t i e s because of new-found confidence i n doing things f o r them-selves. With the worker's backing they could also accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own behaviour. The atmosphere f o r group and i n d i v i d u a l growth had been established, and many of the negatives which had previously hindered progress were brought into perspective where they exerted a minimum of influence. In terms of the impediments discussed i n the previous chapter, progress had been made i n three general areas. The • members had overcome t h e i r suspicion of one adult. They were w i l l i n g to go along with him on the basis that, ei t h e r he was ah exception, or they might have been wrong i n t h e i r previous 80 .conclusions. The group no longer had a s e l f - p r o t e c t i v e func-t i o n within the club group setting. The members had moved toward admission of th e i r inner feelings without loss of pres-t i g e , or r e t a l i a t i o n on the p a r t of the worker or other group members. The autocratic leadership structure had been p a r t i a l l y replaced by a democratic one on a t r i a l basis, and members of the group had made a s t a r t at accepting r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . A st a r t had also been made at remedying the lack of s o c i a l and phys i c a l s k i l l s , one o f the main elements i n the members' f e e l i n g of inadequacy i n other community s i t u a t i o n s . They had also been able to accept the fa c t that an adult could be of help to them, without actual loss of t h e i r own independence. Outside the club room setting t h i s group s t i l l main-tained the gang group attitude, although without leadership. In t h i s state, the group was vulnerable while away from the agency and members were on the defensive. The attitude toward the police and other adults had not noticeably changed. Members were s t i l l unable to function adequately i n other r e c r e a t i o n a l settings. In some ways the problems of the members were i n -creased. They now faced r e a l i t y so f a r as t h e i r actual per-formance was concerned, where previously they avoided the facts of the r e a l s i t u a t i o n . However, the sec u r i t y of the ex-perience at thesagency s t a b i l i z e d the group to a degree that gradual progress could be made on the remaining impediments. Re-Directing of Interests Prom t h i s point there was a s h i f t i n the role of the worker. He moved toward the "normal r o l e " of the group worker 81 ±n a friendship or intere s t group, where the group i s able to take some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r planning i t s own program and setting i t s own l i m i t s . The worker moved closer to the p o s i t i o n of consultant and advisor, but retained his former p o s i t i o n , of responsible adult helping members to face r e a l i t y . He also became a resource person f o r the group as the informal " b u l l sessions" moved Into t h e i r own as a program technique. In this p o s i t i o n he was free to discuss i n d i v i d u a l problems brought to him by group members. This was accomplished through the medium of the group r e l a t i o n s h i p to the worker. Often, preliminary discussion i n a " b u l l session" set the stage f o r follow-up discussion on an i n d i v i d u a l basis. In t h i s way, help could be given to those i n need, without a formalized interview which might involve greater demands of the i n d i v i d u a l who sought guidance. The help given i n th i s way was based on the primary rel a t i o n s h i p of the s o c i a l worker to the group rather than a casework r e l a t i o n s h i p . The " b u l l session," or informal group discussion, was a natural medium for t h i s kind of group, both f o r the giving of information and the planning of a c t i v i t i e s . Employment possi-b i l i t i e s and problems was one of the subjects discussed i n some d e t a i l . In t h i s setting the members were able to voice t h e i r fears of being unable to compete i n the labour market and of r e j e c t i o n by prospective employers. They were also able to c l a r i f y t h e i r feelings about work as a means of support. Previous-l y , the group code had been that "work was f o r suckers." Now, members were able to express t h e i r desire to f i n d constructive 8,2 ' a c t i v i t y which would give them a f e e l i n g of s a t i s f a c t i o n . The problem of job t r a i n i n g for t h i s type of youngster was underlined i n these discussions. Most of the group premature-l y had l e f t school, because of problems i n the school s e t t i n g . They were now fin d i n g how poorly equipped they were to enter the labour market. They were not able to use the community employment resources because of the complexity and formal nature of the services offered. Further, such services were not able to go f a r enough i n giving support to the youth who was very much on the defensive as he approached his prospective job. At this time the members expressed envy of those who had the support of probation o f f i c e r s i n the r e h a b i l i t a t i v e program following involvement i n delinquent behaviour. Relationships with g i r l s provided another area f o r general discussion. The group members had a great need to sort out the accumulated information they had gleaned from the i r own and others' experience. Most of the members had been preci p i t a t e d into premature sexual experience i n search of excitement, or i n an e f f o r t to keep up the standards of per-formance required by the i r membership i n the gang. Actually, few of the group members had moved toward s t a b i l i t y i n t h e i r masculine i d e n t i t y or established any r e a l basis f o r heterosexual adjustment. They had romantic ideals of r e l a t i o n s h i p which clashed with t h e i r actual experience. The discussion sessions and planned s o c i a l program gave them a chance to regress to the l e v e l on which they a c t u a l l y wanted, and needed to function. In t h i s way individuals were able to hold hands and be romantic, 83 where they previously f e l t they had to boast of t h e i r sexual prowess. This group had been dependent on the g i r l s at the Kiwassa Club for partners at parties and other co-educational functions. This dependence was not altogether by choice, which was r e f l e c t e d by the attitude of the members to respec-tive g i r l f r i e n d s . The security gained through discussion and more s a t i s f a c t o r y performance i n s o c i a l events, helped them to move out beyond the Kiwassa group for sel e c t i o n of g i r l f r iends. It also helped some of the group to move out toward other co-ed programs i n the community. In regard to this p a r t i c u l a r movement, i t was soon evident that the mem-bers reverted to gang group behaviour when they were i n a po s i t i o n of in s e c u r i t y . The new pattern was not established to the point that i t would give s e c u r i t y beyond the immediate area of protected functioning. Changing of Attitudes The group discussions also provided an opportunity for consolidation of the new standards of behaviour which the group was attempting to es t a b l i s h with respect to delinquent acts. The discussions were combined with v i s i t s to the Boys' I n d u s t r i a l School, thus taking part of the glamour out of escapes from thi s i n s t i t u t i o n . The worker repeatedly was able to point out the r e a l i t y of situations to the members, and i n this way, build on the i r tentative agreement that breaking the law held back t h e i r own development. This was done on the basis of helping the group members see what they were l o s i n g for the _84 l i t t l e gained through impulsive behaviour. The worker continued" i n his acceptance of members who were involved i n neighbourhood escapades. In thi s way he was able to help the res t of the group handle i t s feelings of l o y a l t y . Also, he was able to help the members understand that some people acted i r r e s p o n s i b l y without r e a l concern f o r the welfare of others. Thus they were helped to d i s t i n g u i s h between appropriate response to r e a l i t y and exaggerated u n r e a l i s t i c behaviour. This was p a r t i c u l a r l y true i n the discussion around the gang leader who previously gave focus to the group. When freedom was given f o r discussion by the worker, through r a i s i n g of issues around Impulsive action, the group expressed considerable c r i t i -cism of t h e i r former leader because of his b a s i c a l l y s e l f i s h motives i n leadership. Part of t h i s was a projection on the ous-ted leader, but part also was a r e a l i s t i c evaluation of him as a person on whom they f e l t they could not depend as a group leader. It underlined the worker's impression of the previous group struc-ture, and the maintenance of s o l l d a r i t y through scapegoating and intimidation. With the growth i n self-confidence and new experience •in self-government, the members i n the group saw how the previous structure worked to t h e i r detriment. The changing attitude and function of the group was re f l e c t e d i n the lowering of membership b a r r i e r s to other boys i n the community who had not been c l o s e l y associated with the o r i g i -nal group. Members i n the group also showed greater freeom to come / and go as th e i r i n t e r e s t varied. Autocratic methods of control were dropped and more democratic ones substituted. The vari e t y of interests of members i n the group began to appear, and latent 85 ^alent developed without any r e a l encouragement on the part of the worker. There also was increased a b i l i t y to i n v i t e others to group functions despite t h e i r superior a b i l i t i e s and s k i l l s . The tone of the group now indicated considerable progress i n giving i n d i v i d u a l members a r e a l base of security i n the club program. Through t h i s security they were getting an opportunity to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r own competence In some degree. Exploring of New Interests As the members gained more s k i l l within the group s e t t i n g , the worker gradually expanded a c t i v i t i e s to include outings into the community. At f i r s t these suggestions were met with apprehen-sion, but l a t e r proved to be a very s a t i s f a c t o r y phase of program. A t r i p up Mount Seymour, i n i t i a t e d by the worker, gave a f a i r i n d i -cation of the gaps i n the previous experience of the members. They responded to th i s outing l i k e ten-year- olds, and the worker found that he had to place l i m i t s on th e i r enthusiasm. Outings of t h i s nature opened a new phase of programming, which also i n d i -cated the members' lack of knowledge of the ordinary s o c i a l graces involved i n public appearance. The worker moved into a more active role i n supporting the members, helping them acquire the necessary s o c i a l s k i l l s f o r this type of program. He also had to l i m i t impulsive behaviour and help members extend controls to cover situations outside the club-room s e t t i n g . Although these outings were i n i t i a t e d by the worker, the group took r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the actual d e t a i l s of planning. In spite of the progress made i n terms of group development, the group could not have moved put i n t h i s manner i f the worker had not accompanied them. 86 ^During t h i s l a t e r period there was fur t h e r evidence of in d i v i d u a l growth and a b i l i t y to move out into the community i n search of employment. The group discussions were used f r e -quently to discuss job p o s s i b i l i t i e s and to clear procedures. The majority of the group had trouble taking an aggressive approach.to employment, f i n d i n g i t hard to s e l l , themselves to employers. There was a greater need f o r the program offered this group during periods of unemployment, when money was scarce, spare time was p l e n t i f u l , and s p i r i t s were low. The club acted as a home basis from which the members could move out and return as the need arose. The rather s u r p r i s i n g i n t e r e s t taken i n the American p r e s i d e n t i a l e l e c t i o n showed growing awareness oh the part of the members. There was a tendency toward pre-occupation with the p o s s i b i l i t y of war, i f a m i l i t a r y leader was elected. The group seemed acquainted with the issues and followed the elec-t i o n r e s u l t s c a r e f u l l y . There were a number of incidents through which the group was challenged on the stand i t had taken i n regard to d e l i n -quent a c t i v i t y . The most important of these was the return of the gang leader to the neighbourhood. He made a strong bid for a pos i t i o n In the group but was not encouraged. He con-tinued to come to group programs but remained on the edge of a c t i v i t i e s , a s i t u a t i o n which he found very hard to tolerate because of the role of importance he previously c a r r i e d . Further tests came about when l o y a l t i e s were torn through police action against a former member, where the action taken seemed open to question. In the past the group would have jumped at a chance to show their loyalty and to express their feelings about police authority. This particular incident was discussed inconsiderable detail i n the group meeting. The worker was able to give the former member support, in facing possible court action on a contributing charge. This situation was rather precarious, because the involved Individual acted as a champion for the group, both with the police and with other gang groups i n the community. This particular member reached out with some conviction to the worker at this time for help i n a recurrent problem that continually brought him into conflict with the police. The worker was also able to help the rest of the group be more r e a l i s t i c about risky behaviour, in terms of possible involvement with the police. During the f i n a l portion of this phase, the actual program consisted of weekly use of the games room and lounge,with an informal!discussion and planning session at the end of each meeting. The parties had their ups and downs, as members fluc-tuated i n their a b i l i t y to control their impulses. There were f a i r l y frequent incidences of drinking and other infractions of club rules. These problems were aggravated by turn-over of the membership. Some members l e f t the group to seek work and later returned, and other'tmembers spent periods in correctional i n s t i -tutions. Each addition of members meant a temporary testing of limits set by the. group and backed up by the worker. At times the worker had to move in and take over, when a member moved beyond 8,8 the point where group co n t r o l could be e f f e c t i v e . The group was helped to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the action of i n d i v i -dual members. The worker pointed out to them how the indisc r e e t behaviour of one member could jeopardize the whole program. An example was a neighbour's complaint about drinking outside the b u i l d i n g during a party. The members were s t i l l not thinking i n terms of the whole group primarily, but rather i n terms of t h e i r own s e l f i s h i n t e r e s t s . They were not able as yet to see that the interests of the i n d i v i d u a l members and the group were synonymous. Tentative Steps Out To Community The signs of the group's a b i l i t y to move out on a ten-ta t i v e basis, plus the success of the group outings, led the worker to an organized attempt to help Ithe members f i n d other recreational interests i n the neighbourhood. The members were showing some degree of independence as well as considerable confidence i n t h e i r own a b i l i t y . However, tentative explorations of the police gymnasium, the boys' club and the Pro-Rec program i n the area, showed that the members were not able to move out on t h e i r own power. When i n strange situations the group mem-bers became anxious and huddled together f o r security. They wanted to carry with themthe atmosphere of acceptance and sup-port which they had i n t h e i r own protected club-room. The r e a l problem i n t h i s regard was the f a c t that the boys were not p r i m a r i l y interested i n a c t i v i t i e s , but rather were pre-occupied with the f i n d i n g of more comfortable r e l a t i o n -ships. They had tUscdvered these with the worker and fellow 89 club members. Through those experiences they were able to move with increased confidence into other s o c i a l contacts. This did not mean that they Were able to give up dependency on t h i s experience. It meant that the group had to move out with the worker as a unit and, through t h i s bridge of r e l a t i o n -ship , into use of other services. Limitation i n Community Resources As community exploration was extended, i t was c l e a r there were d e f i n i t e l i m i t s i n present services, through which the pro-cess of transfer to a wider community program could be achieved. The agencies that offered such services, stressed a c t i v i t y r a -ther than r e l a t i o n s h i p , as the medium of a s s i s t i n g group members move into t h e i r respective programs. There was not enough per-sonal contact and support offered, to help the members through the I n i t i a l stages. Agencies i n a p o s i t i o n to o f f e r . a more sus-t a i n i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p , were apprehensivenabout the e f f e c t t h i s group would have on the on-going program of the agency. It was suggested that the members would be welcome to join on an i n d i v i -dual basis. This was beyond the members who s t i l l needed the s e c u r i t y of t h e i r fellow group-members. The absence of any com-' promise type of program prevented t h i s group from any opportunity to gradually move into a greater awareness of the rights of other groups within the same agency se t t i n g . Either the group had to function as part of an integrated structure within an agency, or as an isolated u n i t i n the community. Change of Workers As an alternative to movement toward another recr e a t i o n a l 90 service i n the community, an extended period of program was arranged. This was under the same sponsorship and with the same use of f a c i l i t i e s as the o r i g i n a l plan f o r service. I t was continued because there was evidence of a lessening of inte r e s t and need i n the o r i g i n a l group which had been given service. It was hoped t h i s extension would eliminate the need f o r further program to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group. Most of the mem-bers had matured beyond the point where intensive group program i s so v i t a l to personal development. At t h i s time a change i n the project's s t a f f worker became necessary. The transfer of workers demonstrated the kind of process that was needed i n helping such a group move smoothly into use of other programs i n the community. It also showed the r e a l progress which the group and i t s members.had made, since the project was i n i t i a t e d . There was c a r e f u l preparation f o r the change i n workers with the group, i n order that a minimum of regression would occur as members adjusted themselves to a different s t a f f person. The worker was fa c t u a l i n his approach to the reasons f o r leaving. In th i s way he avoided, or at l e a s t c o n t r o l l e d , feelings of r e j e c t i o n which the members might have. The tra n s f e r took place over several meetings. In th i s way a bridge was made to the new worker. The group was helped to verbalize i t s feelings about lo s i n g the person on whom they had been dependent, and through whom they had been able t o accomplish so much. This change of workers f a c i l i t a t e d the growth of independence on the part of members. It showed, i n a concrete s i t u a t i o n , how they had moved to a point where they were able to make t h e i r own 91 decisions with confidence and conviction. Progress during Project At this time the group presented a picture of the normal, late teen-age friendship group. It was l o o s e l y k n i t and members* interests were varied. There was l i t t l e b a r r i e r against new members coming to p a r t i e s , or becoming part of the group i f interested. The club was used as a meeting-place and planning medium fo r group programs. The new worker was accepted quite r e a d i l y , although he was tested i n the fashion that a l l groups test new s t a f f . The members introduced themselves, shook hands, then continued the a c t i v i t y i n which they were engaged when the worker appeared. The group r e a d i l y accepted leadership from an adult once they were confident that he accepted them as in d i v i d u a l s . The i n i t i a l response was followed up i n a sponta-neous manner and i n t e r e s t was quickly shown i n the new worker. The exploration at this stage was much f r e e r , lacking the sus-p i c i o n and wariness prevalent i n the re l a t i o n s h i p with the f i r s t worker. The democratic group structure was accepted as the most sat i s f a c t o r y means f o r giving everyone an opportunity to take part, also f o r gaining group support for program plans. Members' l o y a l t y was clear-cut, because there were few undercurrents and c o n f l i c t s e x i s t i n g i n the group. There were s t i l l l i m i t a t i o n s within the group i n Imposing r e s t r i c t i o n s on what appeared to be the personal rights of the members, and where the act had no clear bearing on the interests of the group as a whole. There 9'2 continued to be fluctuations i n the standards of behaviour of the members. Nevertheless the basic group consideration of acceptable behaviour was quite d e f i n i t e , and i n a general way p a r a l l e l e d that expected by the community. At the end of the year of extended program the group had almost dissolved. Members had moved out of the area, formed attachments i n other directions or grown out of the need f o r group support i n solving the problems of adolescence. The group was then helped to disband i t s own program, i n t h i s way freeing members to move on to young adult Interests i n the wider community. This examination of the process through which an a n t i -s o c i a l gang group was able to grow, broaden i t s i n t e r e s t s , and modify i t s a n t i - s o c i a l goals, has been l i m i t e d to the proeessoo'f r e - d i r e c t i o n within the group i t s e l f . In the previous chapter one of the areas of Impediment discussed concerned the attitude of the community toward a n t i - s o c i a l gang groups. This impedi-ment s t i l l existed to a large degree at the end of the project. The project was inaugurated i n response to the concern of the s o c i a l agencies s e r v i c i n g the project area. Representa-tives from these organizations were active i n the o r i g i n a l plan-ning sessions and continued to express t h e i r i n t e r e s t through the meetings of the advisory committee of the project. However, the s t a f f time a l l o t t e d i n the provision for s t a f f was not s u f f i c i e n t to enable the worker to prepare the community agencies f o r trans-f e r of the group, when i t s members were able to move out from the sheltered club program to take part i n the on-going programs operating i n the d i s t r i c t . The project i s a good demonstration 9-3 of the value of group work in remedial work with anti-social groups. The development of the project also demonstrates the essential need of co-ordination and integration of such re-directive programs, with a general program of community services. CHAPTER 5 -THE R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y OF P R O F E S S I O N A L S O C I A L  WORK TO T H E A N T I - S O C I A L G R O U P . The East End Boys' Project, as the experiment is now known, was undertaken in response to the problem presented by the anti-social group that had attached i t s e l f to the Kiwassa Girls' Club. The purposes of this project were: (1) to experiment with the provision of a group program in an effort to assess the group's a b i l i t y to modify it s attitudes and behaviour; (2) to re-direct i t s interests toward more socially acceptable acti v i t i e s ; (3) to.gain information on the factors which contrib-uted to the group's development; and (4) to test community response to a possible integra-tion of the re-directive technique in the on-going program of youth service agencies i n the area. Evaluation of the Project The project was successful In that i t removed the pressure on the program offered by the Girls' Club. It has provided a real understanding of the behaviour of the group and the motiva-tion of that behaviour, i n terms of both environmental and personality influences. Further, definite remedial steps have been possible i n helping some of the members of the group to overcome previous attitudes in moving toward more satisfactory adjustment. A smaller number of the members were not helped through the work of the project; some because they were involved 95 i n delinquency early i n the project and removed from the community, others because the nature of t h e i r disturbance was beyond the help that could be offered by the worker i n th i s p a r t i c u l a r s e t t i n g . As the project developed beyond the i n i t i a l stages to the point where the worker had exerted some influence on the attitudes and a c t i v i t i e s of the group, i t was evident that the basis on which the project was organized was inadequate to provide the amount of d i r e c t and interpretive work required to follow the process through to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion. The time available f o r s t a f f work i n the project was not s u f f i c i e n t to extend the worker's e f f o r t s beyond d i r e c t work with the group, except where such work was immediately necessary f o r the con-tinued operation of the project. The group could not be s h i f t e d from the Kiwassa Club, because there was no appropriate agency i n the community to whom r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the program could be transferred. This lim i t e d the effectiveness of the project to a demonstration of r e - d i r e c t i v e group work, with some involvement of the community through planning and advisory committees. This l i m i t a t i o n does not a l t e r the value of the work done with the group i t s e l f , but i t imposes a l i m i t on the use of the project as a means of gaining wider support and understanding, both of the problems of a n t i - s o c i a l groups and the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of work with them. The selection of a base of operation for a program of work with a n t i - s o c i a l , h o s t i l e , destructive youngsters poses a problem to project workers and community agencies a l i k e . The (nature of the a n t i - s o c i a l group i s such that the project worker must move out and meet the group i n i t s natural s e t t i n g . The East End Boys' Project shows how t h i s natural setting can be e f f e c t i v e l y used to provide the sheltered group experience, through which the members of the group can move toward some acceptance of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for s e l f - c o n t r o l and consideration of the rights of other groups i n the community. Where the natural contact comes through the established program of an agency, precautions must be devised to protect the members of the group from premature r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . At the same time the agency must protect the remainder of the program groups from the disruptive influence of the a n t i - s o c i a l group. The precautions taken can only be e f f e c t i v e where members of the group are able to accept the rules o f the agency as part of the condition f o r use of f a c i l i t i e s . This acceptance i s based on the i n t e r e s t that can be aroused i n the members for s a t i s f a c t i o n i n constructive a c t i v i t y . The use of the n a t u r a l s e t t i n g of the group c a p i t a l i z e s on the unexpressed interest and p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g that drew the members to that p a r t i c u l a r place. This f a c i l i t a t e s the e s t a b l i s h -ment of a helping r e l a t i o n s h i p . In the approach to an a n t i - s o c i a l gang, the worker meets the group members where they are, at the l e v e l at which they can function. He moves with them toward a more complete use of community resources and thereby greater s o c i a l s a t i s f a c t i o n . In a program of co-ordinated services on a community-wide basis, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p a r t i c u l a r needs of a s p e c i f i c group and the resources of the community could be maintained 37 at a l e v e l where a smooth progression through the stages of the remedial process could be achieved. The a n t i - s o c i a l group based at the Kiwassa Club was ready to move away from the agency at the end of the f i r s t year of the project program. The comparatively rapid movement i n the i n i t i a l stages of the work with t h i s group was a r e s u l t of the timing of the project and the s k i l f u l use of e a r l y incidents of c o n f l i c t between the group and the community. The worker could move with confidence and assurance of support i n these e a r l y steps because of the positive feelings the members had i n t h e i r association with the Kiwassa Club. The project was i n i t i a t e d at a time when the group, by the behaviour shown at the Kiwassa Club, was s t i l l i n d i c a t i n g a possible response to the acceptance and i n t e r e s t of a s o c i a l worker. Further, the delinquent pattern i n the group was not c r y s t a l l i z e d to the point where the worker would receive organized resistance to the introduction of new ideas. Again, the members i n the group were s t i l l hoping to gain s a t i s f a c t i o n from construc-tive a c t i v i t y , even though t h e i r expectations and goals were un-r e a l i s t i c . These "leanings" gave support to the worker's early e f f o r t s to s h i f t the basis of the group's program i n t e r e s t s . In the handling of the instances of delinquency i n which part of the group was involved, the worker was able to set the stage f o r his r o l e as a representative of the community's accepted standards of behaviour. At t h i s time the worker had already assured the members of h i s i n t e r e s t i n them, and his continued acceptance o f the members, even though they did become involved with 98 the p o l i c e . This l a i d a s o l i d basis f o r the future work of the project. This approach i l l u s t r a t e s one of the basic p r i n c i p l e s of work with a n t i - s o c i a l or delinquent groups. The youngster that gravitates toward the a n t i - s o c i a l group i n the community i s often insecure, puzzled, suspicious and d i s i l l u s i o n e d . He turns to the gang group for security, status, acceptance and purpose f o r h i s confused and uncertain l i f e . The s o c i a l worker who attempts work with such a youngster, must pro-, vide a basis of security and hope f o r him, through the worker's own conviction about the standards and values he represents. These convictions must withstand the challenge and tests to which they w i l l i n e v i t a b l y be exposed. Acceptance of the youth who expresses h o s t i l e , destructive behaviour i s possible without condoning such behaviour. The a n t i - s o c i a l youngster i s looking f o r an adult who can accept him i n spite of his behaviour, but who, at the same time, does not add to h i s problems by acting as i f no misbehaviour had been committed. Value of Group Work Method The East End Boys's Project demonstrates the appropriate nature of the group work approach to delinquent or pre-delinquent youths who have u t i l i z e d the gang group method of seeking expression for t h e i r confused feelings and c o n f l i c t s . In spite of the peculiar aspects of the structure and operation of the a n t i - s o c i a l group, i t i s s t i l l a legitimate group through which i t s members attempt to f i n d s a t i s f a c t i o n for t h e i r need of group experience. This experi-ence i s of v i t a l importance to the adolescent, In the t r a n s i t i o n from childhood to adult r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The gang group provides a form of group experience to in d i v i d u a l s who have not been able to obtain t h i s experience elsewhere because of t h e i r §9 " personal problems. These problems often r e s u l t i n i n a b i l i t y to enter into close relationships that require intimate sharing, acceptance of a degree of f r u s t r a t i o n and subjugation of personal s t r i v i n g s fo^- the interests of the group as a whole. Acceptance of the a n t i - s o c i a l group as a legitimate group provides the opportunity f o r work with individuals who might not otherwise be aecessible because of the suspicion, d i s t r u s t , and fear they have of the adult who wishes to be of help to them. It i s d i f f i c u l t to help this kind of youngster through probationary services because he w i l l not l e t the probation o f f i c e r help him. Further, the probation o f f i c e r may see him as an in d i v i d u a l d i s t i n c t from the gang of which he i s so much a part, and i n t h i s way never know him as he r e a l l y functions. If a s o c i a l worker can e s t a b l i s h a r e l a t i o n s h i p with the gang group, he has the best possible opportunity to gain an under-standing of the a n t i - s o c i a l i n d i v i d u a l . He w i l l s t i l l obtain very l i m i t e d information about the personal l i f e of the member, but he w i l l have at his finger t i p s the whole pattern of his adjustment to his peers, adults, the opposite sex and to the larger community. As well as providing an opportunity to know the d e l i n -quent as he r e a l l y functions, the group also o f f e r s a ready-made medium through which that i n d i v i d u a l can be helped to sort out his feelings and test them against r e a l i t y . The group program serves as a channel for flow of relationship, back and f o r t h between the worker and the members of the group. Through the 100 program, inner drives are sublimated, and the i n d i v i d u a l freed from tension and anxiety. Further, these a c t i v i t i e s give him a chance to test out new s k i l l s and relationships i n the security of a small group, before extending them to the outside community. The informal " b u l l session" i s i d e a l for the giving of both information and acceptance and for re-evaluating values and standards. The discussion i n the informal group meetings often lays the groundwork fo r further i n d i v i d u a l interviews. These interviews should form the basis f o r eventual r e f e r r a l to the more specialized treatment agency. This i s the medium through which feelings of dependency can be handled, the members being assisted to recognize them and t h e i r e f f e c t upon use of the services offered, f i r s t by the worker with the group and l a t e r by other agencies. The members can also, through the acceptance of the worker and i n the safety of the club room with others who have the same e s s e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , face t h e i r inner feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy. From th i s basis they may gra-dually build a concept of s e l f which enables them to function with increased self-confidence. The actual physical f a c i l i t i e s f o r work with a n t i - s o c i a l groups are not important as such, but rather i n t h e i r contribution to the therapeutic atmosphere i n which posi t i v e feelings can be nurtured and destructive impulses can be controlled . Members i n a n t i - s o c i a l groups are not interested i n a c t i v i t i e s i n themselves, but are p r i m a r i l y concerned about t h e i r i n t e r - a c t l o n with others i n the group, including the worker, AAsraall gym i s neces'sary, where 101 t active program can be carried on to give the group a chance to "work off steam" and to develop latent physical and sports s k i l l s . A lounge is essential, where informal meetings can be held. The atmosphere should be relaxed and comfortable. In this atmosphere the "real meat" of the re-directive work can be accomplished. A record player, card tables, games or maga-zines help to carry the lounge program by providing an ongoing activity which can be readily discontinued or just as easily picked up again when the need arises. The unifying force i n the anti-social group arises to a large extent from a desire for protection against the hostile community on the outside, and on the inside, the confused feel-ings of inadequacy, unworthiness and frustration in the per-sonality of the individual members. Vtfhen the need for pro- . tection against these influences is reduced by the acceptance of the worker in the security, of the club-room, the apparently tightly knit group breaks down into a collection of Individuals and sub-groups, who have limited a b i l i t y to relate themselves to each other and to the worker. Through the use of the positive desire of the members for group experience, the worker i s able to help the members build a group structure that enables them to accept responsibility for planning, and to set limits for their own behaviour. This aspect of the process of re-direction is reall y one of creation, because of the limited experience this kind of youngster has had in constructive group experience. The group can grow when i t i s freed from the hindrances -102 of an autocratic leadership structure. Members can be helped to face r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the r e s u l t s of t h e i r behaviour, rather than p r o j e c t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on others. The group becomes a medium through which the developing standards of behaviour are c r y s t a l l i z e d and have meaning to the members. It becomes the backdrop against which the pattern of self-: d i r e c t i o n and acceptance of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s gradually b u i l t . Work with a n t i - s o c i a l groups on this basis involves the application of a basic group work approach. There i s a sp e c i a l interest i n a s s i s t i n g members to develop s a t i s f a c t i o n through constructive group experience. The key to e f f e c t i v e work i s the worker's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the group, and through the group to the Individual members. Successful work with a n t i - s o c i a l groups cannot be accomplished i n t h i s type of project without c a r e f u l development of the group as the medium through which a n t i - s o c i a l values are re-assessed and constructive a c t i v i t y i s i n i t i a t e d . The East End Boys' Project at the Kiwassa Club i s p a r t i -c u l a r l y suitable f o r a study of the factors impeding the use of community services. Members of the group served i n the pro-ject had sampled the program o f f e r e d by the r e c r e a t i o n a l agencies i n the community, but had not been able to use services. Both the behaviour of the group and the attachment to the Kiwassa Club were symbolic of unmet s o c i a l needs. The r e l a t i o n s h i p of the members to the d i r e c t o r at the Kiwassa Club and the r e l a t i v e ease with which they accepted the project worker were daadlsciatd'ons of t h e i r a b i l i t y tto form a constructive r e l a t i o n s h i p with an 103 'adult, and to use that r e l a t i o n s h i p to express t h e i r inner feelings and sort out t h e i r c o n f l i c t s . The records of the group project c l e a r l y show why t h i s group was not able to u t i l i z e the f a c i l i t i e s and program of neighbourhood agencies. B r i e f l y these impediments f a l l into three main areas; i n the p e r s o n a l i t y of the members as influenced by t h e i r fear of close r e l a t i o n s h i p , and feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy; i n the group structure created to meet the unmet s o c i a l needs and to protect the members; and i n the reaction of the community to the behaviour of the members i n t h e i r a n t i -s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . These impediments were expressed i n suspi-cion and d i s t r u s t of adults and continual c o n f l i c t with the p o l i c e , i n i n a b i l i t y to compete successfully i n the use of s o c i a l and physical s k i l l s , and i n avoidance of intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p where in s e c u r i t y might be revealed. The a n t i - s o c i a l gang group was the only method through which the members of t h i s group were able to achieve any s a t i s f a c t i o n of t h e i r s o c i a l needs. The remedial process i n helping the members i n this p a r t i c u l a r group move toward a more complete and s a t i s f a c t o r y meeting o f t h e i r needs, i s c l e a r l y presented i n the worker's use of his r e l a t i o n s h i p with the group at the Kiwassa Club. The key to t h i s process l i e s i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p established by the worker, and the use of that r e l a t i o n s h i p to help the group and i t s members gain confidence i n an a b i l i t y to derive s a t i s f a c t i o n from constructive s o c i a l a c t i v i t y . The process begins with the provision of an accepting r e l a t i o n s h i p with an adult, who offers a core of convictions around which can 104 i be built a structure that gives new meaning to the lives of these disillusioned youngsters. Relationship and Remedial Work The nature of the relationship required for remedial work with anti-social groups demands a high calibre of p r o f i c i - . ency in the use of social work s k i l l s and an exacting use of professional s e l f . In many ways work in this setting requires the ultimate in professional practice and personal maturity. In this regard, Miss Wilson suggests that:-The worker who loves Is able to. limi t without being judgmental or punishing, but he who does not love is incapable of setting constructive limitations.(29) and further that:' In order to understand the chain reaction of members In groups the worker must be emotionally free to concen-trate upon the members i n the groups; he w i l l not thus be free unless he i s able to love them and accept them as persons needing help, and unless he has l i t t l e concern over their reaction to him as a person, or their behaviour as a reflection on his competence (30) In work with youngsters who have denied their need for assistance from anyone, and who are apprehensive about relation-ship with others, i t is particularly important that the worker be able to accept the casual and offhand manner with which the members regard him; that he be not concerned when they continually rebuff his offers of assistance. The worker can show professional interest on a straightforward basis, but must limit his need for (29) Wilson, Gertrude, and Ryland, Gladys. Social Group Work  Practice, New York, Houghton and M i f f l i n , 1949. (30) Loc. Cit. 1,05 personal response from the members. Often.the worker has to control the depth of r e l a t i o n s h i p formed with the delinquent, because of the great need of the i n d i v i d u a l to resolve his unmet dependency needs. Of t h i s Dr. Bloch states: Delinquents are characterized by dependent anxiety. It follows that those working with them need to be aware of the amount of Intimacy or distance possible without producing panic. Habitually i n his home environment intimacy was reduced by punishment and r e j e c t i o n and i n the community by red tape and seg-regation. It i s the test of the therapeutic s k i l l of the worker that he f ind non-damaging techniques for "cooling o f f " the r e l a t i o n s h i p . The techniques devised should be distinguished by being ego-supporta-tive and by not repeating e a r l i e r traumatic experiences. The r e l a t i o n s h i p with the worker i n a project with a n t i - s o c i a l youngsters provides a corrective experience with an adult, that helps the i n d i v i d u a l to see that he may have been wrong i n h i s conclusions about adults i n the community. At the same time, because t h i s i s the f i r s t hole In the wall of self-defence and denial, the youngster r e s i s t s and tests and •t r e - t e s t s the s i n c e r i t y of the worker and his conviction i n the standards he represents. The acceptance of the worker as a person who accepts and understands, but does not f a l l into the p i t f a l l of condoning the delinquent's behaviour, i s the f i r s t step i n helping the i n d i v i d u a l to evaluate his own. be-haviour on the basis of how i t a f f e c t s his relationships with others. This acceptance also forms a basis f o r the sort i n g out of the underlying needs, from the confused manifestations of those needs. The a n t i - s o c i a l i n d i v i d u a l also needs to eventually (31) Bloch, Dr. Donald, op. c i t . page 55 106 understand his delinquent behaviour as a symptom of unhappi-ness, rather than as a true expression of his personality. The worker i n the project may e a s i l y be the f i r s t person who has indicated that he l i k e s the youngster as a person, even though he does not l i k e what he does or the way i n which he behaves. To r e f e r to Miss Wilson again: No s o c i a l group worker ever l o s t the r e l a t i o n s h i p of acceptance wi th a member of a group by using f i r m l y and uncompromisingly his proper role of l i m i t i n g of behaviour. Many a worker, however, has l o s t a group because he permitted his personal s e l f to gain precedence, begame angry and was unable to disapprove of the behaviour without r e j e c t i n g the person or group as a whole. (32) •The use of the permissive atmosphere i n the handling of disturbed youngsters has been the subject of considerable speculation. A discussion of i t s d e f i n i t i o n and use i s of value i n considering the r e - d i r e c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p of the worker with the group i n the project studied. The members i n t h i s group have not learned to control t h e i r impulses nor had they faced the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for their own actions. A permissive atmosphere can be u t i l i z e d i n the development-of s e l f - c o n t r o l , provided there are very d e f i n i t e controls estab-l i s h e d , through which l i m i t s are set for impulsive, acting-out behaviour. The development of group r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on the basis of what the group can achieve through constructive use of program, i s one of the strong methods of setting l i m i t s for the use of permissiveness. Mr. Cohen, i n his study of i n s t i t u t i o n a l treatment of children, f e e l s that:-(32) Wilson and Ryland, op.cit. page 93. 106 1 Without the powerful force of group pressure,the permissive s e t t i n g would be the maelstrom that many-expect to f i n d . Remove the fear of punishment from boys whose own controls are s t i l l undeveloped or shaky at best and they can be expected to run wild. The answer l i e s i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the i n d i v i d u a l to the group which taboos c e r t a i n behaviour. Only a c h i l d so disturbed that his r e l a t i o n s h i p i s no longer a force f o r him l e t s go with destruction when the group tone i s against him ( 3 3 ) Further, i n discussing permissiveness, Mr. Cohen suggests that permissiveness may be defined i n the following terms: The patient nonpunitive handling of c h i l d r e n where the objective i s the searching out and strengthening of the forces within the c h i l d that help him ton control himself. A strong society i s made up of individuals whose con-t r o l i s based not on t h e i r feelings of weakness i n the face of power but upon t h e i r f e e l i n g of strength i n t h e i r power to c o n t r o l themselves. Permissiveness i s aimed at building the individual's i n i t i a t i v e . It does not seek to impose conformity but to imply conformity, helping a c h i l d to achieve control through the l i m i t a t i o n s of his own action within the free use of his functions (34) In the East End Boys' Project, the worker used his authority as the adult, through whom the members could have the use of program f a c i l i t i e s , to set the l i m i t s f o r behaviour within the agency s e t t i n g . He was aggressive i n maintaining these l i m i t s and at the same time a s s i s t i n g the members to develop their own controls. This development was f a c i l i t a t e d by the encouragement of group standards f o r behaviour within the agency. In. setting l i m i t s f o r the members, the worker recognized t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to set l i m i t s f o r themselves, and *(33) Cohen, Frank, Children In Trouble, New York, W.WMMorton, 1 9 5 2 , page~5T: ( 3 4 ) Ibid, page 18. 107 iat the s'ame time their real desire for the security of such controls. The worker moved into programing for this group from a basis of definite rules and regulations, which were invaluable in helping the members make constructive use of both program and relationship in the club room setting. Work with anti-social youngsters is demanding and exacting. It can only be successfully carried on by workers who have a basic understanding of the motivations of delinquent behaviour and a complete confidence in their own a b i l i t y to assist the individuals move toward construc-tive activity. SUch work has real challenge and appeal. It is not without i t s rewards, but i t should only be undertaken by workers who have comfortably resolved their own feelings around rebellion against authority, who have established with considerable confidence their professional convictions, and whose personal maturity is such that they receive a maximum of satisfaction from their experiences outside of working hours• One of the essentials in the planning of a project for work with anti-social youngsters l i e s in the provision of adequate and skilled supervision to the staff serving as workers with the groups involved. As has already been stated, work of this nature demands the exacting use of professional self, and further, that the relationship of the worker to the group is the key to success or failure i n such undertakings, ^he development of an effective program of re-direction of 108 anti-social behaviour requires continual vigilance on the part of the worker. Each situation that arises can be a constructive step or a c r i s i s , depending on the worker's sensitivity and s k i l l in understanding and handling each step in the re-directive process. The worker must move with conviction and objectivity from a base of complete confidence in the techniques and methods of group work i n this setting. The best assurance of this confidence l i e s in continued active support through supervisory discussion of the emotional res-ponses, inevitable in work with youngsters who act out their conflicts, and who experience a great deal of ambivalence in their attitude toward the helping relationship of the group worker. Integration with other Youth Services If the program of re-direction is to be effectively integrated with the services of other agencies serving delin-quents, an ongoing job of interpretation must be carried by the worker to ensure the understanding and cooperation essential for effective work in this area. This job may be time-consuming, frustrating, and at times try the patience of the project worker. Unless i t can be done, there is real question of the lasting results of a re-directive program. One of the groups of factors that prevent anti-social youngsters from using community program services is the reac-tion they provoke, by their attitude and behaviour, from the staff and boards of these agencies. The record of the work 109 c a r r i e d out i n the East End Boys' Project provides invaluable material for the.understanding of the underlying needs of a n t i -s o c i a l youngsters, and i n understanding how those needs can be met through a program of services offered at a le&el which the individual.)or group can use. The approach used i s not offered as a panacea for delinquency. Rather:jit i s suggested as a method of reaching youngsters who otherwise would not be involved i n a helping process, at a time when they can use help,or i n a manner that enables them to use the help to mobi-l i z e t h e i r own desires f o r s a t i s f a c t o r y l i f e experiences. The understanding obtained from this p a r t i c u l a r project could be used i n the interpretive job that has to be undertaken with the community, through which adequate support must be gained for the wider program of integrated preventative services so badly needed i n the whole area of behaviour problems of children. The appearance of the group at the Kiwassa Club was not the f i r s t i n d i c a t i o n of the unmet needs of the youngsters involved i n the. project. They were known to, the r e c r e a t i o n a l agencies i n the neighbourhood as casual members who had not moved into the ongoing program of the agency. Some were known to the probation department or were on probation at the time the project was i n i t i a t e d . The group as a gang had been well known to the police f o r some time. Prom the attitude expressed by the members toward authority, i t can be assumed that at lea s t a portion of the members would be f a i r l y well known as d i s c i p l i n a r y problems i n the school system. In view of these ''earlier indications of d i f f i c u l t y , the question arises as to I'lO hpw service can be offered as part of a program of prevention . to youngsters i d e n t i f i e d as p o t e n t i a l a n t i - s o c i a l group members. The basis for any program of prevention l i e s i n the provision of an adequate program of services f o r a l l children. When such a program e x i s t s , the unhappy youngster who indicates by his actions that he i s not progressing f r e e l y i n his s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , can be more r e a d i l y i d e n t i f i e d . Help can then be planned and offered to meet his p a r t i c u l a r need. S o c i a l workers and other p r o f e s s i o n a l persons can recognize the pre-delinquent youngster through an understanding of the contribu-t i n g factors i n the formulation of the a n t i - s o c i a l or d e l i n -quent personality. There i s an adequate body of f a c t u a l material to give s o c i a l workers confidence i n stating t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n regard to the components of a program aimed at the prevention of a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. It i s time that s o c i a l workers moved on the basis of t h e i r convictions to state i n t d e f i n i t e terms the conditions under which a comprehensive program of prevention could be offered. The East End Boys' project proves conclusively that group work methods can be u t i l i z e d i n the r e - d i r e c t i o n of a n t i -s o c i a l behaviour. At the same time t h i s project indicates the l i m i t a t i o n of th i s p a r t i c u l a r v a r i e t y of service to the young-ster whose disturbance i s beyond help i n this setting. This l i m i t a t i o n underlines the need f o r co-ordination of a remedial program with the more intensive treatment programs of case-work, I l l p s y c h i a t r i c services and i n s t i t u t i o n a l treatment . The project also pinpoints the need f o r co-ordination with services of other community agencies, whose program i s designed to meet the normal needs of adolescent youngsters. This would include not only recreational agencies but also organizations o f f e r i n g employment t r a i n i n g and placement, medical care and generalized counseling services. Unless r e - d i r e c t i v e group work i s part of a comprehensive program of services offered on a community-wide basis, with adequate provision f o r q u a l i f i e d s t a f f , both personally and prof e s s i o n a l l y , then such programs do l i t t l e beyond further proving to s o c i a l workers that the profession has a contribution to make i n the area of group work with a n t i -s o c i a l groups. S o c i a l Work and the An t i - S o c i a l Group Soc i a l work has made progress i n defining i t s s p e c i f i c area of competence and i n moving with increased confidence into those areas where i t s unique contribution can be most e f f e c t i v e l y made. Re-directive work with a n t i - s o c i a l youngsters through the use of the natural group setting i s one of these areas. The project examined i n thi s study underlines two of the major respon-s i b i l i t i e s of a l l s o c i a l work p r a c t i c e ; the improvement of standards of service to c l i e n t s , and the widening of the basis of community support and understanding of those services. This project i s another step i n the gradual build-up of a body of knowledge, experience and development of a planning structure through which a program of community-wide youth services may eventually be introduced. 112 t The process of developing community concern and support for provision of a program of youth services, i s hindered by the general public's lack of awareness of the implications of teen-age a n t i - s o c i a l gang behaviour. In most cases people are unable to see beyond the symptomatic behaviour of the destructive, h o s t i l e , gang member, to the frightened and confused youngster who has f a i l e d i n h i s efforts to f i n d a place i n the s o c i a l l y acceptable s a t i s f a c t i o n s of the community. The a n t i - s o c i a l i n d i v i d u a l creates the only kind of world he believes i n , through provoking the c r i t i c a l and h o s t i l e attention of the community by his delinquent behaviour. Unless the community can see behind the act of delinquency to the unmet needs of the i n d i v i d u a l , then i t i s s a t i s f i e d to r e l y on the repressive and punitive method of delinquency control. The present program offered by the New York C i t y Youth Board (35) was introduced i n response to community concern about extensive teen-age gang c o n f l i c t . The body of knowledge and experience f o r the implementation of thi s program had been accu-mulated over the years from experiments i n New York and other areas. The c r i s i s i n the community aroused s u f f i c i e n t anxiety i n the minds of the public and i t s o f f i c i a l s to motivate prov i s i o n of adequate funds f o r a comprehensive program of youth services. This move meant that for the f i r s t time services could be offered to the a n t i - s o c i a l gang with the assurance o f adequate community support i n terms of both finances and cooperative (35) Purman, ed. Reaching the Unreached 113 planning f o r the future needs of the youngster whose i n t e r e s t i n s o c i a l l y acceptable a c t i v i t y had been restored. Further, i t meant that the of f e r of an accepting, understanding r e l a t i o n -ship with an adult, who could help the a n t i - s o c i a l youngster f i n d more complete s a t i s f a c t i o n i n acceptable a c t i v i t y , could be made with the assurance of a budget f o r s t a f f s a l a r i e s s u f f i c i e n t to attra c t the calibre of s t a f f required f o r the s k i l l e d task of r e - d i r e c t i o n . F i n a l l y i t meant that the a n t i -s o c i a l group member could be helped to overcome his problems of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p through remedial group experience, with the assurance of community f a c i l i t i e s for the expression of this newly acquired capacity. Vancouver has not experienced a c r i s i s of major pro-portions i n the area of a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. However, there has been a growth i n the awareness of the need f o r more adequate youth services. This awareness i s expressed through the forma-t i o n of a Youth Authority Committee by the Soc i a l Planning Section of the Community Chest and Council. It i s further shown by the formation, In the spring of 1954, of the East End Inter-Agency Staff Committee as an intermediate step for co-ordinated services i n the East End area. The experience i n neighbourhood projects during the l a s t ten years w i l l serve as a basis for a confident answer to the demands of the community, whether they arise i n response to a c r i s i s or through a growing understanding of the needs of Vancouver youth. Perhaps s o c i a l workers i n Vancouver are prepared to meet /-the anxiety of the community about delinquency, not with 114 reassurance and promises aimed at relieving that anxiety, but with assurance and self-confidence based on a professional conviction that social work can do the job, i f the community is prepared to face i t s responsibility in meeting the cost of the services required. 115 BIBLIOGRAPHY General References. Hamilton, Glen, The Teen-Age Gang i n the Community - Study Treatment of a Teen-Age Delinquent Gang with Implications for Community Services and Recommendations for Social Action Thesis University of Br i t i s h Columbia, Master of Social Work, School of Social Work, 1949. Redl, F r i t z and Wineman, David, Children Who Hate. The Dis-organization and Breakdown of Behaviour Controls, Free Press, Glencoe 111. 1952. Reynolds, Bertha C., Learning and Teaching i n the Practice  of Social Work. Farrar and Rmehart, Sew York, 1942. Steiman, Boris, Community Organization for Social Welfare. An Analytical Study of a Low Income Transitional D i s t r i c t of Vancouver 1952-54 with Specific Reference to the Problems of Intercultural Participation-, Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Master of Social Work, School of Social Work, 1955. Svendsen,Mary and Spiker, Dorothy, An Experimental Pro.jeot i n the Integration of Casework and-Group Work, Services  for Children. Evan3ton. 111.. 1947. United States Government, National Conference on Prevention  and Control of Delinquency-Report on Casework-Group  Work. Washington. D.C., 1946. Wanden, June Eva, Working With Delinquents. Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Master I f S l c i a l Work, School of Social Work, October, 1947. Wilson, Gertrude L., Group-Work-Casework-Their Relationship and Practice. New York, New York Family Association of America, 1941. Wilson, Gertrude L. and Ryland, Gladys, Social Group Work  Practice The Creative Use of Group Process, Houghton M i f f l i n New York 1949. Specific References. Bloch, Donald, Dr. "Some Concepts i n the Treatment of Delinquency" presented at the National Conference of Social Work,1953 and reproduced i n Children. United States Department ..If Health, Education and Welfare, March-April, 1954, Vol. 1, No 2. 116 Cohen, Frank J . , Children i n Trouble - an Experiment i n Institutional Child Care, W. W. Morton Co., New York, *. 1952. Furman, Sylvan, ed., Beaching the Unreached. New York, New York City Youth Board, 1952. McCarthy, James E., and Barbaro, Joseph S., "Re-directing Teen-Age Gangs" i n Reaching the Unreached. New York Youth Board, Furman, Sylvan, ed., 1952. Osborn, Hazel and Young, Harriet, "Some Factors i n Resist-ance Which Affect Group Participation" i n Sullivan, Dorthea, Readings i n Group Work. New York Association Press, New York, 1952. Robinson, Duane, Chance to Belong. Story of the Los Angeles Youth Project, 1943 to 1949, New York Women1s Press, New York, 1949. Robinson, Estelle, "Group Work With Hard to. Reach Teen Agers", Social-Welfare Forum. 1951-pp 281-292. Rogers, Kenneth, Street Gangs In Toronto, a Study.of the • Forgotten Boy. Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1945. Unpublished Material. Community Chest and Council, Greater Vancouver, Group  Work Division Reportscon the East End Boys Project. 1952-54. East End Boys Club Project, Group Records. January 1952-June 1954. Spicer, Josephine, Summary Report on Gang Organization i n City of Vancouver. November 1950-May 1951 Survey prepared for pa r t i a l fulfilment of f i e l d work require-ments, Alexander Neighbourhood House, 1951. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0106419/manifest

Comment

Related Items