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The intake policies of group work agencies DuMoulin, Phyllis Anne 1947

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u. & * A 7 J) sr ( sr  THE INTAKE POLICIES OF GROUP WORK AGENCIES  toy P h y l l i s Anne DuMoulin  A Thesis submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment o f The Requirements for the Degree o f MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK  The University o f B r i t i s h Columbia September, 1947  THE INTAKE POLICIES V  OF GROUP WORK AGENCIES  by P h y l l i s Anne DuMoulin  A Thesis submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment o f The Requirements for the Degree o f MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK  The University o f B r i t i s h Columbia September, 1947  ABSTRACT THE INTAKE POLICIES OF GROUP WORK AGENCIES This study deals with theoretical aspects of sound intake policies i n group work agencies, i n general, and also with specific intake procedures as actually practised i n Vancouver agencies at present*  In this treatise, the term "intake * refers to the way i n 1  which a group-work agency deals with an individual from the time of his f i r s t contact with the agency in applying for membership u n t i l the time when he actually participates as a member of a group activity. The author points out the p i t f a l l s of haphazard, inadequately planned intake procedures and the necessity for a c r i t i c a l evaluation of both the agency*s f a c i l i t i e s and of the individual applicant's needs i f an agency i s to f u l f i l l i t s aims of developing human personalities through providing constructive group experience i n leisure time pursuits.  Intake procedures not only  help workers to determine whether an agency can help the individual but also presents the client with a sample of the atmosphere and approach of the agency* In discussing personnel assigned to the handling of intake, the writer points out the necessity also of careful choice of workers who have both an understanding of individual human  behaviour and also a complete knowledge of t h e i r agency's f a c i l i t i e s , p o t e n t i a l i t i e s , and limitations*  Intake must be based on an acceptance  of the principle of individual selection and the use of both case work and group work s k i l l s * The importance of keeping both quantitative and qualitative records of intake procedure i s discussed*  The writer describes the  various ways of classifying quantitative records i n relation to groups, Individuals, or families, and l i s t s the types of record forms used f o r individuals, groups, and agencies.  The uses of s t a t i s t i c a l  records are also described as they may be of value to group leaders, supervisors, agencies, or communities. The usefulness of qualitative records as a basis f o r evaluating various types of procedure i n research projects i s also stressed.  Further chapters include  discussion of bases f o r selection of personnel assigned to intake, and an evaluation of objectives and practices with regard to p u b l i c i t y and public relations* Existing intake practices i n Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, are evaluated on the basis of replies to a questionnaire which was devised and submitted to seven group work agencies i n that c i t y * Agencies were asked f o r information as to t h e i r p o l i c i e s and practices  with regard to orientation of the applicant, registrations, fees, requirements f o r e l i g i b i l i t y for membership, r e f e r r a l s , selection of a c t i v i t y , and'methods used to r e c r u i t membership* Observations regarding the strengths and weaknesses of present intake methods used by the agencies studied and recommendations as to modifications and improvements f o r the future conclude the thesis.  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  The author wishes to express appreciation to the seven Vancouver group-work agencies, without whose co-operation and interest t h i s study would have been impossible. My warmest thanks go to Dr. Leonard Marsh, of the Department of Social Work, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, f o r h i s valuable assistance.  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Chapter  I ~ The Significance of Intake Policy The factors to be considered i n the formul a t i o n of policies concerned with the acceptance of new members into group-work agencies*  1  Chapter  I I - Orientation ....... The need f o r orientation of new members i n an agency and the way i n which I t can be achieved.  20  Chapter  I I I ~ Registration  28  The essential steps i n a sound registration process from the point of view of the i n dividual* the agency and the community. Chapter  IV « Fees  •  •  41  The place of payment of fees i n the intake procedure, the necessity f o r fees, methods of payment and exceptions. Chapter  V -  Referrals ••••••••  45  The basic essentials i n r e f e r r a l procedure and what should be demanded of the referring agency and the group-work agency i n order to insure the maximum benefit to the individual. Chapter  VI - Selection of A c t i v i t y  ,•»•••••••••••••••  What steps should be taken to a s s i s t the individual i n selecting the a c t i v i t y from which he w i l l gain the maximum help and enjoyment.  53  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Chapter VII - E l i g i b i l i t y f o r Membership The necessity for definite p o l i c y defining what clientele the agency serves i n order to eliminate duplication or gaps i n service. Chapter VIII -  Methods Used To Recruit Membership ....  Page 62  65  The need f o r a progressive public relations programme as part of intake procedures. Chapter IX Evaluation of Present Practices ....... 67 A statement of present p o l i c y , i t s strengths and weaknesses and how i t can be modified and b u i l t up into a sound feature of group-work agency administration. Appendix A Appendix B Bibliography  -  79 '.  80 85  Chapter  I  THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTAKE POLICY While studying material on intake practices i n other f i e l d s of social service such as family welfare agencies and the admittance departments of hospitals, i t has become increasingly obvious to the writer what a great bearing the comparative youth of group work has on i t s policies with regard to intake* Group work i n many of i t s phases, both with regard to administration and programme i s s t i l l i n the t r i a l and error stage. There i s l i t t l e or no t r a d i t i o n b u i l t up i n the matter of administrative policies and changes i n administrators and s t a f f become reflected i n different p o l i c i e s .  This constant s h i f t  i n point of view and emphasis i s accentuated by the emergence of s t a f f and administrators trained i n the group work method, who are interested i n implementing group work concepts i n the administration of their agencies.  Present day community centres and "neighborhood houses"  i l l u s t r a t e this p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l .  The phenomenally rapid spread of  community centres has made an impact on administrative practices of a l l recreation and group work agencies.  The new basis for membership, new  programme areas, varied f a c i l i t i e s and equipment a l l tend to create new problems to be faced by the administrators of community centres. A great deal has been added to the body of knowledge and s k i l l s i n admini s t r a t i o n by the community centre movement but there are s t i l l great areas i n which no well defined policies exist.  - 2 -  Nothing seems to show this more than the threshold of an agency - the point at which a member or client enters for the f i r s t time*  In agencies with a national programme such as the T. W. C. A.j  i n local agencies, serving a particular portion of the community such as the Vancouver Boys' Club Association; i n neighborhood houses, such as Gordon House; i n a community centre such as the North Vancouver Memorial Community Centre, the writer was informed that the intake policies were constantly being changed and improved.  In only one or  two instances was the agency entirely satisfied with the present practices, and these were mainly concerned with such specifics as the payment of fees or the establishment of e l i g i b i l i t y for membership. As might be expected, i n this exploratory t r i a l and error stage of development, many inadequate and faulty procedures have been used i n the intake of group work agencies.  Failure to view the intake  policy as a whole for the entire agency has created haphazard intake by various departments or programmes so that not even the agency staff as a whole i s clear as to the practices that are carried out.  In the  worst situations, an attempt at an i n i t i a l examination or evaluation of current procedures becomes almost impossible* Agencies too, as a result of confused intake policy often over-reach their function i n some respects and f a l l short i n others* When the acceptance of individuals or groups i s left to chance, rather  - 3 -  than to selection i n accordance with the best practices of case workgroup work, this i s nearly always the case.  Many group work agencies  have drifted into types of service not suited to them, have accepted individuals into their programmes with severe emotional problems, have duplicated services given i n other agencies, have accepted groups or individuals for which they did not have the f a c i l i t i e s to cope adequately, simply because no well-defined policies existed.  A critical  examination of both the incoming individual's or group's needs and the agency's existing resources and f a c i l i t i e s with due regard for i t s limitations i s an essential part of any agency's intake procedure* Without this i t i s a natural development for an agency to d r i f t into haphazard acceptance of referrals from other agencies and applications for service from individuals* It appears upon examination of the intake methods and policies of several group work agencies that a well defined and carefully thought out intake policy i s essential to the best interests of the individual, the agency i t s e l f , and the community as a whole* The purpose of policies of this type i n any agency i s to help the client to determine whether the services i t offers are really what he wants and whether he can benefit by i t s use.  In this process, he  gets a foretaste of what working with the agency w i l l mean.  In other  words, the purpose and scope of intake i s a well-defined and limited one.  While i t starts the process of a total service, i t has i t s own end  - 4  -  which makes i t a short unit of experience - a completed step* The psychological, as well as the administrative value of assigning a specially skilled worker to take over this limited part of agency function i s of great importance. 1  Attuned to the feelings  and reactions that operate i n this early contact, the case worker i s able to glean the true needs of the individual whether these are actually expressed or not*  Given an understanding of human behaviour,  individual psychological differences and the agency's services and limitations, a properly trained worker can t e l l whether the client's needs, both expressed and unexpressed can be met by the agency she represents. The objectives of various group work agencies would at f i r s t seem to be so divergent as to make i t impossible to treat their intake policies i n the same analysis.  The evangelical motive, so strong a  feature i n certain of the agencies, i s entirely lacking i n others. Some are concerned with group experience  and leisure time activities  for the average every day person of any walk of l i f e , others cater to the so-called "under-privileged" person.  Neighborhood relationships,  community organization, education, concern for the young man or woman away from home, or appreciation of out-of-door l i f e may loom large i n the programme of a particular agency.  Upon closer scrutiny, however,  and after acquaintance with methods and procedure, i t becomes apparent that along with other motives and interests peculiar to that particular  - 5agency, a l l have a common desire so to guide the leisure time activities of the individual that through this group work experience and education he may develop an integrated personality, with a capacity for l i v i n g a f u l l l i f e , and may learn through participation i n the group the democratic principle*  In the main, therefore, a sound intake procedure  based on the concepts of interviewing, case work, and group work could be used generally, with some adaptations, by a l l these types of group work agencies* l a the past, many individuals seeking some type of satisfaction and help through group work agencies have had unsatisfactory experiences due to the fact that no adequate and sound intake policy existed i n tee agency to which they were applying for service*  As a  result they were coerced or just drifted into an activity which met none, or few, of their emotional or physical needs* agencies  1  In group work  intake, one takes into consideration people's similarities  as well as their dissimilarities or personal idiosyncrasies*  Problems  i n the major institutions such as family, school, church recreation, occupation, do not arise from people's likenesses; i t i s the points of difference among them that cause conflicts and stress.  The aim i s to  meet the common and the individual needs, and group work agency programmes should be so planned that each can find satisfaction.  In a  sound policy of this nature, individual choice takes precedence over blanket imposition or cursory selection of activity*  The discovery of  - .6 -  interests, intelligence, background and temperament of the individual i s the f o c a l point of the intake interview.  As Grace Coyle expresses  i t , "Interests are the expression and the result of reciprocal r e l a t i o n between the individual and his environment. Through his interests he participates i n the constantly moving l i f e of his community.  Their  content and strength are determined by the motion of internal impulse and external s t i m u l i .  Their expression has i t s effect i n turn upon  the moving equilibrium of the communal process.  The content of the  interests which lead to group formation are i n f i n i t e l y varied Most members are i n fact t i e d to an association by a number of bonds, the relative importance of whose claims upon t h e i r attention varies with their changing interests. A l l of these conscious interests are entangled with and often determined by the drive of unconscious motivations which contribute equally though covertly to the direction of the organization.  Grace Coyle. Social Process i n Organized Groups. Rich Smith, New York, 1930.  When the individual seeks to f i n d expression f o r h i s interests i n a group work agency i t becomes possible for him not only to develop further s k i l l s or obtain factual knowledge, but also to receive the great contribution group work can make to his development as an individual personality. I t prepares an environment wherein the individual learns to l i v e with h i s fellows and discovers the terms on which he w i l l be accepted i n the world.  He discovers  that he counts and therefore has personal worth, and that others too have value - other people, other races, other ideas, other interests and b e l i e f s .  He learns to plan co-operatively f o r the good  of a l l . where ideas are weighed and values are discovered or d i s carded f o r better ones. Out of this process, a philosophy of l i f e emerges.  Through group l i f e the individual comes to recognize the  meanings of democracy.  He learns how to contribute to society and  his recognition increases i n terms of h i s value to the group. As one considers intake procedures i n this group work setting, i t must be remembered that numerous studies and experiments have occurred i n case work-group work relationships.  There  has been an evolution from the o r i g i n a l premise that case work and group work are two d i s t i n c t f i e l d s of specialization.  Today there  i s a recognition of the degree of overlapping, of the one complementing the other.  In studying methods and procedures suitable .  for a group work agency intake policy, one must determine how the  - 8 -  services can best work together.  I f there i s some "talking  down" from the older, better defined branch of the social work profession, there i s much to be learned and heeded by the younger less r i g i d group. Case workers would do w e l l to have a similar concern that they do not permit their name to become meaningless through too casual usage and f a u l t y , inadequate intake service. Many of the objectives of case work and group work may identical'.  be  In relationship to the c l i e n t there i s recognized  difference.  There are differences i n techniques and i n the physi-  cal setting of the work environment. Some workers visualize long term case work within the group work agency of the future*  More  workers question that specialized case work treatments can ever occur s a t i s f a c t o r i l y i n the group work setting. Rather they see the case worker helping to refer Idle individual needing special case work services, helping to improve the mental health of the group by eliminating the extremely maladjusted, interpreting unusual behavious patterns and having a close r e l a t i o n to the intake service* The successful carrying through of co-operation between case work and group work agencies i n the matter of r e f e r r a l seems to involve the following points; experiences;  f i r s t l y , the c l i e n t s desire f o r group 1  secondly the case worker's b e l i e f that the c l i e n t i s  ready for group experience; t h i r d l y , the group worker's recognition of the need f o r f l e x i b i l i t y i n group placement; fourthly, the group worker's recognition that there are l i m i t s to service and that  - 9 <  not everyone can p r o f i t by group experience; and f i f t h l y , understanding the importance of significant r e f e r r a l s . This requires co-operative e f f o r t by both the case worker and group worker.  It  also includes frequent conferences, j o i n t planning, exchange of information. Both workers must recognize the value of separate, positive contacts with the c l i e n t . The keeping of records i s a most important phase of the i n take procedure of any agency. Records kept by agencies doing group _ work may be c l a s s i f i e d i n various ways but b a s i c a l l y they are of two types - quantitative and qualitative.  Quantitative or s t a t i s -  t i c a l records deal exclusively with data that can objectively be measured. Quantitative records are subjective and depend upon observation and judgment. In other words, s t a t i s t i c a l records t e l l us how much and qualitative records .-tell us how and why.  S t a t i s t i c a l records An important aspect of record keeping i s the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of data. Data collected on s t a t i s t i c a l records may relate to groups, individuals, or families*  Those data which relate to groups may be  c l a s s i f i e d according t o : number of groups;  sex of members; age of  members; size of group; (number and members); length of time organized; frequency of meeting; regularity of attendance of members; leadership; a c t i v i t y or program; type of f a c i l i t i e s used; type of enrolment; type of scheduling; type of group organization*  - 10 -  Data relating to individuals may be c l a s s i f i e d according to:  (a) identifying information (name): sex; age; educational  background; occupation; religious a f f i l i a t i o n ; s o c i a l origin; occupation of parents (or head of family); economic status. (b) data which show relationship to the agency; number attending) enrolled, or registered; type of agency a f f i l i a t i o n , i . e . member, v i s i t o r , etc.; length of agency a f f i l i a t i o n ; s p a t i a l d i s tribution (address). Data relating to families may be c l a s s i f i e d according to size of family; length of time a f f i l i a t e d with the agency; ident i f y i n g information of head of the family, i . e . nationality descent, occupation, etc. Another important aspect of record keeping i s the type or types of record forms used. Many kinds of s t a t i s t i c a l records are now being used i n practice, but the following are suggested as basic forms: For individuals:  application f o r membership or temporary registra-  tion card; permanent registration card. For groups: group record face sheet or group registration records; group roster sheet; group attendance record. For agencies:  d a i l y attendance record; monthly summary of atten-  dance and membership; annual summary of membership. Data from s t a t i s t i c a l records may be used i n various ways: by the group leader, by the supervisor, by the agency, by community  - 11 V  agencies such as councils of social agencies, or by national organizations• The s t a t i s t i c a l data contained on registration cards are f i r s t of a l l useful to the group leader i n getting acquainted with the members of his group. These data w i l l l a t e r be helpful i n writing individual studies of group members. The group face sheet gives the leader significant h i s t o r i c a l data about h i s group i . e . , when organized, how organized, etc. Such data are very valuable to a new leader taking over a group from another. The attendance data give a leader the basis f o r evaluating the s t a b i l i t y or turnover i n a group. From these data, the leader can study both the group as a whole and the various individuals i n i t . ,Such facts are essential before making any interpretation or analysis. The supervisor also may use records i n various ways. Temporary registration cards furnish a supervisor with data i n regard to people who s t a r t out with an interest i n the agency and then drop out. The supervisor can use these data f o r follow-up work and as a potential source of membership material i f the agency decides to recruit new members. Supervisors f i n d data on permanent registration cards helpful i n knowing i n general the background of the persons i n groups under t h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n . I t i s impossible f o r supervisors to make as detailed a study of these data as group leaders, but they are useful f o r summarizing.  Group  face sheets enable the supervisor to analyze the make-up of groups  - 12 -  i n h i s department. These data are useful as the basis f o r any summaries or evaluations that the supervisor may make* The data from group attendance records enable a supervisor to make comparative studies i n which factors such as leadership, program, age of members, etc., are related to attendance* These data-maybe useful also i n making monthly or annual department summaries. S t a t i s t i c a l data may also be used by the agency) f o r administrative purposes; program planning, supervision, interpretation, and research.. The most obvious administrative use of s t a t i s t i c a l data on registration cards i s f o r mailing l i s t s , home v i s i t s , quick communication, and other a c t i v i t i e s of the organization* Dates of expiration are needed for sending renewal notices and completing the registration process. Data on group a f f i l i a t i o n and age group c l a s s i f i c a t i o n are useful i n conducting agency a c t i v i t i e s such as elections, admission to social functions and the l i k e . S t a t i s t i c s on the number of groups over a period of time w i l l show an agency the extent of i t s work and also fluctuations within that time. Such data, especially when broken down into sex and age c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , form a basis f o r making s t a f f assignments, formul a t i n g p o l i c i e s i n regard to l i m i t a t i o n of groups i n the community to be served, and the assigning of rooms and equipment.  The data  on the number of individuals w i l l also be useful administratively as an indication of trends and fluctuation* These data related to  - 13 -  the number of groups may be helpful i n determining p o l i c i e s as to the size of groups f o r scheduling the use of agency f a c i l i t i e s . S t a t i s t i c a l data are specially useful to the agency i n planning programs. I f s t a t i s t i c a l data on attendance are correlated with data ,on group programs i t w i l l be possible to s ee those a c t i v i t i e s which are more successful from the standpoint of p a r t i cipation. Other factors, however, are always affecting group l i f e , and thus i t i s not possible to isolate one and attribute to i t undue importance. Data on age and sex, as w e l l as changes i n bylaws or constitution, w i l l be useful f o r program planning.  Some of  the other specific items closely related to program, which are to be found on registration cards, ares  religious a f f i l i a t i o n , race, •  country of b i r t h (of mother and father), grade correlated with age (retarded, precocious), educational l e v e l and interests, employment (or lack of i t ) , and economic l e v e l , attitude of family toward participation i n program, physical condition, and a f f i l i a t i o n with other organizations. I t i s most important that agencies have accurate, r e l i a b l e s t a t i s t i c a l data about their work, so that they can supply the public with that information.  S t a t i s t i c a l records and reports,  therefore, form the basis f o r much of an agency's self-interpretation to i t s community. The l a t t e r needs to know how many groups and how many members an agency serves.  Furthermore, i t should know  how these groups are c l a s s i f i e d - how many are f o r children, how  - 14 -  many f o r older boys, or how many for adults.  The public i s  interested i n the kinds of groups and the attendance.  The length  of time groups stay i n existence i s also of interest.  These  s t a t i s t i c a l data w i l l have to be interpreted along with other material but i t i s important to recognize their use as the basis f o r such interpretation. With regard to research, agencies may find ample use for s t a t i s t i c a l data f o r study and evaluation of t h e i r work. The length of time that a group maintains i t s i d e n t i t y i n a given agency can be related to such factors as age of members, size of group, type of group organization, time and frequency of meeting, leadership and program. S t a t i s t i c a l data have been used f o r the study of group s t a b i l i t y , which includes various indices such as turnover, participation, attendance, and enrolment indices. In studying individuals i n an agency, s t a t i s t i c a l data may be used f o r analyzing the length of time that individuals remain i n the agency, the intensity of the service given, the age, sex, s o c i a l and educat i o n a l background of the members, economic status, and the special distribution.  Attendance data may be used to study various aspects  of an agency's work and progress. Such data may be related to membership, by showing the relationship between the number of members and the t o t a l attendance;  t o group organization, by showing  the percentage of attendance i n each c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ; to personnel i n relation to s t a f f assignments, and to the use of equipment and facilities.  - 15 -  The usefulness of s t a t i s t i c a l data does not end with the agency i t s e l f *  Such data have been and can be used by both  community and national agencies f o r such purposes as planning on either a community or national scale; interpretation of work to the public; evaluating work done by agencies; developing standards or norms; and f o r determining trends. Community agencies also find s t a t i s t i c a l data most helpful i n central budgeting.  Qualitative Records Qualitative records may be grouped into two main subdivisions according to the method of preparing them, namely, check l i s t s * observation outlines* or rating scales on the one hand; and narrative or descriptive records on the other. In most cases, qualitative records are concerned with the a c t i v i t i e s of groups and are arrived at over.long periods of time, rather than dealing with the i n i t i a l experience of the new member i n the agency. However, a worthwhile contribution might be made by keeping of careful qualitative records of admission interviews, introduction of new members into groups, questions asked aid explanations made, etc. The value of this type of record would depend of course upon the s k i l l and training of the s t a f f members handling and recording admission . proceedings.  - 16 -  There i s a t present i n the f i e l d of group work an appreciation of the contributions of records as a means of improving the standard of work* The purposes f o r which records are needed, t h e i r form and content, and the uses made of the material which they contain are a l l important aspects of intake policy*  Personnel Equally important i n the intake procedure i s the assigning of personnel to conduct this phse of the agency's relationship with the individual member. From one half to two thirds of a l l requests f o r information made by individuals to the agency are f o r factual information about a s o c i a l resource - summer camps, a c t i v i t i e s f o r a certain age group, time and places f o r meeting, special programs, etc. Perhaps one t h i r d to one half of the requests, however, are f o r advice as w e l l , or else the request f o r information i s a t h i n l y veiled request f o r help with some problem of s o c i a l relationships.  The trained ear learns to  detect those instances i n which the request for information i s simple and when i t covers bewilderment, indecision, distress. The greatest pressure f o r specific information and a concrete answer may come from the least self-directing person i n the most unanswerable situations, and often as a disguise f o r the expression of unbearable anxiety or loneliness.  I t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r an intake  - 17 -  worker to discharge her part well unless she understands and appreciates not only the nuances of individual behaviour and moods, but also the agency i t s e l f i n i t s every phase and manifestation, and i s t r u l y i d e n t i f i e d with the whole service, since intake presents a sample of the experience to follow*  Therefore, an  agency i s most unwise to delegate t h i s important responsibility to an untrained c l e r i c a l worker or volunteer who i s not aware of the importance of this step i n the whole experience of the new member with the agency*  P u b l i c i t y and Public Relations: An enquiry into the methods and amount of p u b l i c i t y used by group work agencies i s included i n this study, since i t i s f e l t that many agencies regard p u b l i c i t y and public relations more as somewhat of a luxury or a f r i l l rather than as an essential i n the continuance and furthering of the agency's work i n the community* The objectives of p u b l i c i t y may be summarized b r i e f l y as follows: 1*  To encourage people to participate i n the a c t i v i t i e s and  to use the f a c i l i t i e s offered by the agency* 2*  To impress the public with the extent, variety, and value  of the agency's services.  - 18  3.  To give the public an accounting of the work accomplished,  4.  To prepare the minds of the citizens f o r proposed changes  or expansions i n the agency program, such as the acquisition of needed f a c i l i t i e s , increased appropriations, or a new method of running teen-age dances. 5.  To interpret the significance of the group-work program  and i t s importance i n the l i f e of the people. 6.  To secure specific action i n support of the agency, such  as signing a p e t i t i o n , speaking favorably of a new development i n program, or i n giving f i n a n c i a l support. 7.  To e n l i s t individuals to give volunteer service i n some  specific form. 8.  To give people information and suggestions as to how to  establish and maintain leisure-time centres with the best practices. For example, much help has been given to the Community Centre Movement by the older, well-established agencies i n the group work f i e l d . Thus no group-work agency can afford to ignore this.phase of work. Agencies which r e l y solely on t r a d i t i o n and habit to gain membership tend to become i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d , narrow i n t h e i r point of view, and r i g i d i n the types of service they provide. Thus the constant necessity to examine c r i t i c a l l y t h e i r program, to judge rather than j u s t i f y their service, i s an excellent stimulus to f l e x i b i l i t y and community-mindedness i n group-work agencies.  Further-  - 19  more, presenting the agency to the public i n the interesting and v i v i d may demanded i n good p u b l i c i t y , and the constant e f f o r t a t establishing good relationships demanded i n good public relations are excellent means of reawakening s t a f f s , boards, and volunteers to t h e i r agency's role i n the community.  In order to demonstrate whether the previous points were applicable to Vancouver agencies, and to establish the present practices and p o l i c i e s concerned with admission of individuals or groups to group-work agencies service, a questionnaire was devised and submitted to seven group-work agencies i n the C i t y of Greater Vancouver. The results of t h i s questionnaire are dealt with under detailed headings i n the following chapters.  #  - 20 Chapter  II  ORIENTATION One of ihe most widely used techniques f o r orientation i n any f i e l d i s the use of descriptive printed material which serves to provide f o r the uninitiated both factual material and a stimulus to interest i n specific aspects of that f i e l d *  The seven agencies were  »  f i r s t asked, therefore, whether they used a prepared handbook describing agency program and p o l i c i e s *  At present, none of the group work  agencies studied are distributing a handbook of this sort*. Three provide departmental folders describing a c t i v i t i e s i n specific departments and a schedule of a c t i v i t i e s *  One has prepared a preliminary  handbook which i s being revised and another i s i n the process of preparing a descriptive brochure... A t h i r d puts out no printed material of any kind*  Gordon House i s the one agency using a handbook f o r the  orientation of volunteer workers* The information given i n schedules of a c t i v i t i e s i s too cursory i n most cases to be of great help i n the orientation of an individual to the work of an agency*  Further, the use of departmental  folders often result i n gaps i n information and do not present the t o t a l service given by an agency, nor can they usually present i t s philosophy*  In the f i e l d of education, i t has been demonstrated that  visual stimuli take precedence over aural*  A printed description of  agency program and p o l i c i e s , i l l u s t r a t e d perhaps by actual photographs  f  - 21 -  and drawings, used i n conjunction with an orientation interview should add a graphic touch to the individual's f i r s t impression of the agency and i t s work. Rules and regulations of the group work agency, whether few and simple, or many and complex, must obviously be learned and followed by individual agency members i f a c t i v i t i e s are t o run smoothly and i f interrelationships among s t a f f members, group leaders, and group  4*  members are to be stable and enjoyable, free from unnecessary f r i c t i o n and inconsistencies. The agencies were therefore asked whether t h e i r rules and regulations, i f any, are explained to new members a t an i n i t i a l interview. Five of the agencies replied that rules are described verbally when the member joins.  In one, whether or not such an  explanation i s given depends upon the circumstances of the interview and upon the p a r t i c u l a r s t a f f member registering the applicant. Another makes available a copy of the society constitution, but feels that information regarding agency rules i s usually acquired gradually through participation i n the p a r t i c u l a r group or a c t i v i t y which the new member joins.  Gordon House makes the observation that such an explanation,  though given a t an i n i t i a l interview, has been found to have l i t t l e p r a c t i c a l meaning to the applicant u n t i l he has been an active member for some time. Thus agreement i s general that explanation of agency rules and regulations should be included i n the i n i t i a l interview. Even i f i t i s not particulary meaningful at the time of joining, i t i s  apparently f e l t that applicants f o r service a t a group-work agency should be informed from the outset of the limitations and framework within which they w i l l be free t o act as they please. I t i s hardly necessary to point out that the manner i n which this i s done w i l l have a marked effect on the degree to which the regulations are accepted by the individual.  An authoritative,  arbitrary setting down of many specific regulations i s quite out of keeping with the philosophy of group-work. A thoughtful and r e a l i s t i c presentation of the limitations and requirements of the agency, however, should lead into the whole topic of what the agency expects from the individual member* The t h i r d question dealt with the practice of conducting an orientation interview with each new applicant to the agency* Asked whether an orientation interview was required, two agencies stated that this i s a definite requirement; two indicated that they do not require t h i s ; two others use i t "wherever possible" or "depending on individual needs"; another i s "planning to include this as a requirement". One apparently regards " f i l l i n g i n the application, paying fees, obtaining membership card" as the only orientation interview necessary. Some misunderstanding may have existed as to the meaning of the term "orientation". By this term i s meant an interview which aims to acquaint the individual with the agency i n a l l phases of i t s operation which would be understandable to the individualj also to establish what the individual i s seeking from the.agency and whether  - 23  -  the agency i s equipped to give what i s desired.  This interview  should be the point at which the Individual i s given a glimpse at what working with the agency w i l l mean.  It should be aimed at  acquainting the applicant with the thinking and feeling of the agency's board, staff, and membership* The importance of this interview cannot be stressed too much.  The orientation interview should become an integral part of  the intake procedure of a l l group-work agencies. The value of the orientation interview depends to a large extent upon the selection of staff members who by virtue of either training or specific personality traits are particularly suited to carry out this function well.  The answers to the question as to what  member or members of the staff conduct the orientation interview seem to indicate the rather haphazard assignment of this function i n many agencies at present.  In four of the agencies, the orientation inter-  view i s handled by any staff member who i s available at the time when a new member i s making application •— whether superintendent, c l e r i c a l worker, or volunteer.  In the other three, an attempt i s made to  assign this duty to specific staff members:  i n one, the superintendent  i s responsible for orientation interviews; i n another, the group worker or assistant to the director takes over this assignment.  In  actual practice, i t i s usually a staff member who i s concerned with  - 24  the actual a c t i v i t y which the individual selects who f i n a l l y handles this phase of the orientation of new members. I t i s poor practice from the point of view of both the agency and the individual to allow this very important interview to be conducted by an office worker o r an untrained volunteer, as neither of these classes of agency workers have the training or s k i l l to do justice to t h i s all-important step i n the individual's entrance into agency participation* A true understanding of human behavior and the agency . i t s e l f are essentials i n the selection of s t a f f to handle t h i s interview*  Where professionally-trained s o c i a l workers are available •  on the s t a f f , they should be assigned to this task* I f none are a v a i l able, special in-training should be given to the s t a f f members who are assigned to intake, to insure the best results from both the agency and individual point of view* The way i n which a new member i s introduced into a group i s often an important determiner of his i n i t i a l and l a t e r reactions and attitudes i n that group.  Especially i n the case of children, and  to a lesser degree of adults, a personal introduction i s essential i n order to establish a feeling of security f o r the individual i n a new group.  Nothing can cause a more unpleasant experience f o r a person  i n a group work program than to be set a d r i f t i n a sea of people without his identity having been established with the leader and  - 25  s u b s e q u e n t l y w i t h t h e group members.  -  T h e r e may b e o c c a s i o n s w h e n  the  new member j o i n s a m a s s a c t i v i t y i n t h e c o m p a n y o f f r i e n d s w h e n a personal i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the leader might be  unnecessary.  \  r  The f i f t h  question therefore  r e q u e s t e d t o know:  a p p l i c a n t p e r s o n a l l y i n t r o d u c e d t o the group l e a d e r by the person?"  Though a l l a g e n c i e s a p p r o v e  two s t a t e t h a t t h i s i s a l w a y s done.  of t h i s procedure  "Is  the  intake  i n theory,  In the other f i v e ,  the  only  carrying  o u t o f t h i s p r a c t i c e i s " u s u a l " b u t d e p e n d s u p o n who i s t a k i n g  the  a p p l i c a t i o n s o r t h e tempo o f a c t i v i t y a t t h e p a r t i c u l a r t i m e when new a p p l i c a n t j o i n s a  the  group.  The p l e a o f l a c k o f t i m e and p e r s o n n e l t o h a n d l e o f new members e n t r a n c e i n t o a g e n c y p r o g r a m  such phases  c a n a l w a y s b e made.  How-  e v e r , when t h e c o n s t r u c t i v e , p o s i t i v e a s p e c t s o f t h e s e p r a c t i c e s a r e examined i t w i l l be found t o be w e l l worth t h e t i m e and energy  expended.  The s i x t h q u e s t i o n a s k s w h e t h e r - i n f o r m a t i o n r e c e i v e d f r o m a p p l i c a n t i s made a v a i l a b l e t o t h e g r o u p l e a d e r . t h a t t h i s i s done -  the four q u a l i f y  possible" or "as a r u l e " *  A l l agencies  their affirmative with  Two make a n e x c e l l e n t p o i n t  in  reply  "wherever  mentioning  t h a t a l l i n f o r m a t i o n r e c e i v e d may n o t b e t u r n e d o v e r t o t h e l e a d e r i t w i l l not d i r e c t l y a i d him i n h i s understanding  of the  the  if  individual*  These a g e n c i e s have r a i s e d t h e problem o f c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y i n S o c i a l Work.  C o n f i d e n t i a l i t y has l o n g -been assumed t o be a b a s i c c o n c e p t  S o c i a l Work.  It  has been r e f e r r e d t o f r e q u e n t l y  in literature in  in the  26  f i e l d and clients have been assured that their relationship with s o c i a l agencies i s confidential.  The growing appreciation of the  importance of the individual and his rights, stimulated i n part by the reaction to totalitarianism, the passage of various types of social l e g i s l a t i o n , advancement i n psychology and psychiatry and the refinement of Social Work theory and practice have a l l c o n t r i buted to an increasing awareness of the meaning of confidentiality i n the administration of Social Work programmes. In considering what material concerning the c l i e n t should be made available and to whom, several points must be considered.  F i r s t l y , the applicant  should be used as the primary source of information about himself and information sought from him should be limited to that which i s essential to provide service. Secondly, within the agency, information regarding a c l i e n t should be revealed only to those persons and to the extent necessary to provide service. Thirdly, only that i n f o r mation should be recorded and those records maintained that are essential to provide service and the use of records should be determined by agency function and the training and s k i l l of the staff both intake person and group leader. Where t h i s question i s answered by " i n so f a r as t h i s i s possible", "wherever possible" and " i f considered advisable by the Superintendent", there i s no indication as to what factors have a  - 27 -  bearing on this decision as to whether the information should be made available to group leader, and i f so, to what extent*  However,  i t would seem a definite l a g i n the intake procedure i f information i s gathered and then not made use of because of administrative d i f f i c u l t i e s such as improper recording, lack of contact between intake workers' and group leaders, and so on* A thorough consideration of t h i s whole matter i n the l i g h t of the above remarks might help these agencies to c l a r i f y t h i s aspect of administration to the better satisfaction of the agency, the member, and the group leader*  * 28 Chapter I I I REGISTRATIONS The portion of the t o t a l intake procedure which i s concerned with the registering of the individual consists mainly of obtaining information from the individual about himself which w i l l have a bearing on whether or not he w i l l f i n d what he i s looking f o r i n the group^nork agency with which he i s registering.  Similarly, the  registering of a group of individuals per se. i s concerned with obtaining information about the group as an entity f o r the purpose of establishing, not only whether the agency can provide the f a c i l i t i e s f o r which i t i s applying, but also whether or not the objectives and philosophy of the group are compatible with those of the agency i t s e l f * Hience the aim of t h i s particular step i s to obtain infer-* mation i n contrast to the purpose of orientation as discussed i n the previous chapter*  I t should be noted that often both processes  of orientation and registration may occur during the same space of time, so that not too d i s t i n c t a separation of the processes should be made. Naturally, i n attempting L tor discover present practice i n the registration of new members the f i r s t question asked was "What information i s required [fjcoat the applicant?"  -29  -  A l l the agencies request the name, address, telephone number, r e l i g i o n , nationality, a f f i l i a t i o n s i n the community of the applicant. For nursery school children, information i s obtained regarding parent's age employment, number of rooms i n house or apartment, whether apartment i s self-contained or not, behaviour problems and health.  Farther  information which i s requested by scans agencies i s occupation,' a ge, school and grade, and number and names of the children i n the family. I t would appear from the answers to this question that a l l agencies see the need f o r obtaining information which w i l l c l e a r l y identify the individual f o r whom they are providing service. This basic information i s necessary i n r e f e r r a l processes, f o r registration with the Social Service Index, and i n enabling the administration of the agency to decide whether that particular individual can use the service which they o f f e r . Two or three of the agencies require further information with regard to s k i l l s , interests, and other organizations with which the individual i s associated. While there i s no agreement among group work authorities with regard to the best means of obtaining this information} i . e . use of check l i s t versus the f i l l i n g of blanks, i t seems generally accepted that even a formal, rather superficial statement of interests i s of value, during the registration process.  - 30 Whether the same amount of Information was required from applicants f o r a l l a c t i v i t i e s was the next point examined i n the registration p o l i c i e s of the agencies.  The Vancouver Boys* Club  Association i s the only agency which requires applicants to f u r n i s h the same amount of information f o r a l l a c t i v i t i e s .  In a l l the other  cases* several different application forms exist; f o r example, the application forms used by the Nursery Schools and the Flay Schools at the Neighborhood Houses i s concerned with the information pertaining to the child's health, habits of sleeping, eating, play, fears, etc, and previous nursery school experience; information regarding the parents, their age, occupation, hours of work, housing conditions, family doctor and so on, i s also requested*  Another type of  application form would be the Membership Application of the Youth Division, Young Men's Christian Association.  This requests information  regarding school, occupation, church or Sunday School, who or what influenced the individual to give volunteer service and, i f so, i n what type of work and f i n a l l y , a check-list i s provided on which the individual i s asked to indicate his major interests. The majority of the agencies vary the information sought with the nature of the a c t i v i t y for which the individual i s registering. Of course, i n some agencies such as the Vancouver Boys* Club Association where they endeavour to serve one sex, one age grouping, and persons  from one area of the c i t y , possibly the same information from a l l registrants would be s u f f i c i e n t f o r t h e i r purposes. However, agencies where various age groups and various areas of residence a r e served, i t would appear that i n order f o r the infonnaUon obtained to be meaningful, quite different sets of questions would be necessary. For example, i n the applications of elementary school age children for enrollment i n clubs, knowledge of other siblings and applicant's chronological position i n uie family i s of instant and v i t a l importance i n placing the c h i l d i n a group and i n understanding h i s subsequent behaviour; whereas i n the case of an adult registering for admission to a mass social a c t i v i t y such as card playing, such information would not be pertinent. The obvious point which follows the discussion of information requested i s concerned with what record i s kept of the information obtained from a l l these applications.  In a l l cases the application  material was transcribed by the agency onto cards and f i l e d .  In the  West Vancouver Community Center, the application f o r membership i s f i l e d and on the reverse side of the form i s space f o r a l i s t of a l l clubs, groups or a c t i v i t i e s i n which the person i s a memberj also what board, committee, or leadership service he has given. The Young Men's Christian Association transcribes the information onto f i l e cards which are kept i n the permanent records.  In the case of Camp information  - 32  ~  this i s made available to the boys! counsellor at the Camp, together with information on the Parent's Consent Form. I t i s apparent that a l l agencies would agree on the importance of maintaining a permanent record of agency clients or members. In the discussion.of records i n the f i r s t chapter, i t was pointed out that records kept over a period of years are essent i a l to any type of survey concerned with group-work agencies as related to their own program or to community needs. As a r e s u l t of thepractice of keeping records of accepted applications, which i s used i n a l l seven agencies, many interesting studies along these lines w i l l be possible i n the future. In order to offset an i n i t i a l fake impression of the agency which might be caused by an authoritative demand f o r information of a personal nature, i t would seem desirable that agencies work out some explanation to be given to clients as to t he use to which the information they supply w i l l be put.  Therefore* the  agencies were asked to state what explanation, i f any, i s given to the applicant as to the use made of this information. Only three agencies f e e l that an explanation i s necessary, and of these only the Vancouver Boys» Club Association and the Young Women's Christian Association actually give one.  Alexandra  Neighborhood House replies that t h e i r only explanation i s that  33 -  "we require some information". According to the North Vancouver Memorial Community Center, "no explanation has been necessary"*  In  the West Vancouver Community Association the questions on the application f o r membership form are f e l t to be explanatory.  Gordon  House points out that the explanation d i f f e r s , depending on the circumstances*  The staff f e e l that much more information would be  given more readily i f an adequate explanation were made i n a l l cases*  The Young Men's Christian Association reports that no  explanation i s made to the new applicant as to what use i s being made of this information*  I t i s considered to be more or less  • standard procedure and expected by those enrolling* I t would seem that t h i s would be an excellent point i n the registration process to discuss with the applicant the agency's aims and objectives, i t s place i n the community, the type of service, i t endeavours to give and thus the persons whom i t i s able to serve effectively. As participation by membership, i n a l l phases of agency program, even i n administration, i s a group work concept, i t would seem unwise to demand, a r b i t r a r i l y , information of a personal nature from the incoming member. Rather, an explanation of the use made of this information could lead easily into a discussion of agency policy i n other matters.  - 34 i  The setting of the registration interview i s , too, of the greatest importance and w i l l d e f i n i t e l y effect what i s accomr plished i n i t .  I t was to discover the practice i n l o c a l agencies  that the question was asked "Where are registrations and applications taken, e.g. private o f f i c e , main o f f i c e , etc.?" Apparently, only two agencies, the Vancouver Boys' Club Association and the Young Women's Christian Association, i n s i s t on a private setting f o r the i n i t i a l interview of an applicant entering a group-work agency. Gordon House states that the setting d i f f e r s with the circumstances of application. I t i s pointed out that i n actual practice, referrals or those applicants who drop i n a t a time when staff i s not too busy or rushed have an interview i n a private o f f i c e ; while those who apply on a busy afternoon or evening usually get casual attention or treatment. North Vancouver Memorial Community Center takes registrations of regular members i n the main office while some registrations f o r Community Centre Classes are taken by private interview. The Young Men's Christian Association, i n most instances, interview those enrolling i n a private o f f i c e .  During a heavy, enrollment period,  these are handled across the main desk, but the vast majority are taken otherwise* I t appears then, that only two agencies i n s i s t on a private  - 35  -  setting f o r the i n i t i a l interview of an applicant entering a groupwork agency. Three agencies make an e f f o r t to have private i n t e r views i f time and s t a f f permit.  The remaining -two give t h e i r intake  interview i n open general offices,  "  .  I t i s a well-established case-work concept that the setting of an interview has an important bearing on i t s productiveness i n terms of learning the client's needs, both physical and psychological* The interview conducted i n a private room where, even i f time i s limited, the atmosphere maybe l e i s u r e l y , i s the optimum type f o r gaining rapport with the c l i e n t and f o r learning his motivations and goals* Where the setting i s public and the atmosphere distracting and hurried, the worker i s at a severe disadvantage i n establishing rapport or i n gaining anything other than the most s u p e r f i c i a l response and information from the c l i e n t .  The same i s true of the r e g i s t r a t i o n  interview i n the group-work agency. There, too, the establishing of a feeling of warmth and interest are f i r s t essentials i n admitting an individual into a group setting. The discovery of interests both obvious and latent and the psychological make-up of the applicant are also necessary features of the i n i t i a l interview. Similarly, a rushed or impersonal atmosphere i s d e f i n i t e l y l i m i t i n g to the value of t h i s part of the registration process*  ,  - 36 -  Many agencies would argue that s t a f f do not have time i n the r e a l i s t i c situation to give an interview similar to those provided i n a case-work agency. In most agencies* this i s probably true* However* i f a period of time, no matter how short, were set aside for registration interviews and these were conducted i n a private setting f a r enough detached from the flow of work so as to create an unhurried atmosphere, f a r greater benefits would accrue to both the individual and the agency than f o r the same amount of time spent speaking to an applicant i n the rush and confusion of an outer o f f i c e * A problem peculiar to the administration of group-work agencies arises when groups apply as a whole f o r agency service*  In  order to examine the handling of t h i s phase of registration the agencies were asked to state their procedure used when groups apply as a whole for admission to f a c i l i t i e s . I t seems that f i v e agencies have a procedure worked out f o r deding with the admission of new groups*  Of these, the West Vancouver  Community Association states that while actual membership i n the Association i s on an individual basis at present, groups wishing to use the f a c i l i t i e s f i l l out a special form* At the Young Men's Christian Association, when groups apply f o r admission, a group interview i s conducted and individual application forms f i l l e d i n * This i s followed by an individual interview where indicated* In the  37  Young Women's Christian Association an interview i s held with the group executive*  I f already established as a group, programme as  related to agency programme and space i s reviewed before admitting to f a c i l i t i e s *  I f a friendship group without leadership makes  application, consideration i s given to i t s needs i n relation to t o t a l programme and staff* Both Alexandra House and Gordon House submitted a more detailed account of t h e i r p o l i c y i n this regard*  The former's  constitution deals i n d e t a i l with admission of clubs and organizations as a whole, as follows: " "Clubs or working organizations applying f o r admission to the House s h a l l make t h e i r written application to the Council giving the names, ages and addresses of their members* A majority vote of representatives present at the Council meeting s h a l l be necessary to elect such groups to membership i n the House* A l l new clubs enter the House on three months' probation*" " A new club or working organization may be admitted to the House by the Council, and no club or working organization s h a l l b e considered a member u n t i l i t has been formally admitted by the Council*"  * Section 5 and 6, A r t i c l e 8, Alexandra Neighborhood House Constitution.  — 38 «•  Their policy d i f f e r s s l i g h t l y with regard to admission of Service ciubs and i s stated as follows:, * "A service club s h a l l be an independent organization .using the House as a meeting place, which has as one -of i t s objectives some project connected with the House." "Service Clubs applying f o r admission to the House .shall make written application to the Council stating the number of members, the aims and. objects of the organization and a f f i l i a t i o n . A majority vote of representatives present a t the House Council meeting s h a l l be necessary to elect such groups to membership i n the House. A l l new clubs enter the House on three month's probation." However, this Constitution has not been i n effect as yet and the administration of t h i s agency i s unable to judge a t the moment the advantages and disadvantages of t h i s system. Gordon House has submitted two forms which are used f o r admission of groups i n their Senior House. These demand from regularly scheduled group, information about name of group, purpose, membership,  Sections 1 and 2, A r t i c l e 9, Alexandra Neighborhood -House Constitution.  39  meetings, elections, o f f i c e r s , finances and the type of accommodation required.  In return f o r the use of the ageney*s f a c i l i t i e s , the group  agrees t o carry out certain requirements such as attendance of delegates at House Council Meetings, attendance at General Membership Meetings and compliance with House Rules* Application by a group f o r use of f a c i l i t i e s f o r one specific occasion i s made on a form which asks f o r name of group, alms and objectives, name, address and telephone of person making request, type of f a c i l i t y required, number of persons expected, purpose of meeting, i s money to be raised, i f so, specify purpose, method, who i s responsible.  In return f o r t h i s ,  groups are required to comply with House Rules. However, these forms have been put to use too recently to be evaluated as yet. There seem to be two main points which need to be decided with regard to admission of groups. F i r s t l y , i s the group to be treated as an e n t i t y or as a sum of parts.  1  That i s , i s a group to  be allowed to enter an agency by special arrangements which-are made with representative or group executive or i s each member to be treated as a separate applicant and dealt with accordingly.  I t would seem  that perhaps a combination of these two approaches should be feasible. Secondly, are groups applying f o r admission asked to accept s t a f f leadership from the agency,^ send delegates to Councils and i n  various other ways play a role i n the l i f e of the agency or are they merely granted the use of a f a c i l i t y without ah attempt a t i n d i v i dualization or other group-work concepts implied'in the placing of a trained leader i n the group? I t seems that intake policy on tills point requires careful thought and study*  The somewhat sketchy procedures used a t the present  undoubtedly cause a weakening i n the agency's attempt to create democratic participation by a l l i t s members i n the l i f e of the agency.  -  41 -  Chapter IV FEES The payment of fees as a part of intake procedure I s a feature of group-work administration which i s being considered by the administrators i n the case-work f i e l d a t the present time. Hitherto case work agencies offering services to individuals and families made no charge or any suggestion of a charge to individuals who could afford to contribute something to the cost of the services they received. However, the group-work agencies have the tradition of the settlement house movement and of national agencies such as. the Young Women's Christian Association and Young Men's Christian Association before them and fee-payment by members has long been an established practice i n t h i s f i e l d . Most of the thought behind the decision to incorporate payment of fees as part of the application for use of group-work agencies services i s linked up with the b e l i e f that an individual feels more sense of responsibility and feels freer to c r i t i c i z e , participate, and i n every way f e e l himself an integral part of the agency membership, i f he i s given the opportunity to pay his way. Although i n most cases the fee i s so small, i t i s more i n the nature of a token* i t , nevertheless, i s important i n i t s being able to give the individual the feeling that he has contributed f i n a n c i a l l y toward the services from which he hopes to benefit himself.  Too, this does away with the  - 42 -  unpleasant connotation of "charity" or "underpriviliged" which sometimes exists i n accepting free services* I t was with this background material i n mind that the question regarding the required fee was asked*  A fee i s charged by  a l l agencies studied. In f i v e agencies, a dollar a year was charged. However, i n the Young Women's Christian Association fees vary from f i f t y cents f o r Junior Membership to one d o l l a r and f i f t y cents for Senior Membership. 3h the Young Men's Christian Association, the lowest fee i s s i x dollars annually, while the business men's department pays t h i r t y - f i v e dollars a year* The second item of information requested from agencies regarding fees was whether there were any exceptions made to t h e i r payment. A l l seven agencies seem to have f l e x i b l e rulings on the matter of payment of fees. This i s an essential point i n the matter of development of p o l i c i e s concerning the admission of i n d i viduals to the agency* The payment of a fee should never be made a hard and fast requirement f o r admission to a group-work agency* Voluntary f i n a n c i a l support by the community implies that our services should be available to those who desire to use them, regardless of t h e i r a b i l i t y to pay fees. An important point i n this connection i s the procedure used to establish whether the individual i s able to pay fees or whether  - 43 -  this w i l l work a hardship on him. A check with the Social Service Index to reveal other agency contacts should be a f i r s t step and i f other agencies are registered, conferences with them might be indicated. I f there are no registrations, the matter should be discussed at a meeting where the available knowledge of home conditions, f i n a n c i a l status, etc. can be pooled and a decision reached i n the l i g h t of the pertinent f a c t s . An interesting point which was raised with the group-work agencies by means of the questionnaire submitted on fees was concerned with the necessity f o r the payment of additional fees for the individual groups. Five agencies indicated that the payment of additional fees for individual groups was a f a i r l y common practice. The Vancouver Boys* Club Association does not require payment of additional fees and i n Alexandra Neighborhood House the only additional charge i s f o r music lessons. In most cases a nominal extra fee i s charged by the sub-groups i n the agency. This i s often required i n order to budget f o r group expenses suoh as c r a f t materials, records, etc. However, agencies should take especial care to point out a t the time of registration that the payment of additional fees may be required.  Misunderstanding about  this point may lead to disappointment or embarrassment of a member a t a l a t e r date when he has become associated with a group and additional f i n a n c i a l demands are made upon him which he i s unwilling or unprepared to meet.  - 44 -  The agencies were asked to report on which method or methods they used for the payment of fees, by installments, lump sum or by other methods* In f i v e agencies the lump sum method of payment i s preferred*  The Young Men's Christian Association states t h e i r common  procedure i s the installment system on the basis of a down payment of twenty-five cents and the balance to be paid within ninety days, although special arrangements may be made at the discretion of the staff member who i s conducting the interview*  The Vancouver Boys'  Club Association determines their method of payment according to the f i n a n c i a l status of the member* In the answers to this question also a desirable f l e x i b i l i t y i n procedure i s indicated* Where the payment of fees as a lump sum w i l l work a hardship on the member, a system of installments can be arranged* However, paying fees i n a lump sum where possible i s good administrative practice as i t cuts down on endless bookkeeping and constant reminders to members that their fees are due which become irksome both to the s t a f f and the members*  -  45  -  Chapter V REFERRALS Though a group work agency i s mainly concerned with the "average" individual who joins at h i s own i n i t i a t i v e f o r reasons of his own, i t also co-operates with other community services i n helping individuals who, i t i s f e l t , need the additional service which group experience provides.  I f an agency i s to he of greatest  value both to the individual and to the other agents working with him, i t i s essential that pertinent information about him be made available to the group-work agency. In order to ascertain the attitudes and practices of the l o c a l group work agencies with regard to r e f e r r a l , seven questions dealing with the whole procedure of r e f e r r a l questionnaire.  were included i n the  The f i r s t requested the agencies to state what they  require as the minimum amount of information about an applicant from the referring agency. There i s a wide range of answers to t h i s question, which would indicate that no well-defined p o l i c i e s e x i s t as to case-work group work referrals i n most of our group work agencies. One informant states that he i s unable to answer questions about r e f e r r a l "because the agency i s comparatively new with a minimum of s t a f f , and procedure has not yet been worked out." Another requires no more information than_is required on the application forms  - 46  -  of usual applicants. Only two s p e c i f i c a l l y state that they require some information about the applicant's interests, personality, while various others add such points as "special problems","home background", previous participation i n group a c t i v i t i e s , etc., to the usual •4"  information provided i n the individual's f i l l i n g i n of an application form. One agency which has set up as a requirement a digest of "essential information" from the f i l e of the individual r eferred, points out that i t has so f a r been very d i f f i c u l t to get the referring agency to provide adequate information, and that this has been found to be a handicap i n dealing adequately with some r e f e r r a l s . The need f o r f u l l information on a prospective member before accepting the r e f e r r a l need hardly be stressed. For i t would seem quite impossible f o r an agency to determine whether the service i t provided could meet the needs of the referred individual without f u l l information about the individual and h i s contact with the other agency. In many cases there i s a lack of understanding on the part of the referring agency as to what services are offered by the group work agency. There may be a lack of understanding of what the groupprocess i s and with what type of problems i t can help. Consequently, the matter of deciding whether the group work agency can provide suitable help f o r the individual, or whether an association with the group might  - 47 -  do actually more harm that good, rests entirely with the administration of the group work agency.  Therefore, a l l material gathered by the  referring agency which has a bearing on this decision should be requested. In no case should the ordinary information requested i n registration be enough on which to base this important decision as to whether the services provided w i l l meet the needs of the particular individual referred. Because the task of handling special cases who are referred for a specific reason requires at least as much and usually more discernment and understanding of both individual requirements and agency f a c i l i t i e s , i t was thought important to include i n the survey of c i t y agencies a question as to which member or members of s t a f f , are assigned to the taking of r e f e r r a l s .  The replies suggest that  many agencies are f a i r l y casual i n t h e i r assigning of t h i s task to s t a f f members. One assigns no special worker, and another has no procedure yet worked out. In two, the group worker i n charge of the particular department suggested by the referring agency handles the referral.  I t i s only i n Gordon House and the Young Women's Christian  Association that specially qualified personnel are assigned to t h i s portion of the routine of rejecting or accepting referrals from other agencies. Where i t i s possible within the ranks of agency s t a f f , a trained social worker, either with case-work or group-work specialization should be assigned to t h i s portion of intake.  - 48  -  I t makes f o r f a r better relations between agencies and f a r better service to the individual i f both s t a f f members concerned with the r e f e r r a l process are professionally trained and  therefore  have a common body of knowledge, a similar vocabulary and an understanding of human behaviour*  Fundamentally, neither the case-worker  or group-worker can function i n t h e i r f u l l e s t sense without an understanding of each other's services*  The intangible factors such  as attitudes, feelings, etc. are determining factors i n group placement* Those factors involve not only the c l i e n t himself but the background and interplay of relationships within the group to which he i s to be referred*  For the welfare of the c l i e n t , i t i s necessary  to have a quality job of interpretation of both case-work and groupwork at t h i s point and i t i s the professionally trained worker who i s equipped to'do t h i s *  U n t i l such time as group work agency budgets  and policy permit the employment of professionally trained personnel to handle r e f e r r a l processes, successful referrals w i l l continue to be more i n the realm of good luck than good management* I f i t i s assumed that pertinent information about an applicant i s essential to the effectiveness of the group-work agency's co-operation with other agencies, then i t must l o g i c a l l y follow that the timing of the receipt of t h i s information i s also most important* A l l agencies were asked whether information about a r e f e r r a l i s required before he enters the agency* Only two of the seven state  emphatically that t h i s information i s required p r i o r to the entry of the applicant into the group-work agency. Three "prefer" t o have the information before registering the applicant* but do not require i t i n a l l cases*  One has worked out no particular p o l i c y  or practice as yet j another apparently makes no r equest that the information be made available before the applicant presents himself f o r membership i n the group work agency. The  comments made so f a r about the necessity of providing  information about referrals are equally applicable to the matter of the necessity of the r e f e r r a l b eing carefully considered by both agencies p r i o r to the entrance of the individual to the agency. I f the r e f e r r a l information i s not demanded by the group-work agency before the new member actually comes, how can the group-work agency decide whether the services they offer w i l l make f o r a successful experience f o r the individual i n terms of h i s particular needs? The agencies were also asked whether or not information received from other agencies i s permanently recorded.  S i x agencies  state -that they f i l e a record of the material accummulated during the r e f e r r a l process.  This, of course, i s just a refinement of the whole  process and i f the handling of the rest of the r e f e r r a l procedure i s not well-worked out according to the best social work practice, these records would not be too valuable. However, i f accurate records are  - 50 -  kept of the entire r e f e r r a l process as conducted by a trained worker, these records could form the basis f o r a valuable study as t o what factors contribute to an agency's success i n dealing with referrals and what factors, on the other hand, seem to play a part i n t h e i r not so successful experiences* I t i s possible that a group work agency might have no particular service or f a c i l i t y which would benefit or appeal to a referred applicant*  I t i s therefore essential that the group-work  agency prevent disappointments and frustrations as f a r as possible by considering each r e f e r r a l individually and deciding whether or not the agency i s equipped to deal with i t effectively*  In answers  to the question as to what staff member decides on the acceptance or rejection of a referred applicant with a behaviour problem, i t i s apparent that most agencies recognize the need for selection* In one case, the decision i s made by the superintendent; i n others, discussion takes place between several s t a f f members, who make the decision j o i n t l y .  In only one agency i s there a special " r e f e r r a l  group-worker" assigned to the handling of referrals, who decides whether to accept or reject a referred applicant after conference with the executive director, director of the department concerned, and the group leader concerned* Again, the necessity f o r assigning t h i s responsibility to a well-trained, r e a l i s t i c worker cannot be over-stressed, i f the  - 51 -  co-operative e f f o r t of both the referring and group-work agencies i s to be of genuine benefit to the individual*  Many referrals, especially  those with behaviour or personality problems, may need individual preparation before they are ready or able to participate wholeheartedly or comfortably as a member of a group* Here again, the timing of the individual's entry into a new and a t times frightening situation i s most important*  Careful  evaluation of the applicant as a person i s necessary i f the value of group experience i s not to be l o s t because of hasty, poorly-timed action on the part of a worker who may be over-eager to have a service rendered f o r which the individual i s not yet ready*  The group work  agencies were therefore asked i n the questionnaire whether they or the referring agencies take the responsibility f o r preparing the applicant f o r group experience* There seems to be general agreement among the group-work agencies that this preparation should be a j o i n t project*  I f t h i s matter i s discussed and shared by both agencies,  i t should work toward the maximum benefit to the c l i e n t *  Initiation  into group a c t i v i t i e s should be gradual and controlled, possibly, by establishing a relationship f i r s t with the group-worker herself and then with a few members of the group, i n a gradually widening c i r c l e * Replies to the question "Is the case-worker asked to accompany the applicant on the i n i t i a l v i s i t to the group-work agency  - 52  -  or club meeting?" indicate that Vancouver agencies do not generally request that this be done. Two mention that i n certain cases, i t i s f e l t to be desirable, but apparently leave t h i s decision to the referring agency. Alexandra House points out that i t i s sometimes considered preferable to have a parent accompany a c h i l d who i s coming to the centre f o r the f i r s t time. Where the c l i e n t i s insecure or somewhat f e a r f u l of h i s new experience, there might be value i n having him accompanied to the agency. In most cases, however, this does not seem to be an essential requirement.  - 53 Chapter  VI  SELECTION OF ACTIVITY Freedom of choice f o r the individual i s a hall-mark of democracy and as most group-work agencies t r y to implement the democratic principle wherever possible, t h i s same freedom of choice must be present i n the selection of a c t i v i t y by the individual* In order f o r t h i s choice to be as sound and r e a l i s t i c as possible, opportunities must be made through the intake procedure f o r the individual to gain an understanding and appreciation of the various a c t i v i t i e s i n which he would choose to participate* Mass a c t i v i t i e s are one type of agency programme which can be used to advantage i n t h i s regard. So the seven agencies were asked whether they provided mass a c t i v i t i e s which any applicant could j o i n . Apparently, nearly a l l agencies have mass a c t i v i t i e s which provide a good jumping-off place f o r the individual entering the agency. However, several do not provide them f o r a l l age groups. I t i s essential to have a large a c t i v i t y f o r individuals to j o i n upon entering the agency i f they wish to, so that through this sample of agency programme.they can make friends, learn about other a c t i v i t i e s and generally "find t h e i r feet" i n a comparatively diluted sample of ..group l i v i n g rather than being faced with the intimate  - 54 -  face-to-face situation which e x i s t s i n the small.friendship or interest group. During mass a c t i v i t i e s various devices cai be used to acquaint the participant with other parts of agency programme. Posters, talks by members, printed l i t e r a t u r e and many other means of p u b l i c i t y can be used to advantage i n a mass situation. Mass a c t i v i t i e s serve a useful purpose i n themselves i n providing recreation i n agency programme and they can -also b e used as a valuable t o o l i n the selection of a c t i v i t y f o r hew members. The second question which .the agencies were asked was, "Which member or members of the staff advise as to possible activities?"  Gordon House replied that whoever interviews applicant  advises as to possible a c t i v i t i e s .  This may be a volunteer, but i s  usually one of the social-work-trained or other s t a f f members. In the Vancouver Boys* Club Association the superintendent advises re possible a c t i v i t i e s and i n the North Vancouver Memorial Community Center, this i s done by the Director and office receptionist. Alexandra House states "the person to whom the applicant makes his application advises"; while i n the Young Men*s Christian Association, this responsibility I s shared by the Boy* s Work Secretary, the Membership Superintendent, other special members of the s t a f f and  (  - 55 -  a corps of voluntary interviewers*  In the West Vancouver Community  Association and i n the Young Women's Christian Association advising i s done by the various department workers* I t seems that the matter of advising applicants varies widely amongst s t a f f members* I t would seem that a f u l l and thorough knowledge of the agency programme would be necessary i n order to advise adequately concerning a c t i v i t i e s *  Hence the use  of volunteers, unless they have received considerable training i n agency programmes and policy, would not be i n the best interests of the applicant* Again, connected with the problem of using democratic administration i n group-work agencies, i s the problem of open or closed groups* Agencies were next asked, with regard to their policy, whether or not there was open membership i n a l l agency a c t i v i t i e s or i f some were by i n v i t a t i o n only*  Four agencies stated  that a l l groups had open membership* The Young lien's Christian Association replied that i n most instances, a c t i v i t i e s are open as i s the case i n the Vancouver Boys' Club Association. In Gordon House some groups i n v i t e members of the agency to j o i n but the great majority are open* Two aspects of the-problem of open versus closed clubs  - 56 -  seem to present themselves.  In most group-work agencies the  democratic p r i n c i p l e i s stressed.  Therefore the applicant should  be able to choose which group or a c t i v i t y appeals to him and j o i n i n that group.  On the other hand, the rights of the group to choose  r  their own members on the basis of compatability i s also a democratic privilege. For the purposes of a discussion on the practices involved i n the intake p o l i c y of an agency, suffice i t i s to say that i f certain groups have membership by i n v i t a t i o n , t h i s should be caref u l l y pointed out to the applicant and the reasons which j u s t i f y this practice explained, so as to prevent future embarrassment or disappointment to the c l i e n t . Of course, the basic requirement f o r a p o l i c y designed to make the selection of a c t i v i t y a meaningful process i s the expression on the part of the applicant of h i s interests, talents and needs. Agencies were asked i f the applicant was encouraged to do t h i s and i f so, how this was done. Six of the agencies encourage expression of interest by means of an interview. An application form providing space f o r the applicant to express special interests i s used as a basis f o r the interview. The West Vancouver Community  - 57 -  Association uses an application for membership form which provides space for indication of special interests but does not provide for a personal interview.  In Gordon House there i s a Schedule of  A c t i v i t i e s on which i s printed an i n v i t a t i o n and a suggestion made f o r additional a c t i v i t i e s . Once again the agencies vary from the routine making out of a check form to a personal interview by a s k i l l e d counsellor. Several methods for discovering the interests and needs of the individual are possible. F i r s t i s the personal interview.  Some interviewers aim  to explore the individual personality i f equipped to do so by t h e i r training, others t r y to ascertain his interests and hobbies. The interviewer* S background i s of extreme importance i n t h i s regard. Lack of training and immaturity may lead him to read serious problems into everyday tensions and disturbances.  On the other hand, i t i s  just as easy to overlook problems that require special attention. Individualization i s just as important for the so-called "average" or "normal," as f o r the problem i n d i v i d u a l .  This p o s s i b i l i t y f o r  i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s the main asset of the personal interviewer. Secondly, a less personalized and less searching method of exploring needs i s the questionnaire.  The applicant received a  - 58 -  detailed l i s t of a c t i v i t i e s and i s asked to check or underscore those i n which he would l i k e to participate.  The a c t i v i t i e s are  grouped under such t i t l e s as: quiet games, special interest groups, dramatics. Determining interests by t h i s method i s not very reliable as the individuals have l i t t l e first-hand knowledge of the nature of these^-activities. In making his choice, the individual has to r e l y largely on hearsay as to the nature of these a c t i v i t i e s or on the attractiveness of t h e i r names. Friendship with a member of a group, s i b l i n g r i v a l r y and many other factors are s u f f i c i e n t motivation f o r choice. Thirdly, an individual may choose h i s a c t i v i t i e s by/being allowed to look around the building and sample various a c t i v i t i e s . Usually a member of the s t a f f takes the individual around the building and he i s allowed to remain where he chooses f o r a few moments u n t i l he f i n a l l y settles on some a c t i v i t i e s offered.  The disadvantage of  t h i s method i s the constant interruption to group programmes but i t seems to be outweighed by the advantage of actual observation or participation as a basis f o r selecting a c t i v i t i e s * Actually, i t may be necessary to use more than one method or a combination of several.  However, the individual should be  allowed at a l l times a r e a l i s t i c manner i n choosing h i s a c t i v i t i e s and at a l l times individual preferences should be paramount.  - 59 -  In order to determine which method of establishing the prospective member's interests was most widely used, the agencies were asked "Is there a prepared l i s t of a c t i v i t i e s to choose from or does the s t a f f member suggest appropriate a c t i v i t i e s ? "  In s i x  agencies, both methods were used, one complementing the other.  The  West Vancouver Community Association answered that t h i s point "depends on sectional programme plans". The prepared l i s t s of a c t i v i t i e s include a wide range from - apparatus work, a r t and badminton to - water polo, woodcraft and wrestling.  Staff make suggestions f o r appropriate a c t i v i t i e s i n  accordance with the individual's age, physical limitations and expressed interests. As one analyses the nature of interests, i t becomes clear that some are temporary, while others are permanent. The individual, goes through stages i n his growth both organic and psychological, i n which he manifests interests that are more or less short-lived. There are, however, interests that are permanent f o r each individual and r e f l e c t his basic nature. Workers who are assigned to helping the individual i n his selection of a c t i v i t y , must learn to distinguish between permanent and temporary interests. To assure growth these interests have to be met adequately as they appear, but should be  - 60 -  widened and expanded so that the individual reaches greater s a t i s faction through new and satisfying experiences within the agency. With children, especially, the agency should provide means of establ i s h i n g t h e i r basic tendencies and interests and giving them scope f o r expression. I t i s upon these early predilections that a vocation i s usually founded. I t i s i n the l i g h t of the foregoing that the agencies were asked i f the selection i s made a t the i n i t i a l interview or can applicants observe or sample several g roup a c t i v i t i e s before making the f i n a l choice. In s i x agencies, selection was free and sampling encouraged. In the North Vancouver Memorial Community Centre t h i s depends on the "individual situation". The function of group-work i n fostering and directing interests i s evident. Spontaniety should be encouraged and given meaning and significance. Where t h i s i s the c ase, resourcefulness, adaptability and the capacities of the individual are developed and enhanced. On the other hand, where interests are frustrated or misdirected, the individual becomes rebellious, stubborn and h o s t i l e . For example, many parents mistake a temporary interest i n music as being a r e a l talent and the c h i l d i s coerced into learning and practicing. When that c h i l d grows up there w i l l be great likelihood that he w i l l have  a lack of feeling f o r music, perhaps even an aversion to i t . Guidance i n the selection of a c t i v i t y by a worker who has the necessary training and insight w i l l insure that participants i n the agency programme w i l l u t i l i z e their time and e f f o r t both profitably and pleasantly.  - 62 Chapter V I I ' ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP Long before schools and other government f a c i l i t i e s were made available to people l i v i n g i n congested areas, private agencies arose to meet t h e i r leisure-time needs. Within the l a s t century, organized efforts i n this direction have been made by settlement houses, national agencies such as the Young Men's Christian Association and Young Women's Christian Association, Boys* Clubs, camps and many other agencies. More recently, municipal, provinc i a l and federal governments have been taking steps toward meeting leisure-time needs. Ideally, the principle of co-operation rather than competition, which i s an essential feature of group-work philosophy, should form the basis not only for activities and services within an agency i t s e l f , but also f o r i t s working r e l a t i o n ships with other agencies i n the community. Group-work agencies are not independent, competing u n i t s , but are part of the community as a whole, interested i n the well-being of a l l members of that larger unit as w e l l as i n the smooth functioning of a c t i v i t i e s and services within t h e i r own walls. When any planning i s to be done with regard to group work f a c i l i t i e s within a community, i t i s  - 63 -  essential to know what clientele the existing agencies aim to serve, i f wasteful duplication, overlapping, and gaps i n service are to be avoided i n the setting up of the new services*  Essential to this  i s knowledge of present rules of e l i g i b i l i t y as;, practised by already functioning group-work agencies.  On the basis of t h i s knowledge,  new f a c i l i t i e s may be. provided where and f o r whom they are not now available* The seven agencies were asked .to l i s t their requirements for e l i g i b i l i t y with regard to residence, age, sex, race, r e l i g i o n , and a b i l i t y to pay fees. I t would appear that area of residence, i s the main factor i n the establishing of the e l i g i b i l i t y of applicants i n most of the agencies*  Gordon House serves residents  of the West End d i s t r i c t , but makes exceptions i n such cases as those of old age pensioners or people on social assistance or special referrals*  The Vancouver Boys* Club Association and Alexandra  House also.maintain restrictions with regard to residence within their immediate area, but make exceptions i n special cases* Services of the North Vancouver Memorial Community Centre and the West Vancouver Community Association take i n residents of North and West Vancouver respectively*  The Young Men's Christian  -64-  Association and the Young Women's Christian Association are the only two who l i s t no requirements with regard to residence* although i n the branches of the l a t t e r , membership i s more localized* None of the agencies l i s t any restrictions pertaining to race or r e l i g i o n .  With regard to> age, f i v e of the.agencies  state that they attempt to provide service f o r members of a l l ages, starting with the nursery school. One, the Vancouver Boys* Club, serves only eight to eighteen-year-old boys, and another, the Toung Men's Christian Association, admits no one under nine years of age* Six of the agencies admit both male and female applicants to membership, only one r e s t r i c t i n g membership to males*  In none of them i s i n a b i l i t y to pay fees regarded as a  deterrant to participation i n the agency, which, of course, i s very good social work practice*  Chapter VIII METHODS USED TO RECRUIT MEMBERSHIP The contribution, effectiveness, and very l i f e of any group work agency i n a community depends upon membership* One of the foremost functions of an agency i s to serve, i n the most effective way i t can, as many people as i t can*  Thus i t i s one of the agency's  duties to recruit new members—to attempt to reach those who, either because of unawareness and ignorance or because of shyness and timidity, are being l e f t out* An agency which accepts t h i s as an obligation i s stimulated to present i t s p o l i c i e s and programs i n an i n v i t i n g way to the public, which, i n turn, stimulates an interest i n improving and adding to i t s a c t i v i t i e s and services*  In an age  when promoters of innumerable recreational and educational f a c i l i t i e s , some of them not p a r t i c u l a r l y constructive, are competing f o r public attention and support through effective advertising, an agency which i s attuned to the times has an obligation to use a l l i t s resources to attract members and provide stimulating, worthwhile programs f o r them* The agency which i s endeavoring to widen i t s c i r c l e of influence and service i s usually one which i s ready to absorb new ideas, increase the variety of i t s a c t i v i t i e s , inspire people with special attributes or s k i l l s to participate as volunteer workers, be constantly on the a l e r t to make more appealing and gratifying the services i t renders*  - 66  -  The seven Vancouver group-work agencies were asked to signify, which of the various recruiting devices they use "much", " l i t t l e " , or "not at a l l " ,  press, radio, mailed l i t e r a t u r e , contacts  with other.social agencies, contacts with schools, contacts with churches, passing on of information by present members. An analysis of the replies reveals that the method most r e l i e d upon for the recruiting of new members i s that of verbal information as passed on by present members of the agency*  Contacts with schools i s the next  most widely used method; use of p u b l i c i t y i n the press comes next; and the mailing of descriptive l i t e r a t u r e i s fourth*  The least used  devices are contacts with churches, radio p u b l i c i t y , and contacts with other s o c i a l agencies* , I t i s interesting that the agencies seem to f a l l into two •  main groups; those who use many various kinds of p u b l i c i t y a great deal, and those who use a few methods very l i t t l e *  I t would seem  that once an agency i s convinced of the need f o r v i t a l public relations, i t then attempts to use as many methods as possible to do a thorough job  of p u b l i c i t y , while others with no conviction of the value of  planning specific methods of recruiting members, leave more or lesa up to chance, the ways i n which their p u b l i c i t y i s achieved*)  Chapter  67  -  XX  EVALUATION OF PRESENT PRACTICES For the purposes of this study, an agency has been c l a s s i f i e d as a "group-work" agency i f i t consciously pursues the objectives of group-work and which makes use of the group-work process. However, the writer does not mean to imply that group-work i s superior i n value to those services which group-work agencies render but which cannot be c l a s s i f i e d as group-work according to the above d e f i n i t i o n .  These other  services of a recreational-educational nature, which are provided on a small or large scale basis to meet the need f o r this type of service, are essential and necessary. In many instances they are supplemental to intensive group-work. Whether a specific piece of work i s groupwork, however, depends on the qualifications of the staff member and the intensity and individualization of the work. In general, the conclusion indicated by the results of t h i s study i s that, despite natural differences i n organizational purposes, the agencies d i d have i n common some of the major objectives of group-work. They were a l l concerned with the development of human personality and recogni e that such development could best be aided by affording opporz  tunities f o r group l i f e and group experience. Most of the agencies were aware of the importance of the i n i t i a l contact of the individual with the agency, and have provided some sort of process to guide t h i s experience  - 68  -  so that i t would be helpful both to the individual and the agency i n rendering future service. However, from the answers to the questionnaire submitted to the seven agencies studied, many limitations were evident.  In some cases, where cursory answers or vague?statements  were made i n answer to a specific question, i t was obvious that these particular agencies had not reached the stage i n their development where time and thought had been spent on working out policy with regard to the admittance of new members into t h e i r agency. For example, few agencies could claim any particular effectiveness i n the handling of referrals from other agencies, except i n the case where a trained case-worker was employed f o r t h i s purpose, and i n the case where a trained group-worker on the staff handled r e f e r r a l s . With respect to definite objectives of an "intake policy ' 1  such as establishing the needs and interests of the applicant, a number of agencies were able to report that a personal interview by a trained worker was provided f o r most applicants, whereas others reported the f i l l i n g out of a form with the help of a volunteer worker as the method used. Only a small number of agencies claim that a positive attempt was made during the registration process to orientate the individual as to the customs, b e l i e f s , traditions,- limitations and general workings of tee agency. Few agencies seemed to regard an active programme of public  - 69 -  relations and p u b l i c i t y as an essential feature of the part of agency administration which deals with the recruiting and placing of new members• I t must be remembered that this purports to be only a l i m i t e d study confined to seven agencies i n one c i t y .  Nonetheless even within  the confines of this examination of existing procedures, certain m-inimim requirements become evident as essentials to the formulation of an adequate and sound intake policy* As registration i s usually the f i r s t step i n the introduction of an individual to participation i n a Group Work agency, i t can l o g i c a l l y be discussed f i r s t .  The information requested from the 'appli-  cant on registration must include s u f f i c i e n t data to identify  Mm  p o s i t i v e l y when the agency registers with the Social Service Index* Information as to the individual's occupation, age, community interests and contacts should be included, so as to give the group leader background material on his group members - which w i l l f a c i l i t a t e his efforts to understand and help them*  s.  Actual programme interests should be explored during the registration process.  This can best be done through a personal i n t e r -  view which i s conducted and recorded by a worker who i s trained i n either case-work or group work* The setting, too, i s important.  The  agency should provide a private room or office which could be used f o r the taking of applications, where both the applicant and the worker  - 70 -  would f e e l free to make the most of this opportunity f o r exploration of the applicants' interests and needs and the agencies'  resources.  Furthermore, different registration material f o r individuals interested i n special a c t i v i t i e s should be secured i n addition to the basic information mentioned above. For application f o r admission t o a play school or a summer camp completely different information i s required from that of admission to a class i n ceramics or leathercraft. F i n a l l y , a separate registration procedure for groups applying f o r use of f a c i l i t i e s and service i s a requirement of any sound p o l i c y . Facts such as the objectives of a group, i t s p o l i c y with regard to the collection or raising of money, times and procedures used i n elections are a l l pertinent to the discussion by the agency as to whether that group should be granted admission. A com/  p i l a t i o n of registration infornation of the individuals within the group i s not s u f f i c i e n t to give the flavour, tone or degree of maturity of a group upon which the decision as to admission should be based. From consideration of the material submitted by the agencies regarding their methods of orientation of the new member i t appears that a number of practices used by agencies should be essential features i n a l l the agencies' p o l i c i e s . A hand-book of some kind which describes not only specific a c t i v i t i e s but something of theuagency's tradition and feeling i s an  71 -  a i d i n orientation that the group work agencies should strive f o r  0  On  the other hand, a printed statement of rules and regulations i s not recommended as the best means of making such l i m i t s known to members* I t i s f e l t that a discussion with the new member on the necessity of some limitations, i n order to insure the maximum enjoyment of the agency's services by a l l , would be helpful i n getting the individual's understanding and support* An orientation interview may occur at the time of registration but conscious e f f o r t must be made on the part of the worker to acquaint the new member with various phases of the agency programme i n as f a r as i t w i l l affect him, and to make known to the individual the p h i l o sophy of the board, the s t a f f and the membership* In order to further the orientation of. the individual as rapidly as possible, information which could help the group leader i n his understanding of the individual and his appreciation of his needs should be passed on according to an established method to the group leader.  This should be done as soon as possible and discretion should  be used as to what part of the t o t a l information gathered regarding the individual has r e a l p r a c t i c a l use f o r the group leader* Then, too, the personnel given the responsibility f o r the orientation of new members must be carefully selected*  Trained  social-workers should be used wherever possible as volunteers or c l e r i c a l workers are usually not f a m i l i a r enough with the agency i n a l l i t s manifestations to do justice to this important assignment.  -  72  The payment of fees i s seldom mentioned but most important step i n the t o t a l process of application for the services of a groupwork agency. In the f i e l d of case-work controversy exists as to whether the payment of fees by those who are f i n a n c i a l l y able for services offered by agencies such as the Family Welfare Bureau and the Children's Aid Society should be encouraged. However, i n GroupWork agencies the payment of a fee i s accepted practice but i t should be a f l e x i b l e ruling so as never to become a bar to an individual being able to use the services the agency proffers. If further fees are necessary when an individual joins a specific group or a c t i v i t y to cover cost of instruction, supplies, refreshments or other expenses, this should be explained at the point of payment of the i n i t i a l registration or membership fees. This w i l l avoid embarrassment or resentment on the part of the new member when such f i n a n c i a l demands are made upon him at a l a t e r date. In the matter of referrals from other social agencies or community groups extreme care should be taken to make as professional and s c i e n t i f i c an approach to this phase of intake procedure as possible. Whatever professionally trained personnel the agency employs should be assigned to•handling referrals.  Volunteers or  staff who are not trained i n social work should not be used i n this instance, i f arrangements are possible.  The worker handling referrals  must interpret adequately the service her own agency offers and decide  - 73 -  on the basis of the information available from the referring agency whether that individual can best be served by the agency she represents. Such understanding of human behaviour plus understanding of case-work and group-work i s not usually found i n the volunteer or untrained staff worker* Sufficient material must be both given to and demanded from the referring agency, so that a l o g i c a l , sound conclusion can be reached as to the a d v i s a b i l i t y of the r e f e r r a l .  This information  regarding the individuals past experiences and behaviour plus the agency's strengths and limitations must be assembled before the individual concerned actually enters the agency. Haste i n accepting referrals without due consideration works to the disadvantage of the person involved. Another essential aspect of procedure concerned with referrals i s the keeping of records on the whole process. This i s necessary f o r the benefit of group leaders concerned with the particular individual, also to a i d i n evaluating referrals- and i n deciding what factors were involved i n the successful or unsuccessful ones. Selection of a c t i v i t y as part of the process whereby a new member joins i n the programme of a group-work agency demands certain practises.  One of the f i r s t of these i s the providing of mass  a c t i v i t i e s i n which any member may join and through doing so, may make  - 74 -  friends and form relationships within the agency and decide on the a c t i v i t i e s which have special appeal f o r him* A second essential feature i s that the opportunity be given to the applicant to express his real interests and needs, over and above the a c t i v i t i e s presented on the agency schedule*  For i f further  interests are not explored the agengy w i l l have no material on which to base the forming of new clubs and interest groups i n l i n e with i t s member's wishes and the programme might deteriorate into a t r a d i t i o n a l and stereotyped a f f a i r rather than a constantly changing and improving one* Any search f o r interests must be an "individualized" one* Check l i s t s or rating scales of possible a c t i v i t i e s should never be used alone but always i n conjunction with a personal interview, and i f possible, some means of actually sampling a c t i v i t i e s through participation i n a mass a c t i v i t y or i n observing existing groups* I t seems necessary i n order to prevent overlapping of areas served that most group-work agencies set up residence within a certain area as a requirement for e l i g i b i l i t y for membership. In agencies such as the Young Women's Christian Association or Young Hen's Christian Association, where the building used i s located i n the downtown area, members can be drawn on a city-wide basis* However, for the most part, a careful check on the distribution of membership should be maintained so as to prevent duplication of services or  75 -  competition with other agencies within the same area* Thought must be given to the methods used to recruit membership by any agency attempting to draw up p o l i c i e s governing tee entrance of members to agency services.  The drawing i n of new members  i s important to group-work agencies and the most effective and soundest way seems to be through the use of accurate and i n t e l l i g e n t agency p u b l i c i t y material, either through the press, radio, mailed l i t e r a t u r e or numerous other channels*  This e f f o r t to recruit new  members should be assigned to one or more members of the staff who are charged with tee responsibility of gathering suitable material, presenting i t i n an understandable But v i v i d form and seeing that i t i s dessiminated through appropriate channels to whatever "public" i t i s intended to reach* I t has been stated that the mark of a t r u l y mature person i s his a b i l i t y f o r self-analysis*  The courage needed to look at  one's s e l f objectively and to face one's virtues as w e l l as one's defects i s a sign of strength* I t i s also a t o o l of personal growth and the foundation of creative effort*  For tee individual who i s  b l i n d to himself i s also b l i n d to others and dulled i n his general understanding*  This i s equally true of any s o c i a l agency that seeks  to make a constructive contribution to the community or to guide people toward a s o c i a l l y acceptable goal*  I t has occurred to this  writer (and many social workers would agree) that a stage has been  - 76  reached I n the development of group-work agencies where s e l f analysis i s imperative. Group-work agencies have done remarkably well i n these recent times of national and world c r i s i s .  They have met the demands  made upon them and, i f f l e x i b i l i t y and experimentation are. signs of maturity and health, then the profession of group-work has certainly met the test.  The many emergencies, staff and personal problems,  d i f f i c u l t i e s i n obtaining materials, and the consequent personal and community d i f f i c u l t i e s caused by the war d i d upset the t r a d i t i o n a l pattern. The agencies modified their techniques, abandoned some of the usual practices, and made substitutions and adjustments so as to make the best pessible contribution to their country. They have also shown a remarkable capacity to absorb persons with l i t t l e training and use them effectively i n many f i e l d s . However, a greatly changed world i s emerging i n this postwar era. Many of our cherished values and customary practices w i l l be abandoned or modified. There w i l l be, as there has been f o r some time, a pressing by the public for a better understanding of the. group process, not only i n everyday l i f e but .also as i t i s observed and u t i l i z e d i n the group-work agency. Unfortunately, agencies have not paid enough attention to developing such insights.  Few, i n the group-work f i e l d , have devoted  any time or effort to s c i e n t i f i c a l l y  exploring particular areas of  77 -  this work. We have not, for the most part, b u i l t a s o l i d foundation for our work. Most of an agency* s attention goes to programme content, personnel qualification, group problems, community p a r t i c i pation and similar matters. important.  A l l these phases of the f i e l d are  However, i t seems there i s a clanger of building on too  shaky a foundation. Group-work agencies need to study and understand better the foundations of our work; to evolve insights and factual knowledge regarding family l i f e , the contribution of psychology, psychiatry, case-work, education and recreation.  The pressure of our immediate  tasks and concerns should not b l i n d us to larger aims. One can become so preoccupied with the job to be done that l i t t l e thought i s given as to how best to do i t .  More e f f o r t i s needed i n analysing the basic  structure, p o l i c i e s , and procedures upon which our agencies are b u i l t i n the l i g h t of findings i n other f i e l d s . Agencies have omitted to do research and experimentation i n many areas, one of which has been the subject of this study.  Effort  has been spent on spreading group-work rather than on deepening knowledge of i t s values and p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  I t would seem that agencies must  needs devote s t a f f time and e f f o r t i n the future, not at the expense of their present programme but concurrent with i t , toward evolving a body of knowledge of people and groups which w i l l add strength and value to the work they are doing.  - 78 -  Community work and progressive programmes should not and need not suffer, but should be based upon thought, knowledge, and p r i n c i p l e s . Just as an i n d i v i d u a l requires s e l f - a n a l y s i s and contemplation of h i s actions to grow and mature—so dny movement which seeks human betterment requires periods of self-evaluation. that t h i s study has been made.  I t i s i n recognition of t h i s need  79 APPENDIX  A  Vancouver Group-Work Agencies participating i n the Study of Intake Policy are as followst Alexandra Neighbourhood House Gordon Neighbourhood House North Shore Memorial Community Centre Vancouver Boys' Club Association West Vancouver Community Association Young Men's Christian Association Young Women's Christian Association  <» 80 APPENDIX Questionnaire Submitted To Group-Work Agencies I  ORIENTATION 1.  Is there a prepared hand-book describing agency programs and policies? 2. Is applicant t o l d agency rules and regulations, i f any, a t i n i t i a l interview? 3. Is an orientation interview required?' 4* What members or member of the s t a f f does the orientation interview? 5. Is applicant personally introduced to group leader by the intake person? 6. Is information received from applicant made available to group leader? II  REGISTRATIONS 1. 2.  What information i s required from applicant? Is same amount of information required f o r applications f o r a l l activities? 3« What record i s kept of the information obtained from these applications? 4* What explanation, i f any, i s given to applicant as to the use made of this information? 5* Where are registrations and applications taken? e.g. private o f f i c e , main o f f i c e , etc.?' 6. What procedure i s used when groups apply as a whole f o r admission to f a c i l i t i e s ? ILT  FEES 1. 2. 3. 4.  IV  What i s required membership fee? Are additional fees required f o r individual groups? Are there exceptions to payment of membership fee?' • What i s method of paying fees? In installments? Lump sum? Other? 1  REFERRALS 1.  What i s minimum amount of i r f ormation required from other agency regarding applicant? Which members or member of the s t a f f are assigned to taking referrals? 1  2.  81 -  IV  Referrals (Cont.) 3. 4* 5. 6*  Is information required before applicant enters agency? What record i s kept of information received from other agency? Who decides on acceptance of applicant with behaviour problems? Is the referring agency required to prepare applicant f o r group experience? or does group-work agency take responsibility for this? 7* Is case-worker asked to accompany applicant to i n i t i a l v i s i t to agency or to club meeting? V SELECTION OF ACTIVITY 1* 2.  Are there mass a c t i v i t i e s which any applicant may join? Which members or member of the s t a f f advise applicants as to possible a c t i v i t i e s ? 3« Is there open membership i n a l l agency a c t i v i t i e s or are some by i n v i t a t i o n only? 4« Is applicant encouraged to indicate special interest, talents, needs, etc.? How i s t h i s done? 5* Is there a prepared l i s t of a c t i v i t i e s to choose from or does s t a f f member suggest appropriate a c t i v i t i e s ? 6* Is selection made a t i n i t i a l interview? or can applicants observe or sample several group a c t i v i t i e s before making f i n a l choice?  VI  ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP 1.  What requirements are there with regard to: residence? age? sex? race? religion? a b i l i t y to pay fees? other?  VII METHODS USED TO RECRUIT MEMBERSHIP 1.  Check appropriate term opposite each of the following: none little much  82 m  V I I Methods Used to Recruit Membership (ContQ 2* Make use of the following: press radio mailed l i t e r a t u r e contacts with other s o c i a l agencies contacts with schools contacts with churches word of mouth other  BIBLIOGRAPHY I  Pamphlets, Bulletins "Case Work i n a Centralized Intake Service - Emily M. Levine New York Association f o r Jewish Children, 1945* 11  "Counselling In the YWCA" - Tirzah Waite Anderson The Woman's Press, 1946. "Group Work i n 1939" American Association f o r the Study of Group Work, 1939* "Group Work and the Social Scene Today" American Association f o r the Study of Group Work, 1944* "Interviews, Interviewers, and Interviewing i n Social Case Work" Family Welfare Association of America, 1931. "Objectives of Group Work" - Edited by Clara A. Kaiser Association Press, 1936 "Principles of Confidentiality i n Social Work" D i s t r i c t of Columbia Chapter, American Association of Social Workers, 1946 "The Future of Administration" - Olive Van Horn and Lois Diehl National Association of Employed Officers, YWCA, 1943. "Toward Professional Standards" American Association of Group Workers, 1947.  II  Books BUTLER, George D. - "Introduction to Community Recreation" McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc*, 1940. COLLINS, A l i c e H. - "Methods i n Group Work" The Woman's Press, 1938 COYLE, Grace Longwell - "Soeial Process i n Organized Groups" Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1930 "Studies i n Group Behaviour" Harper & Brothers, New York, 1937  - 84 BIBLIOGRAPHY II  Books (Cont.) SLAVSON, S. R. - "Character Education i n a Democracy" Association Press, New York, 1939 - "Creative Group Education" Association" Press, New York, 1944 - "Recreation and the Total Personality" Association Press, New York, 1946 TRECKER, Harleigh - "Group Process i n Administration" The Woman's Press, New York, 1946* WILLIAMSON, Margaretta - "The Social Worker i n Group Work" Harper & Brothers, 1929  IH  Periodicals "National Conference of Social Work" Columbia University Press, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946. "They C a l l i t Common Sense" - H. D. Edgren THE GROUP O f f i c i a l Publication of the American Association of Group Workers, 134 East 56th Street, New York. March, 1945. "Some Psychiatric Comments on Group Work" - H. B. Moyle, M.D. THE GROUP O f f i c i a l Publication of the American Association of Group Workers, 134 East 56th Street, New York January, 1946 "Group Work As A Method In Recreation" - Grace Coyle THE GROUP O f f i c i a l Publication of the American Association cf Group Workers, 134 East 56th Street, New York A p r i l , 1947.  

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