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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A group model of practice with girls of Asian ethnicity Manhas, Sonia

Abstract

This study examined how group work can provide a culturally-competent, gender and agesensitive model of social work practice with girls of colour. I developed and implemented a school-based girls' group program specifically designed to outreach to girls of colour between thirteen and eighteen years of age. Results from the program demonstrated that through purposeful efforts to develop collaborative, non-hierarchical relationships, adult facilitators played a significant role in creating an environment in which girls could speak about issues that were important to them, including those related to race and culture. During the group sessions, girls learned about each other and themselves, identified similarities in their experiences as immigrants to Canada, and created a sense of group belonging. Similarity in non-dominant cultural status and gender among participants and facilitators appeared to have contributed to the group's cohesiveness and countered structural barriers to addressing race and culture. This study highlighted the value of a group model of practice to provide girls of colour with their own space to freely explore individual experiences and a vehicle for community organizing.

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