UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Joint Family Services Project : a review of two years experience in making both casework and group work service available through a neighborhood house; based on the records of two (Family Service Agency and Alexandra House) of the three cooperating agencies, 1955-7 Nordman, Iris


The Joint Family Services Project which was in operation in Vancouver, B.C., during 1955 to 1957, is an experiment in bringing combined casework and group work services to family units. The three participating agencies are the Family Service Agency, Gordon House and Alexandra Neighborhood House. The present study is based upon the Project as it functioned in the latter Agency only; but apart from this limitation, it is the first attempt at a comprehensive review. Reaching families with incipient social and emotional problems,by means of observation of individuals who are not benefitting fully from group experiences, is the key note; and the study endeavours to assess the social services extended to those in need. This study is based upon the reports and documents prepared prior to and during the Project. It also analyzes the main statistical data accumulated during the two years, as well as making use of recorded material of both the casework and group work staff. Interviews with the staff members served to supplement this information on important points. In the survey, particular consideration is given to (1) the client and his family, housing, the neighborhood, and other socio-economic factors, (2) the role and methods of the participating group work staff, and (3) the role and methods of the caseworker and related consultants in this leisure-time setting. Chapter One deals with the preparatory work of the Project and its objectives. Chapter Two sketches a picture of the clients and the community from which they are drawn. Chapters Three and Four focus on the skills and services of the group worker and caseworker respectively. The final chapter brings together the preliminary findings and implications regarding this Project. Benefits to clients from the family approach to their problems are indicated; also the merits to social workers, namely, cooperating to deal with the "total personality". Some enrichments to both casework and group work can be seen in the Project process. Present achievements and possible future values should both be measured against the relatively small funds and short period of operation of this experiment.

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