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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Administration in a neighbourhood house : a group work study of the role of the House Council Arnold, Shirley June


In recent years there has been increasing interest in the analysis and clarification of social agency administration. In the group work setting the philosophies of democracy and social group work are intimately related. The Neighbourhood House is a "society in miniature", wherein all the pressures and interactions of human relationships are active and can be observed. The effectiveness of this community experience is a measure, of the compatibility of democratic aims and its practical implementation. Modern administrators believe that those who participate in an agency program should have a part in the process of policy-making. This is the core of democratic social agency administration. The representative membership council in the leisure-time agency is a medium for self-government and a vital instrument in the development of a responsible constituency. Important to the democratic administrative process is the role played by the professional group worker. In an attempt to learn something about the dynamic, quality of agency administration and relationships, this study is focused on the House Council, as the administrative group directly related to the membership. The analysis of the effectiveness of the Council is made in terms of selected concepts and principles of democratic social agency administration. The material used is based on records of House Council meetings gathered by the writer during a student placement at Gordon House in 1952-53. It is hoped that the findings of the study will help to point up the need for increased attention to the dynamics of administrative groups and specifically to the role of the House Council and the social group worker in the overall process.

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