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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Group work practice in a receiving home for boys Billington, Alan Roy

Abstract

This thesis is a study and analysis of the introduction of group work services to the Boys' Receiving Home of the Children's Aid Society of Vancouver, British Columbia. When the project began, no group work services and no adequate leisure time program were readily available for the boys living in the Home. The current philosophy of institutional care for children, the principles and potentialities of group living, and the concepts of environmental control are outlined. Within this frame of reference, the origin and development of the Boys' Receiving Home is traced, and the experiences and general behavior of the boys are described. The basic function of the group worker and the values of group experiences in this setting are discussed. This purely experimental project, that at first contained many negative elements, showed little initial promise of being very successful. Group process records are analysed to show the gradual process of developing a group work program providing a variety of experiences for the boys, and contributing to the total program of the Receiving Home in other ways. Particular attention is given to three areas: (1) the series of co-ordinated meetings involving (a) the staff of the Receiving Home; (b) the boys themselves as they planned and participated in the leisure time program; (c) the staff of Alexandra Neighbourhood House; (2) the general changes that were brought about in the boys' behaviour; (3) the progress of the boys towards more normal behaviour. Other specific contributions of the project, such as working with the case workers and the house parents are mentioned. The project indicates the need for continuing group work services and a greater variety of modern institutions with a range of social services. Finally, suggestions are made on the most appropriate function for the present Receiving Home, and the role of the Children's Aid Society in developing such new institutions.

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