UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Casework-groupwork referral; a study of co-operative relationships between agencies offering casework services and agencies providing leisure-time services. Franklin, David St. George


Investigation of referral practices between agencies offering casework services and agencies providing leisure-time services is the essential subject of this thesis. To meet the criterion of success, which was established in the study, a referral should be planned and carried through only when an individual's needs are thereby more adequately met. In the past, referrals often fell short of this standard, but since roles of the workers, and the nature of the referral process itself were not clear, factors promoting failure were unidentified. To clarify these matters was an objective. An additional objective was an evaluation of experimental attempts to provide casework services in leisure-time agencies. This fusion of casework and group work services and the needs hereby met are examined. In the study twenty-nine case and group records, chiefly from Vancouver agencies, are used. Both adults and children are considered in the cases, but children's problems frequently stemmed from relationships with parent figures. Thus, helping the parent was an integral part of help for the child's difficulty. The findings deal with phases in the referral process. The burden of the evidence shows the outcome of referral to be problematic if workers try to deal with a child alone. If a worker recognizes and deals with parents' resistances and problems, thereby enlisting their co-operation, probability of successful referral is increased. Nevertheless, when workers have no clear idea of their respective responsibilities, any activity is of doubtful service to the individuals. The implication is that a joint casework-group work staff conference offers the best framework within which to define roles, to evaluate information about a situation and to form a social plan. Later review of this plan is usually essential; then workers may modify their approach or withdraw from the process. Lack of group records constitutes a specific weakness in evaluation of the group worker's role; moreover, it was often difficult to learn from case records how the caseworker had functioned. This discloses the need for better recording. New insights into the nature of referral show it to be a joint casework-group work function requiring (a) careful attention to each case on an individual basis, (b) close collaboration between caseworker and group worker, and (c) a capacity of parents to modify their attitudes to children needing referral. Additional criteria for good referral are given.

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