Gloria Kirwan – new Co-editor

Being asked to join the editorial team of Groupwork is indeed both an honour and also a privilege. My work as a social worker has brought me at different times into a range of agencies and roles but a continuous thread throughout all of my years in social work practice, and more recently working as a social work educator, has been to witness the power of groupwork and its potential to provide people with a unique form of support as they contemplate life transitions or deal with personally painful life events. It is the strength in groups that perhaps attracts me most, that sense of shared understanding and experience which can develop between group members and the transformative power of being heard and understood by others.

In my early years as a social worker I did not always find it easy to locate others who shared an interest in groupwork. Having access to journals such as Groupwork was essential for me at different times in order to connect in with the wider world of groupwork practice. This no doubt led me to perceive groupwork as a niche interest among practitioners in the field of social work and social care – those who had encountered its usefulness became committed fans but the majority seemed to prefer other approaches in their work. In that belief, I have tried in different ways to encourage students to take an interest in gaining groupwork experience – in the hope that like me they would be converted to incorporating groupwork approaches into their future work. However, a study which I am currently involved in has changed my views entirely. I am currently involved in compiling a national census on groupwork practice by social workers in Ireland. The response has been high and the results are very encouraging. The practice of groupwork, it seems, is alive and well and actively used across different fields of practice – in mental health services, disability services and many others. A big surprise for me, and I wonder if I am alone in being surprised, is that when asked by the survey if respondents were practising groupwork currently, the field of practice with the highest affirmative response was child and family welfare services, including child protection workers. I wonder if I am alone in being surprised by that particular result? The survey data is still being crunched but I look forward to sharing more of that with you in the near future. I also look forward to hearing from practitioners and researchers regarding their work and to supporting those interested in disseminating their work to a wider audience. I am convinced that sharing our ideas and research findings is a very important way to ensure the further growth and development of groupwork as a method going forward.

I would like to thank the Editorial Committee for a very warm welcome and for the support from Whiting & Birch in making my appointment to this journal. I am finding my way with the patient support of Jennie Fleming and I would particularly like to thank her for all her help, generosity and wise advice.

Gloria Kirwan  KIRWANGM@tcd.ie

 

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Groupwork Special Issue ‘Groupwork with people who have experienced political oppression’

Editors: Jennie Fleming, Nick Pollard and Sue Taplin

Call for papers

The Editorial Board of Groupwork intends to publish a Special Edition which will focus on the role of groupwork with people who have experienced marginalisation through political or personal forms of oppression. Articles are invited from self-directed groups as well as professionally-led groups, but should demonstrate the theory and practice of groupwork, and acknowledge the different contexts of marginalisation, and whether groupwork is developed with those who have been subjects or those have carried out oppressive actions.

We invite you to submit full papers that critically address the use of groupwork in all aspects of working with people who have experienced political oppression and may include:

  • Examples of groupwork to bring marginalized and mainstream communities together
  • Examples of practice in places where groupwork participants have survived oppression
  • The teaching and/or the training of educators to develop effective groupwork in countries or areas which have undergone oppression
  • Practice dilemmas and ethical issues which may arise when working with people who have lived with political oppression
  • Techniques for sustaining engagement and longer term evaluation of groupwork processes

We welcome theoretical papers, case studies, papers based on studies in progress, and critical and reflective accounts of experiences of groupwork with people who have experienced oppression.

 

Submissions: If you are interested in submitting an article or would like to discuss an idea before submission, please email Nick Pollard N.Pollard@shu.ac.uk or Sue Taplin s.taplin@hotmail.com or Jennie Fleming jennie.fleming@ntu.ac.uk

 

Deadline for full paper submissions: 1st December 2018.

 

All submissions will go through a peer review process.

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Groupwork is seeking new Co-editor

Groupwork is the only British-based journal that specialises in promoting the social model of groupwork. Its particular focus is on the application and integration of groupwork theory and practice, and research-informed practice. Groupwork is peer reviewed and published three issues a year. It has an international readership. It draws on articles from a range of multi-disciplinary contexts, including social work, health, nursing, occupational therapy, mental health, counselling, child care, youth and community work, criminal justice, and groupwork located in academic and educational settings.

The successful applicant will work with the current Editor, Jennie Fleming, in post since 2011. There is an active and committed Board with membership from the UK, Ireland and North America. Co-Editors receive a nominal honorarium. Full editorial support is provided by the journal’s publishers, Whiting and Birch.

Applicants should have:

  • editorial and/or peer review experience
  • a knowledge of groupwork and groupwork literature
  • a publishing track record
  • a commitment to promoting groupwork theory, practice and research
  • a willingness to nurture articles from authors new to publishing
  • a commitment to encourage groupwork practitioners to publish their work in the journal
  • a work schedule that permits the management and administration of the processes of reviewing and publication of papers.

The Editor should be able to attend two Board meetings a year – one takes place physically in the UK, the other usually in N America. However, participation by ‘virtual’ means (such as Skype) is also possible.

How to apply

Candidates should prepare a full professional CV (transcript) including positions held and publishing experience with a covering letter explaining why they are interested in this post. These should be sent as email attachments to Jennie Fleming jennie.fleming@ntu.ac.uk with copies to the Publisher, David Whiting davidwhiting@whitingbirch.net and Jane McLaughlin jm4whitingbirch@aol.co.uk.

The closing date for applications is noon GMT on 31st January, 2018.

Interviews will be held during February 2018 in London (by Skype for those unable to attend in person). The successful applicant will be expected to take up their role in March 2018. For further information, please email Jennie Fleming (jennie.fleming@ntu.ac.uk).

 

 

Groupwork is published by Whiting and Birch Ltd, an independent publisher of books and journals for the human services.

90 Dartmouth Road, London SE23 3HZ, England.

Tel: +44(0)20-8244-2421

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Groupwork Student Essay Prize, 2018

Whiting and Birch are happy to announce the third Groupwork Essay Prize of $100.00.

Student groupworkers are invited to submit an essay or paper on any aspect of their practice of groupwork.

Any student on a first degree or masters program, or those who have graduated in 2017, may submit an essay or paper (maximum 5,000 words) for the prize.

We invite essays from students who have worked or done placements with groups in a variety of contexts: in the Statutory, State or Federal systems; Non-Governmental or Not-for-Profit Sectors; or in the independent or private sector. The essay should give an overview of the context in which the group is set, identify what they actually did, including models of intervention if appropriate, and discuss the outcomes achieved.

Authors need to include a short reflection on their learning and to undertake a critical discussion on such issues as challenges faced, implications for group members, facilitators or leaders or members, ethical issues etc. Papers should identify connections with the discipline of social groupwork and with the other authors that have influenced their development as groupworkers using evidence from their practice. Please note papers must include description of and reflection on direct groupwork practice – purely theoretical or literature reviews are not eligible. The essay may have been submitted as an assessed assignment, but it should not have been published elsewhere.

The Editors of Groupwork journal will review the shortlisted essays for publication.

Groupwork journal values work with groups that is undertaken in the diverse contexts in which student practitioners operate. We wish to showcase this work to promote the generation of knowledge and the application of groupwork. Support and mentoring in the writing process may be offered to writers displaying talent and passion for groupwork to bring the entry up to the standard required for publication in Groupwork.

The deadline for entries is May 11th, 2018. The winner and runners up will be announced at the Annual Symposium of IASWG in 2018 http://www.iaswg.org/ and placed on the Groupwork website.

Identifying Information: Please include a front sheet stating that the essay is being submitted for the ‘Groupwork Essay Prize’; include the author’s name, address, e-mail, phone number and a statement confirming that the essay is your own work. You should also include the dates during which you were a student, the name of the program studied, the name of the higher education institution attended, and email contact details and a signature from a tutor to verify that you are/have been a student on the program.

Submissions and enquiries: Essays should be sent as an email attachment to the Groupwork Administrator, Jane McLaughlin, jm4whitingbirch@aol.co.uk

For more information about Groupwork, please visit http://www.whitingbirch.net/cgi-bin/scribe?showinfo=ip001

and https://groupworkjournal.wordpress.com/

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New deadline for call for papers for a Special Issue of Groupwork -Groupwork with people who have experienced political oppression

The Editorial Board of Groupwork intends to publish a Special Edition which will focus on the role of groupwork with people who have experienced marginalisation through political or personal forms of oppression. Articles are invited from self-directed groups as well as professionally-led groups, but should demonstrate the theory and practice of groupwork, and acknowledge the different contexts of marginalisation, and whether groupwork is developed with those who have been subjects or those have carried out oppressive actions.

We invite you to submit full papers that critically address the use of groupwork in all aspects of working with people who have experienced political oppression and may include:

  • Examples of groupwork to bring marginalized and mainstream communities together
  • Examples of practice in places where groupwork participants have survived oppression
  • The teaching and/or the training of educators to develop effective groupwork in countries or areas which have undergone oppression
  • Practice dilemmas and ethical issues which may arise when working with people who have lived with political oppression
  • Techniques for sustaining engagement and longer term evaluation of groupwork processes

We welcome theoretical papers, case studies, papers based on studies in progress, and critical and reflective accounts of experiences of groupwork with people who have experienced oppression. If you are interested in submitting an article or would like to discuss an idea before submission, please email    Jennie Fleming jennie.fleming@ntu.ac.uk or Nick Pollard N.Pollard@shu.ac.uk

Deadline for full paper submissions: 1 December 2018. All submissions will go through the journal’s normal refereeing process.

Editors Jennie Fleming and Nick Pollard

Posted in News

2017 Groupwork Student Essay prize

We are excited to announce the third Groupwork Essay Prize..

Student groupworkers are invited to submit an essay or paper on any aspect of their practice of groupwork. Any student on a first degree or masters program, or those who have graduated in 2015, may submit an essay or paper (maximum 5,000 words) for the prize.

We invite essays from students who have worked or done placements with groups in a variety of contexts: in the Statutory, State or Federal systems; Non-Governmental or Not-for-Profit Sectors; or in the independent or private sector. The essay should give an overview of the context in which the group is set, identify the model of intervention employed, and discuss the outcomes achieved. We invite respondents to include a short reflection on their learnings from situations where ethical issues or dilemmas have arisen; to undertake a critical discussion of the implications for group leaders or members of that particular policy or practice; to identify the connections that they have made with the discipline of social groupwork and with the authors most influential in their development as groupworkers using evidence from their practice.  Please note papers must include description of and reflection on direct groupwork practice – purely theoretical essays or literature reviews are not eligible.

The essay may have been submitted as an assessed assignment, but it should not have been published elsewhere.

The Editors of Groupwork journal will review the shortlisted essays for publication.

Groupwork journal values the work with groups that is undertaken in the diverse contexts in which student practitioners operate. We wish to showcase this work to promote the generation of knowledge and the application of groupwork. Support and mentoring in the writing process may be offered to writers displaying talent and passion for groupwork to bring the entry up to the standard required for publication in Groupwork.

The deadline for entries is May 15th, 2017. There is a $100 prize and the winner will be announced at the Annual Symposium of IASWG in June 2017. http://www.iaswg.org/

 

Identifying Information : Please include a front sheet stating that the essay is being submitted for the ‘Groupwork Essay Prize’; include the author’s name, address, e-mail, phone number and a statement confirming that the essay is your own work. You should also include the dates during which you were a student, the name of the program studied, the name of the higher education institution attended, and email contact details and a signature from a tutor to verify that you are/have been a student on the program.

Submissions and enquiries: Essays should be sent as an email attachment to the Groupwork Administrator, Jane McLaughlin, jm4whitingbirch@aol.co.uk

For more information about Groupwork, please visit  http://www.whitingbirch.net/cgi-bin/scribe?showinfo=ip001 and https://groupworkjournal.wordpress.com/

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Reflections of Evan Burke – student essay prize winner

First off, I am very grateful to the Groupwork journal for this opportunity. As for some background, I am a novice groupworker, though I do have some experience on which to draw in terms of facilitating groups. For a number of years I have undertaken a voluntary facilitation role with an Irish charity that supports people who are experiencing depression or related mood disorders. This has taught me the importance of language and the way in which things are said, in communicating effectively and positively with people. Managing a group while having the ability to allow the group progress in an unhindered way is one of the challenges of facilitation. I feel that it is the members who drive the group forward while the facilitator must be alert to keep it on track. While on MSW placement, I gained further experience in planning and facilitating psychoeducational group sessions with hospital service users, community support and information group sessions with service users and family members and behavioural family therapy sessions.
As a long-time teacher of English as a second language, I have worked in group settings with diverse groups of people. The ability to build rapport over a short period of time is necessary in that work, while assessing and evaluating student abilities requires observant and perceptive interaction. On a practical level, teaching has enabled me to develop skills in designing plans that react in an appropriate fashion to situations as they arise.
When asked to plan and facilitate a psychoeducational group session, I decided to do a practice learning enquiry on the experience. This involves looking into a practice situation and posing a question so to explore and reflect on its implications for practice development. I asked myself how my previous experience working with groups transfers to facilitating a hospital-based mental health group. It was while engaging with the learning enquiry that I realised how grounded the planning, preparation, format and actual facilitation of the group session were in my teaching experience. Teaching has taught me the importance of having a lesson plan. The plan can be used to remind the teacher of stages, procedures and timing and this transferred well into a group session plan. Another advantage of the plan is that it allows you to structure the session in such a way that a flow is clear to you and the participants, while it also allows you to visualise how the session might run and progress from stage to stage. Having a plan brings a sense of comfort with it so that as questions arise the facilitator can answer them without losing their own flow. This realisation prompted me to draw connections between the two disciplines and research further the teaching methodologies I employ to analyse how they informed my facilitation of the group session, this formed the basis for the essay.
While winning the competition was unexpected, it is an honour to have my essay make a good impression on those who had the difficult task of judging the entries. Groupwork is of course a practice that requires much on-going personal and professional development. Nonetheless, I hope that my paper can show that all novice groupworkers have something to bring to their practice. Hopefully this suggestion might have a calming effect on the nervous novice facilitator and then on the group as a whole. I look forward to reading the other papers published alongside my own.

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