The influence of agency function on the content of process records in social group work

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The influence of agency function on the content of process records in social group work

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Social Work The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree Master of Social Work

by G • Elwood Saunder s June 1950

UMI Number: EP66363

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T h is thesis, w r it t e n u n d e r the d ir e c t io n o f the c a n d id a te ’s F a c u lt y

C o m m itte e a n d a p p r o v e d

by a l l its m em bers, has been pre se n te d to a n d accep ted by the F a c u lt y o f the G r a d u a te S c h o o l o f S o c ia l W o r k in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e ­ q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f



Thesis of. ..EIM).QD...SAHNDERS.

Faculty Committee

jula£ & v \




PAGE INTRODUCTION ..................................


Definition of Terms U s e d ...................


Purpose of The S t u d y .......................


Scope and M e t h o d ............................


Development of Recording In Social Group Work.



. . . .

10 22 22

Provide Group Work Services for Boys and Girls Whose Maladjustments Create Problems Within the C o m m u n i t y ...................................26


Make Referrals to Group Work Agencies . . .


Help Agencies to Become Proficient in Handling The More Difficult Problem Groups


Making Referrals to Case Work Agencies . . .


Work On An Individualized B a s i s ..........


SUMMARY AND C O N C L U S I O N S ...................


B I B L I O G R A P H Y ................................




CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This thesis was undertaken to inquire into the con­ tent of process recording in social group work as it was affected by agency function.

In recent years, social group

workers and others working with groups of individuals have shown a great deal of concern because certain agencies seem to record more fully than others.

Consequently, there were

many who felt that there should be some set form or style that could and should be adapted to meet the needs of all group serving agencies.

The assumption of the study has

been that there should be some basic recording processes that are fairly constant, but that agency structure and function determine both the content and the style used with­ in a given setting. Gordon Hamilton, a leading authority in the social work profession, points out that "While the basic processes in recording remain essentially constant for all fields, agency purpose and programs determine content and to some degree style in recording.

More differences will be found

between agency and agency than between field and field .1,1

1 Gordon Hamilton, Principles of Social Case Record­ ing. Columbia University Press, New York, 19*+S, p. 96 .


In addition Harleigh B. Trecker points out that "An im­ portant part of the group worker’s responsibility is record writing and report preparation.

Though there are differenc­

es as to specific content and style of records required


there is similarity as to type.”

DEFINITION OF TERMS USED In order to gain a clearer understanding of the problem of the terms in the body of this thesis were de­ fined as follows:

Agency Function, refers to the purposes

for which an agency was established. Our professional understanding of function is further clarified as we consider the five components of function set forth in the writings of Trecker.

These are:

program, policy, method and constituency.


He indicates

that ’’function in its broadest aspect includes considera­ tion of; (1 ) what the agency is trying to do; (2) the persons with whom it chooses to do it; and (3 ) how it elects to operate with these persons to the ends stated.... It is not only desirable but basically essential for all 3 agencies to be clear on their function.” p

Harleigh B. Trecker, Social Group Work Principles and Practices. Woman's Press, New York, 19^ 8 , p. 124. ^ ibid. , p. 29 .

Process Recording is recording which shows the group work process in its chronological development.

This type

of recording places emphasis on such elements as inter­ action, participation and integration.

Process recording

differs from mere reporting since it attempts to describe an on-going process.

11A relatively recent addition to the

recording practice of group workers is the chronological narrative write-up of the group work process as it develops. In this kind of record, each meeting of the group is deb scribed in full detail." The writer goes on to say, "It is a process record in the sense that primary attention is given to the participation and interaction of the members with a view to determining the role of each individual in 5 the affairs of the group.” Problem Group is nA group whose members do not read­ ily adjust to the problems of their age group and who do not have the ability to voluntarily seek, use and adjust to normal agency programs; they need special help in making


these adjustments.” .

*+ Ibid. , p. 12*f. 5 Ibid. , p. 12b.

6 Fenton Moss, The Skill of the Social Group Worker In Developing Worker Relationship« Unpublished Thesis, University of Southern California, 19 *+9.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent the content of process records in social group work was affected by agency function.

This thesis was limited

to the study of the records of the Special Service of the Los Angeles. Youth Project. Several factors influenced the choice of the Special Service Unit of the Los Angeles Youth Project as the agency to be studied.


First the writer was interested in study­

ing the process records of the Unit in order to get a clearer understanding of their content.

Second, the Unit's

specialized function was clearly defined and seemed to lend itself to such an analysis.

Third, the writer was familiar

with the records and the function of the Unit because he had been employed in it for four years. SCOPE AITD METHOD A schedule which outlined the major functions of the o

Unit was used as a guide.



See Historical Unit of the Los Angeles

The major objectives of the

Statement of the Special Service Youth Project -- Appendix P.


See Appendix for Schedule.

Special Service Unit, were:


To work with difficult

groups and to affect referrals to group work and ease work agencies, and; B.

To assist agencies to become more pro­

ficient in handling the more difficult problem groups and individuals. 1.

Six headings were formulated.

These were:

Accept Referrals of Difficult Groups; 2.

Provide Group

Work Services for Boys and Girls Whose Maladjustments Create Problems Within a Community; 3 . Group Work Agencies; *+.

Make Referrals to

Help Agencies to Become Proficient

in Handling the More Difficult Problem Groups; Referrals to Case Work Agencies; 6.



Work More on an In­

dividualized Basis Than do Average Group Workers. were worked out around each of the headings.


These ques­

tions were the basis for the analysis of the records.


records were studied to see the extent to which the contents reflected the major functions of the agency.

Five records

of the Special Service Unit were chosen for study because no one record could be expected to show all of the major functions.

The five records were analyzed to determine

the degree to which the content of the records was directly related to the function of the agency. All of the records chosen were written by pro­ fessionally educated group workers.

One of the workers

had a Master1s Degree in Social Work and had eight years of


paid experience with the Project.

The other worker had

taken graduate professional education in social work and had four years of paid experience with the Project. DEVELOPMENT OP RECORDING IN SOCIAL GROUP WORK The recording process in social group work is present­ ly going through the same stages of development as did the recording of social case work.

Recording in social group

work in the early beginning was in the main a factual or statistical account.

The records contained such factual

data as names, ages, addresses, attendance and the program activity.

This was not a criticism of group recording at

this time for group work then was often thought of primari­ ly as an activity program*

The workerfs responsibility in

recording was to show the number of participants in the activities.

Little attempt was made to show how the in­

dividual was helped to adjust within the group situation* Attempts to clarify and define group work as a method in social work in the middle 1930 fs resulted in the development of principles and concepts which brought about improvements in services to groups.

This, in time, led to

the development o f process records which were used as a * basis for analysis.

HThe methods of recording the group

work process were esqplored and developed by the American

7 Association of Group Workers, organized in 1936.


historical development of case work recording and its re­ lation to the development of professional practice provided a pattern which accelerated the development of narrative 9

or process records of group

Professionally educated group workers now come to feel that recording is an integral part of the practice of social group work.

There ar.e others, however, who still

feel that process records are too time consuming since budgets are limited and workers are pressed for time. fact is substantiated by one writer who said! time to write records.


wI.t takes

Unless agencies recognize this and

allow for it in determining worker*s loads it is impossible to do an adequate job of recording. services are required as well...

Facilities and staff

The availability of com-

pentent supervisory help for workers is another factor. Records take on much more meaning when they are discussed by the supervisor and the worker together.11^ Process records have proved to be of great value. Records are a tool for the improvement of services to groups.

# 9 .Mildred Erickson, 11An Exploratory Study of the Use and Content of Committee Minutes in Community Organization11 (Los Angeles:. Unpublished Master* s Thesis, The Universityof Southern California, 19**9), P* -13. 10 Trecker, o£. cit., p. 128.


They help the worker perform a more qualitative job in serving groups.

Records give workers the material to use

in the evaluation and improvement of their services. Records also help the agency to determine the extent to which it is giving the service for which it was set up. Record writing is becoming an integral part of social group work practice. distinct.

It is not something separate and

It is a tool for the improvement of group work

and it has value for the group, the worker, the agency and the field.

The major value of the narrative process record

from the standpoint of the worker is that such records help the worker too do a more effective job with the groups. l,Bvery other purpose is in a sense a subpurpose of this major one::

!to improve the quality of experience provided


for the group. 1**'

Records are used as teaching aids and for research purposes.

Without records we could not expect to improve

the methods, techniques and skills utilized by the workers which are so important if group work is to make a real contribution to the social work profession.

The next step

in recording will possibly be a refinement of the content

11 Ibid. , p. 12?.

9 of group records in terms of agency function. little work has been done in this area.

So far very


ORIGIN AND FUNCTION OF THE SPECIAL SERVICE UNIT OF THE LOS ANGELES YOUTH PROJECT The Los Angeles Youth Project had it!s early be­ ginning in 19*+3 as a result of the zoot suit riots.


ever, there were other factors which were operating at this time.

The main factor was inadequate services for

youth in over-crowded areas.

These were areas of high de­

linquency rates and many minority group problems.


though there were other factors which influenced the origin of the Project it was pretty much inextricably tied up with the zoot suit riots.

One group stated:

11The Los Angeles

Youth Project was organized by eleven youth-serving agencies banding themselves together in an attempt to provide more adequate services for the youth in the cityfs highly con12 gested areas.1' These areas were those having many minor­ '

ity problems and the highest rates -of delinquency.

The war

and the 19*+3 Zoot Suit Riots brought a neglected situation to the attention of the city. project.


One writer stated:

This was not wholly a war "The harassed city officials

See Historical Statement on Special Service Unit in Appendix.


and the community leaders only then could pause to realize how the war and social conditions in existence long before the war, together with inadequate measures to provide opportunity and guidance for the youth of the cityfs minor­ ity groups, had resulted in an incident short of catas­ trophe.

One of the early constructive results of the riots

13 was the development of ’The Los Angeles Youth Project. 1,1 Youth-serving agencies realized that they had not been providing adequate services for the young people in these area s.

As Duane Robinson observed, f,The cityfs

public and private youth services were under-budgeted and understaffed.

They never had quite recovered from the cuts

received during the depression.

In face of a growing popu­

lation they were unable to meet the demands for leadership


in leisure time activities .11

Before any work could be done an extra budget was requested by the agencies.

The Community Chest and War

Chest Board authorized funds to provide more intensive and extensive programs in these areas which heretofore had been neglected.

This called for a revamping of programs and

Duane S. Robinson, Chance to Belong, Women’s Press, New York, 19^9 5 P* 5. Ibid, p.


services in order to meet the needs of at least three groups of youth. "First, the needs of normal youth for recreation and group work would have to be met.

Agencies would have

to increase the number of leaders and facilities available to them* "Second-, programs had to be provided for youth less apt to join a group with a traditional program.

A special

approach would have to be devised to attract such youth to agency activities. "Third, it would be necessary to work directly and constructively with groups of delinquent youth by carefully supervised programs under the leadership of highly trained ill? persons."

In this venture, each agency ¥as to retain its autonomy but were to work cooperatively in the planning and executing of the program.

Some Youth Project priori­

ties and group work objectives were established as a frame­ work within which the agencies were to work.

These priori­

ties were: 1.

Intensified service to youth in needy areas.


Greater service to minority groups.


Ibid. , p. 3.

13 3.

Intensified work with predelinquents and de­

linquents. k.

Cooperation of agencies to improve services.


Expanded intercultural program.


Work with older teen-age youth.

The group work objectives were: Growth in emotional and intercultural maturity, and in capacity to participate responsibly in social groups. A constructive experience with creative democratic and cooperative group life. Awareness of o n e fs role as a responsible partici­ pant in special learning experiences of intercultural groups.

Those priorities and objectives were in harmony

with the basic philosophy and objectives of modern group 16 work. Following these well formulated priorities and ob-


jectives the Los Angeles Youth Project began to move ahead. However, after an objective evaluation it was found that the Project was not reaching as many of the "hard-to-get!t youngsters as had been anticipated.

To study this problem,

"A special delinquency committee was appointed in 19^5* Membership included a broad group of authorities on de­ linquency control.

The Committee studied the matter

16 ibia. , p. 22-23.

lb thoughtfully, directing its attention to the vexing prob­ lems of neighborhoods which agencies were not serving and where there seemed to be a great need for service by v/orkers especially skilled in working with delinquent youths.


Delinquency Committee's first recommendation to the Board was that a Special Service Unit be set up in the Los .Angeles Youth Project.

It would have a professional staff of group

workers whose primary job would be to develop a group work program for gangs and delinquent youth and to work with agencies in developing like programs."


Consequently, a

small but well qualified number of workers were employed to work with the gang groups. In the early days of the Special Service Unit the relationship of the Unit to the agencies were not too clear­ ly defined.

There seemed to be conflicting opinions around

the method by which the Special Service Unit workers and agencies could come together in dealing with the many per­ plexing problems with which they were confronted.


after the Unit had gone- through a short developmental period it was ready to set down written procedures and methods concerning the acceptance and transferral of groups. The Special Service Unit came out with two clearly stated

^ See: Historical Statement, Special Service Unit, Los Angeles Youth Project Appendix*



To work with difficult groups and affect re­ ferrals to group work and case work agencies.


To assist agencies to become more proficient in handling of the more difficult groups and indi­ viduals.

Operating procedures for the Special Service Unit were drawn up on the basis of previous experience.


records of the Special Service Unit were used as a basis for setting down procedures which had proved workable and most effective in fulfilling the function of the Special Service Unit. The operating procedures include: 1*

The Discovery of the Problem.

Problem situa­

tions are brought to the attention of the Special Service Unit and the Coordinator.

These problem situations may

come from many and varied sources, such as schools, proba­ tion, churches, lay people in the community and the like. After these requests come in the action or investigation may be initiated by the Special Service Unit worker or the coordinator working in the particular area.

If the request


comes directly to the Special Service Unit workers they in tarn notify the coordinator of the existing problem to de­ termine whether or not they are aware of the existing prob­ lem, 2.

The Securing of Information,

Before a meeting

is held around such a problem the coordinator attempts to get all the information necessary for setting up a meeting. Often when problem situations are brought to the attention of the coordinator very little is know concerning the prob­ lem.

Sometime it is necessary for the Special Service Unit

workers to go out and get additional information.

This may

include racial composition, place where the group hangs out, the nature and extent of the trouble the group is causing. 3*

The Meeting Galled by the Coordinator.

After it

has been definitely proven that a problem situation exists and that there is a'definite need to do something about it, the area coordinator invites members of the various agencies within the community to sit down to discuss the situation objectively and to attempt to work out some solution to the same.

Some of the main reasons for calling the agencies

together are:


To present the findings of the invest­

igation and to determine whether or not a problem situation really exists.


To make the community aware of the

17 problem and to find out what can be done about it*



attempt to find out who can take the responsibility for work­ ing with the group.

There are usually three alternatives

when these meetings are called.


If the group is not

too disorganized and one of the agencies present might feel that it is qualified or equipped to work with the group, consequently, a commitment is made at that particular time. (B)

Oftentimes agencies are willing to accept the respon­

sibility for a group but feel that they are not capable of handling it at that particular time.

This usually implies

that if the Special Service Unit could furnish a skilled worker to work with the group until such time it was approaching the stage of a ‘'normal group '1 the agency could then take over the group.


The other alternative is

that possibly no agency present would care to make a com­ mitment of accepting the responsibility of the group due to the serious nature of the difficulty.

‘ W hen this happens

the Special Service Unit often agrees to assign a worker to the group and after an experimental period of working with the group the agencies are again called together to learn what has happened in the way of development of and within the group.

It is hoped after this meeting the

agencies can better determine who dan take responsibility for the group•


*+• Group.

r ^ae Special Service Unit Worker Works With The

The Special Service Unit worker who is to work with

the group then contacts the person or persons who made the original referral for the.purpose of getting additional in­ formation such as finding out the real leader of the group, how he can be contacted and the best method of approaching him with the idea of a club*

It sometimes turns out that

contacting the members individually is the best method or approach*

Sometimes the worker found it impossible to

organize a group from the individuals referred due to the fact that they might have been only detached individuals who-were committing acts singularly and who had nothing in common as a group.

Sometime it was found that this was

only a subgroup which was a part of another group that was attending an agency and was a participating in their on­ going program.

Also it might happen that the group refer­

red might be apprehended by the legal authorities and in­ carcerated for some of the offences.

If the Special Service

Unit worker found a group with which to work, after success­ fully establishing a good relationship with the group he was then in a position to offer it a constructive program and to start working it toward the proposed agency which would accept responsibility for serving it. All along the way the worker evaluates and re-eval-

19 uates the work that is being done with the group in terms of whether or not the program is in keeping with the stated functions.

The process records kept by the Special Service

Unit worker are used as a basis to evaluate the work that is being done. 5.

The Transferral to an Agency.

After the Special

Service Unit worker, supervisor and director feel that a group is ready for transfer the agency worker and the super­ visor are contacted for the purpose of completing the trans­ fer.

After all plans have been worked out the new agency

worker is introduced to the group.

A transfer summary is

prepared by the Special Service Unit worker for the agency, showing what was done and some of the methods and techniques used.

After the new worker is accepted by the group, the

Special Service Unit worker has no more direct responsibil­ ity for the group*

He works along with the new worker,

helping the new worker to adjust to the new group and the group to the worker.

After this adjustment is made, the

Special Service Unit worker gradually fades out of the picture* During the follow-up and adjustment period, the Special Service Unit worker keeps in close contact with the agency which has accepted the group and is easily ac­ cessible at all times to give help in any way that he can.

20 He writes a periodic report indicating the progress of the group.

This follow-up period usually lasts about two or

three months, depending on how long it is needed.


this the Special Service Unit has no further responsibili4-

ty. ^ Statement of Policy Concerning Intake of Groups and Termination of Services.

The Special Service Unit is

essentially a social group work program. certain definite functions to perform. are:

The Unit has These functions

"To work with difficult groups and to transfer them

to an agency."

"Also to help agencies to become more pro­

ficient in handling the more difficult groups."


this would tend to modify somewhat the type of groups it can take and the tenure of leadership it can give a group. The Special Service Unit cannot be expected to take a group which in the beginning can be seen to be clearly non-transferrable.

Neither does the Unit hesitate to with­

draw leadership from a group if after a reasonable length of time the group does not seem to be making progress in the direction of being transferred.

However, on the other

hand if a group is showing progress but is slow in reaching

^ See "Operating Procedures" for complete report in Appendix P.


a point of transferability, workers may be permitted to remain with the group over an extended period of time. Record Plan of the Special Service Unit.


Due to the

specialized function of the Unit various kinds of records have been kept.

These included records which shox^ed both

process and progress.

Periodic summaries were written

which were used to help the worker see what had taken place over an extended period of time and to study and evaluate the records in the light of present trends.

Group rosters

were also kept by the Special Service Unit.

These rosters

contained such information as the names of the members, the date and the reason they came into the group and the date and the reason they left or withdrew. were very comprehensive.

The records

They showed not only the quanti­

ty of work that was done by the Unit, but the quality of work as well.



In analyzing the content of the five Special Service Unit Group records to determine to what extent the content of the process recording was affected by the function of the agency, the two previously stated objectives \-/ere broken down into six major headings.

The records were

then analyzed according to the six major headings. six headings were: 2.



Accept Referral of Difficult Groups

Provide Group Work Services for Boys and Girls Whose

Maladjustments Create Problems Within a Community; 3. Referrals to Group Work Agencies; *+.


Help Agencies to Be­

come More Proficient in Handling the More Difficulty Groups; 5*

Make Referrals to Case Work Agencies; 6.

on an Individualized Basis.


Under each of these headings

are given excerpts from the records showing how the content was related to that particular function. Accept Referral of Difficult Groups.

One of the

major functions of the special Service Unit is to accept

All names of workers, groups and agencies have been changed to disguise identity.

23 referrals of difficult groups and individuals.

In studying

the record content, it was found that out of the five records studied all showed that the.groups accepted were problem groups, according to the definition advanced in the section of the thesis dealing with definition of terms:

nA problem

group is a group whose members do not readily adjust to the problem of their age group and who do not have the ability to voluntarily seek, use and adjust to normal agency pro-



The first exerpts are from the record of a group known as ”The Eastside Bears.” 1.

The Reason for Referral; 2,

Referral, and; 3*

These excerpts contain: The Agency Making the

The Steps Involved in Accepting the Re­

ferral. The Eastside Bears Group Record. Reason for Referral. This group was referred to the Special Service Unit after investigations had been made by Mr. C . , an agency worker and Mr. A . , Investigator for the Special -Service Unit. It was found that there were two problem groups that were causing much trouble in and around the neigh­ borhood. .. These boys had climed on the roof next door to the A. Settlement and proceeded to kick in the roof. Many reports had come to the Settlement stating that the boys ifere molesting the neighbors and causing trouble. This group was believed to have been the group, because


Moss, op. cit., p. 3*

2h of restrictions placed on them by the Settlement, who had gone into the Settlement late at night and broken handles off of all the tools* Agency Making the Referral. The group was referred by Mrs. H. , Director of A. Settlement and Mrs. B. , group worker at A. Settlement. The Group had been creating quite a bit of trouble for the agency and resisted all efforts of the workers to organize them into a constructive force. The Steps Involved in Accepting the Referral. With this information presented and an investigation made, it was decided that a meeting should be called by the Coordinator of the area to find out what should be done-in regard to this group... At this meeting it was decided that we should consider these two groups as separate and distinct groups, even though there were certain fringes or ties that tended to bring some of the younger fellows into the other group, A. Settle­ ment House expressed a desire to work with this group, as most of the boys frequent the Settlement and live in the neighborhood. It was also learned at this meeting that most of the boys who made up the second group had formerly belonged to the Y.M.C.A. This group left the "Y11 because one member had been spanked by their club leader who was employed by the Y.M.C.A. , at the request of one of the mothers. One member of the group had used some profanity and the llY M u representatives felt that the club should come in.and apologize to its club leader before the ilY H would take the group back. The A. Settle­ ment House felt that it could take the group after some preliminary work had been done with it. Since both agencies wanted to work with the group, it was decided that the special service Unit would work with the group for a period of six weeks, attempting to acquaint the boys with the agencies1 program, with the help of the workers from both agencies. After this intensive job had been done for six weeks, another meeting would be called to decide to which agency the boys wanted to go and which agency would assume responsibility for the group. In examining the content of another group record known as The Rug Cutters, it was found that the excerpts

25 contained material relating tos, was Referred; 2.


The Reason the Group

The Agency Making the Referral; 3-


Steps Involved Before Accepting the Referral* The Rug Gutters Group Record* Reason the Group was Referred and the Agency Making the Re­ ferral. This group was referred by Mrs* W. , Manager of the Village Housing Project, and Mrs. Y . , Juvenile Police­ woman. One girl had been stabbed after a party in the Village. A boy was seriously cut after the same party. Two other fights also occurred at this time. Among the girls, there was fighting on the way from school. Most of the girls were sex delinquents. Many of the girls spent a good deal of time loafing at one of the homes in the Village during and after school hours. This house seemed to be of a very questionable nature. Steps Involved Before Accepting the Referral. Before contacting the girls with the idea of forming a club, much work had to be done. Conferences were held with the director of the Village Housing Project, the Police Department, the school authorities and playground authorities... The Y-Teen Director was very helpful in giving us a general picture of some of the problems of the group. She mentioned that they would come to the dances and each time they came, they caused quite a bit of trouble. She said they also brought with them quite a few older boys who were too old to enter the Teen-Can­ teen. Alsoo there were conferences with the mothers for the purpose of finding out if they were willing to help in the ."rehabilitation process". These records contained material relating to the person or persons who made the referrals.

In some cases

it was an agency staff member and in others it was both a staff member and lay persons.

These referrals were made by

such persons as managers of housing projects, policewomen,

26 probation officers, school authorities and lay people with­ in the community. The content of the records showed that some of the groups were referred because they were having difficulty adjusting within an agency setting, such as schools, centers and playgrounds.

Other groups were having difficulty in

adjusting within the community.

This caused lay persons to

become interested in the problems.

The offenses were such

acts as willfully molesting pedestrians, tearing up or destroying agency property, individual and group fights, disobeying school regulations, such as smoking, the use of profanity on the school grounds and general disorder in and around school. The record content showed the process involved in accept­ ing a referral to be complete.

The content also revealed

that an investigation was made after the problem had been presented, either to the coordinator or the Special Service Unit.

Also the record content showed that a meeting was

called by the coordinator of the various agencies to dis­ cuss the problem and to find out what disposition could be made.

The discussion that took place was shown in the

records and the disposition that was made was also found. Provide Group Work Services for Boys and Girls Whose Maladjustments Create Problems Within the Community.



record content was next studied under the heading:

To Pro­

vide Group Work Services for Boys and Girls Whose Mai a b s t ­ inent s Greate Problems Within a Community,11

The content of

the record relating ifco the group work services was studied on each of the five groups chosen.

During the six month

period in which the records were studied they showed the role of the worker, types of services and the skill the worker used in the group process. Records of the Rug Cutters and the Eastside Bears. Various Types of Services Provided. These included club meetings, beach parties, skating parties, groiip dances, theatre parties, cooking sessions', hikes, trips, football, basketball, track and other com­ petitive games. Eastside Bears Group Record. Role the Worker Played in Carrying Out These Services. Worker worked on the door to make sure that no one but club members and their guests were admitted. During the time worker was on the door, many boys came and had to be turned away because they had no in­ vitations. Some of them inquired as to how they could become a member of the club of the A. Settlement House. Worker told them to come back on Monday and talk with Mrs. H. and Mrs. P . , who were in charge of the Settle­ ment House. During a lull, worker mentioned to co-worker that probably to get the group started again, we should in­ troduce our little game "Lucky Spot Dancers.11 The group did not take to this so well, therefore, we de­ cided to hold the contest for the lucky number. Two corresponding sets of tickets were made and one set was

28 passed out to members of the club and their guests. Worker asked one of the older men there to conduct the drawing. Some of the group had taken two tickets out of the box so' we had to try to get them back. The prize was fifty cents and 11 won. The Hug Cutters Group Record. The Rug Cutters1 Party. Role of the Worker. The worker got in and helped the club members decorate the hall for the dance. When I arrived at the T ‘s home, all of the girls ex­ cept Betty were assembled there. Mr. T. was also there. They had cut crepe paper into strips and folded them together. Some of the boys, including Herbert, were also there. I told them that I would go over to the house across the street and get the keys to the hall. When I came back, I sat down and began to help them fold the decorations. Pretty soon Lavoyce told the boys to go over and arrange the chairs in the hall. Lavlyce had said that Ted would not be able to come. He was the one who was to have brought his phonograph machine. I asked them what they planned to do about it and Lavoyce said, "I don‘t know, but w e ’ll find another one.” Later Herbert said that Ted had gotten into trouble be­ cause someone had ”squealed“ on him and his mother was making him stay home for punishment. The worker supervised the handling of the tickets and helped in every way possible. Roberta turned in some of the money for the tickets she had sold, telling me she had bought some phonograph needles out of it... She also turned in to me the rest of her tickets. .Later, she came and asked for three of them back as she thought she could sell them. The records contained material relating to the types of services made available to the groups.

These included

such services as helping to develop programs which met the needs of the group; being easily accesible at all times;


helping the group to grow and move toward a more self-sus­ taining unit; attempting to meet the needs of the group through continuous evaluative processes and by introducing the group to new experiences in keeping with their wishes and capacities. The Eastside Bears Group Record. Skills the Worker Used in Carrying Out these The Eastside Bears1 Party. The juke box was started again and the crowd‘danced for awhile, but ceased again. Finally during another lull in the program we decided to introduce another activity, the Grand March. The girls seemed to be slightly backward, but the boys were willing to partici­ pate; the girls were not so willing. I had to go around the-floor, matchmaking for everybody. There were three very pretty little girls there; worker thinks they were sisters. When worker asked them to get partners for themselves they said they did not dance. Worker told them that it was not dancing, but marching so finally after cajoling them to participate in this, they got up. No one wanted to lead the Grand March so Miss P’ . and worker decided to. Harold said he would stand up in front and direct the activity. Miss P. put on a march music and they started out while the others fell in. Be­ fore the Grand March was finished, some people had drop­ ped off; namely, the three little girls who did not want to participate in anything during the evening. Inother lull in the party, Miss P. decided to intror duce the game of post office. This game is played in a small room or closet with a "mailman*1 inside. One of the participants outside is called in by the "mailman*1 who tells him that he has a letter for such and such a person. The girl (or boy) then goes into the room and is kissed by the "mailman11. Then the other person who has been kissed in turn becomes the "postmaster" and the game goes on. This game seemed to take more with the group than anything that was previously played. The

30 minute this game started the three little girls im­ mediately left the room, After about half an ‘hour they came back. They sat down and the boys remarked that they would not play. Finally one of the boys called one of the girls in, but she would not go. All during the evening these girls acted very sedate and naive in re­ gard to everything that was hapening. The older people there even commented on how the girls would not take p art in anything. Worker could see that it was due to the fact that it was the way they had been brought up that caused them to take such an attitude. Also, they were the flshy,f type who could not act as freely as they wanted to when older people were present. The records contained much material, that shows the workers as helping, enabling persons.

At the request of the

group members, the workers worked on the door at dances given by the club, sold tickets, helped the group to plan and decorate the halls, arranged for transportation on the beach parties, skating parties and theatre parties. Evaluation of the Dance. The Hug Gutters. Mr. D. and worker planned that this meeting should be an evaluation meeting of the dance the previous Sat­ urday. When they arrived at the Village, worker went to the P. home. One of the girls was in the living room and told worker that all of the girls were there. In a few minutes, all of the girls came into the living room and sat down. Loretta was sitting on the sofa with her shoes off. Worker suggested that Loretta come over to the hall so that they could do some planning for the meeting. Loretta said she was not going back to the club. She said that it was because of the boys. All of the girls then began to say that they did not any longer want the boys in the club. They said they were going to vote them out of it. Mary said, “and we donft want Bob either“. They asked worker if they could kick the

31 boys out of the club. Worker said it was up to them whether they just want a girl's club or a co-ed club. They said they wanted to meet-separately from the boys. As it was still a little early-for the meeting, worker went back to the Village hall and conferred with Mr. D. regarding the advisability of having the boys and g iris meet separately. Mr. D. pointed out that by arranging it thus we would be the ones who would effect the separation of the club and the boys and girls could then blame it on us as leaders. Worker suggested to the girls that they bring up in their regular club meeting as part of their business procedure the fact that they want a separation of their group. Their attitude toward the boys seemed to be a very hostile one and they all seemed to be in agreement that they did not want to make a fight of it, but that they bring it up as a regular business procedure and have a vote on it. The girls agreed that they should do it this way. Worker told the group it was a common practice for a club to spend the first meeting after a special event evaluating it, so they could look at the mistakes they made and also decide which things had been good about it, thus it would help them to plan future events. They began to talk about the dance. The general feel­ ing was that it was a flop. The group also brought out their own responsibility, saying that they themselves had not been present. Even Loretta said, ftIt was our fault;!1 They agreed that their planning had not been good... The Skills Used by the Workers. The records showed the workers were very adept and skillful in handling most of the situations that arose. Adeptness or skillfulness *are used here to mean the ability of the workers to apply knowledge and understanding to par­ ticular situations at a given time.

The workers used skill

32 in getting one group, at a dance, to get started by suggest­ ing an activity that would bring them together.

Also, when

lulls would occur the workers were skillful in getting the group started again by introducing activities that were in­ teresting to the group.

On another occasion the workers

were skillful in making some of the members feel at ease by helping them to fit into the activities that were being carried out.

Another way the workers used their skills had

to do with the time workers and the group had felt that a dance held by the group was an unsuccessful affair.


workers planned that the next meeting following the dance should be an evaluation meeting of the dance.

The workers

introduced questions that were leading ones which gave the group a chance to talk about the dance in terms of success, failure and the reason for these.

By so doing the group

got insight into why their dance was a failure and waht they could do the next time to prevent the same things from occurring. Make Referrals to Group Work Agencies.

The content

of the records was studied under the heading Make Referrals to Group Work Agencies.

Out of the five groups studied, it

was found that three groups had been transferred to group work agencies.

One group was in the process of being trans­

ferred and one other group had reached the point where some

33 of the members had moved out of the area, others had out­ grown the group and still others had left to become members of more highly organized groups.

The remaining members of

the group were being used as a "Demonstration Study Group.” As an example, the process used in the transference of two of the groups revealed the following sj The Eastside Bears Transferral Process. How the Referral was Made. After the Special Service Unit had accepted the re­ ferral of the group for six weeks another meeting was to be called for the purpose of finding out to what agency the group wanted to go and what agency would take responsibility for the group. Consequently another meeting was called six weeks later. After the first six weeks had passed, another meet­ ing was called for the purpose of determing x/hich agency would take the responsibility for this group. After a description had been given of the activities of the group and the growth of the group discussed, it was finally decided that both the Y.M.C.A. and the A. Settle­ ment would jointly sponsor the group with the worker from the Y.M.C.A. providing leadership for the group. It was further decided that the worker from the Special. Service Unit would assist these agencies with the group for approximately three months longer, gradually effect­ ing complete transfer of the group to the two agencies during this period. The Transfer. This group was transferred to the A. Settlement and the Y.M.C.A. under the joint sponsorship of Mrs. P., group i^orker at the A. Settlement, and Mr. G. , boys 1 worker at the Y.M.C.A. Follow-Up Information. July, 19__

Group has progressed to the point where

3^ it is being handled by a volunteer leader under the joint supervision of the two agencies. Nine of the original boys are still active members of the group. Five have moved out of the area. Excerpts from the records of the Mighty Oaks revealed the transferral pro­ cess, meetings held with agency people, activities for the group with the new leader, and the transfer and follow-up, Transferral Process of the Mighty Oaks. Meetings with Agency Representatives, Visit with Sister S. of C.Y.O. I talked with Sister S, about the Mighty Oaks Girls. I explained the manner in which the girls had been re­ ferred and the turnover membership which has follox^ed. At present the more regular members are more stable girls that have joined recently. There is a fringe membership of unadjusted girls. I also explained that even though it was not a co-ed club the boys were a factor to be taken into consideration as the weekly dance was a part of the program... Sister S. said that they would be willing to at least accept the group as a trial... The C .Y.O. leader who is assigned will call me at the office of the Special Service Unit and o.ur records on the group will be made available to her. The transfer will be a slow process. Regarding C.Y.O.. Transfer. Miss M.L.K. of the C.Y.O. called and made an appoint­ ment with me to discuss the Mighty Oak group.She had been assigned by Sister S. to work x^ith me on the trans­ ferral of the group to C.Y.O. leadership. Activities and Transfer. Miss M.L.K. Introduced to the Group. Miss M.L.K. was waiting for us at the playground. I introduced the girls to her. I also introduced her to the playground director... At this-meeting Miss M.L.K. said that according to the C.Y.O. procedure they should have all of the girls signed up but they did not need to come immediately.

35 New leader brought 11sign-up cards11... When the girls arrived, Miss M.L.-K. explained the purpose of the cards to the group. Miss M.L.K. Met with the Group Alone. Miss M.L.K. called today to say that last night1s meeting had gone very well. Weekend Camp at Pa.iarito. Miss M.L*K. had done all the planning with the girls at club meetings and they had agreed upon menus before­ hand. .. The whole camping trip went along very smooth­ ly and the group took their responsibility of cooking and cleaning up afterwards... The Special Service Unit will not have any further responsibility or contact with the group except an occasional follow-up with the C.Y.O. to see how they are developing. The records contained information pertaining to meetings held with the various agencies involved in the transfer process.

The records showed the agencies involved.

These agencies were the Y.M.C.A., Settlement House, and Catholic Youth Organization. happened in each case.

The records showed also what

In one case the coordinator called

a meeting of two agencies in an attempt to find out which agency would take the responsibility for the group.


this particular case, both agencies agreed to share the re­ sponsibility. A transfer summary was found in the record which con­ tained information on the group, such ass

names, ages,

addresses, telephone numbers, religious preference, school and grade.

It also contained information about the group

before it was handled by the Special Service Unit. tion such as who referred it and the reason.


Also, found

in the transfer summary was an account of the work of the Special Service U nit‘worker with the group.

This included

the type of activities carried on with the group and the activities the worker felt were most successful!with the group.

Also suggestion were found which would help the new

worker to understand some of the problems around working with the group and suggestions which might be effective in helping to solve some of the problems. The follow-up information showed the progress the group had made, the responsibility the agencies were taking, the original menbers still active in the group and the new members who had come into the group. The record content of the second transfer showed practically the same trend but in a somewhat different way." The record content showed that instead of the coordinator calling a meeting the Special Service Unit worker talked directly to the supervisor of another agency concerning mak­ ing the transfer.

The Special Service Unit worker explained

the origin and history of the group, the type of program the group seemed to take to most readily, information regarding the individual who made up the group and possible prognosis for the group's development.

The records also contained in­

37 formation showing that the agency accepted the transfer, the new worker assigned and the conferences held between the new worker and the Special Service Unit worker in relation to the group.

Also, was found in the records joint leader­

ship meetings with the group in order to help the new worker to adjust to the new group and also to help the group to adjust to the new worker.

These were such meetings as club

meetings, cooking sessilns, dances and weekend camping trips. The records also showed the follow-up, which includ­ ed suggestions and interpretations to the new worker around specific problems that arose concerning the individuals and the group. Help Agencies to Become Proficient in Handling The More Difficult Problem Groups.

To help agencies to become

proficient in handling the more difficult problem groups was the next area studied.

The records showed that during

the six months period in which the record content was studied, forty-nine conferences were held with representatives of agencies in helping to interpret to them some of the prob­ lems around working with these groups, and some of the ways and means of handling these problems.

These involved con­

ferences with such agencies as schools, group work agencies, case work agencies, police, probation, playground and re­ creation representatives and many others.

As an example, ex­

38 cerpts presented from three records shoved vith whom the con­ ferences were held and what took place. Mighty Rovers Group Record. CONFERENCE WITH MRS., W. , DIRECTOR OF THE VILLAGE HOUSING PROJECT IN REGARD TO THE MIGHTY ROVERS.. Mrs. W. talked vith me in regard to the small group of boys who seemingly present quite a problem around the Project vhen I am meeting vith another group... These little boys tend to hang around the Center and they dis­ turb most of the programs that are being presented by other groups by constantly hanging on the doors, kicking the vails and trash cans and other objects that create noise. Mrs. W. asked me if something could be done in the way of interesting this group in a constructive pro­ gram vhile meetings were being held. She said that even vhen they have a coordinating council meeting the little boys always tend to break up the meeting in the above mentioned manner. I told her that the group was not directly connected vith the group I was working vith, but that it was a younger group of boys vho hung around the Center and played for need of activity. She asked if Mr.. S. and I might get together and vork something out in regard to this group. I told her I felt the ap­ proach to the problem would be for Mr. S. to attempt to vork out some type of activity for the younger group, vhile I vork vith the other group because I did not think this vas really a problem that would warrant our giving time to the younger group. Mrs. W. said she would talk vith me again on Friday to find out if ve could vork cooperatively in regard to this problem. CONFERENCE WITH FATHER Y. IN REGARD TO THE JOLLY TEN. I visited Father Y. and told him that some of the girls in my club were in his parish. I explained to him the function of the Special Service Unit and told him something about the girls vith whom I vas working. He vas very much interested and said that he vas fairly new in the parish and did not yet know all the families. He said that he vas acquainted vith one of the girls of the T. family and in fact had made an appointment for her to come to see him. He asked for the addresses of

39 the girls with whom I was working and said that he would make home visits of those who were in his parish. He said to call on him if there was any help which he could give. He said that he had no facilities for a meeting place and that it is a wonder that even the few clubs that he has in the parish stay to meet as they have no hall at all. They only have a patio which is very un­ comfortable during the bad weather. When I left I promised him I would send him the list of the girls1 names who were in his parish. ' CONFERENCE WITH MRS. H. , A. SETTLEMENT REGARDING EVALUATION OF THE PARTY HELD BY THE EASTSIDE BEARS. The following things were discussed: 1. Evaluation from the standpoint of the fact that so many adults attended the party and how this affected the group. We were of the opinion that there were entirely too many adults at the party as many of the boys and girls com­ mented about this. There were about twelve or fifteen adults supposedly chaperoning the activity. We felt that the next time some activity was held we would not have this large number of adults because it tended to make the group conscious that they were being watched. 2. Evaluation from the standpoint of what the group thought of the party as a xtfhole. This has not been fully discussed with the group, but worker plans to get their reactions Wednesday, October 8th at their club meeting, (tonight). However, the group did mention that the place was entirely too well-lighted, that too many adults chaperoned the party and on the whole the adults had too much to say regarding their party. This was discussed by Mrs. H. and me and we agreed that probably the place was too highly lighted because the party was held in a small room where two 60 watt bulbs were used to light the place. 3. Evaluation from the standpoint of how we can better meet the needs of the group and cause the group to take more responsibilities for themselves. We feel that the group, the members and their grilfriends, are at the shy age and tend to stay away from each other. Mrs. H. mentioned that she had seen them come to the center and girls dance with girls and the boys with boys due to the

ko fact that nothing really had been done to bring the group together. We felt that at the next activity to be given for the group, we as workers should attempt to present a. more varied type of program to the group which would tend to bring them together. *+. Evaluation from the standpoint of bringing lay people into the picture to help effect an adjustment of this group. We felt that if we could successfully work lay people within the immediate community into the Settlements program and at the same time interpret to them the purpose of such an agency and its program that we might be able to gain help from the lay people with­ in the community. We have set aside a time to discuss this more fully. The content of the Mighty Hovers group record showed how the Special Service Unit worker attempted to help an agency understand some of the needs of problem groups which must be met, and some of the types of activities from which the group would benefit. The content of the Jolly Ten group record revealed how the worker attempted to interpret to a new parish priest some of the types of problem youngsters he would be dealing with and possible solutions which might be effective in working with these youngsters.

Also an attempt was made

to point out the available community resources and how these might best be utilized in working with the problem group. The function of the Special Service Unit was also explained to the new parish priest and how the Unit could be used in helping to solve some of the problems of the area. The content of the East Side Bears record revealed

bl the ways by which the worker attempted to help an agency evaluate an activity that had been planned by one of the groups.

This evaluation was made at the request of the


Here was found the worker pointed out four specific



Evaluation from the standpoint of so many adults

attending the group*s party and the affect it had on the group.


Evaluation of what the group thought of the

party as a whole.


Evaluatiln from the standpoint of

how they could better meet the needs of the group and cause the group to take more responsibility themselves.


uation from the standpoint of attempting to bring more lay people within the community into the picture, to help effect an adjustment of the group. Making Referrals to Case Work Agencies.

Next the

record content was studied from the standpoint of making referrals to case \^ork agencies.

After having searched the

record content the writer found that out of the five records studied twenty-one of the families of the members of the groups had been or are being served by either public or private case work agencies.

The records revealed that only

one case was transferred to a case work agency.

The excerpts

show the process involved, the summary material important in making the referral, a summary on the group to which the girl belonged, the girls problems, the possible solution,

b2 the transfer and follow-up* Case Work Referral of Club Members of the Jolly Ten, CASE WORK-GROUP WORK COMMITTEE MEETING. Present:

Miss L . , Chairman, Community Group Work Mr. A. , Towsend School Board Mr. R . , United Centers Association Miss T . , Springfield Association Miss Y . , George Washington Center

The case material on A.L. was read to be used as a basis of the discussion on process of referring her to a case work agency. The following questions were raised in regard to this particular case: 1.

Consideration of other agencies and institutions which have contact or relationship with the child.


What should the process of the referral be?


What are the schools in position to offer the child?


Is this child or her family at the point where they want specialized services?

Is the transferral to

a new situation to be used? The following suggestions were made: 1.

That the Special Service Unit contact the B.P.A. to determine the relationship between their worker and the child.


That Miss M . , Vocational Attendance Supervisor be contacted as she will be in a position to observe the progress of the girl and perhaps be instrumental


in bringing the family to a point where a referral can be made. 3.

That an attempt be made to get the girl to express her own feeling in regard to herself and whether she can use outside help. Some further questions were raised:


What is the role that the Special Service Unit worker should take in preparing the child and the family for the referral?


How far should he Special Service Unit group worker go in individual approach with a member of the group.

The next meeting is to be held on _____ _, at which time discussion will continue on the same child. SUMMARY OF REPORT PREPARED FOR REFERRAL COMMITTEE (Exerpts) The members of the group were referred to the worker bjr Dr. G. , Vice Principal of B. Junior High School. The girls were referred as individual behavior problems in school. The girls were the ones most constantly sent to the vice-principal1s office for disturbances in the class room and for character problems which came to the attention of the teachers... When the worker first contacted A.L. in her home, her sister showed much more interest in the club than she did. A. said she did not want to join a club. She said that her home room teacher wanted her to join the Girl Scouts as it would help her to "behave.11 She ask­ ed who the other girls were in the club and when the worker named them, she said that they were the other throublesome girls in the school. The worker*s atti­ tude was that she would like to have her come-to the first meeting to see whether or not she would like the

club, but it was entirely a matter of her own whether she wanted to join or not. A. came to the first meeting and was as loud and as boisterous as possible. She repeated to the woker that she did not like the idea of a club because she did not want to "behave11. She wanted the meeting to be over as soon as possible. The mother said A. is insolent to the teachers and to the mother herself. In front of A. she told worker that she was ashamed of A . , that she was the only one of her own children that really caused her trouble... Within the last few i^eeks, A. has been transferred to the Girls1 Vocational High School. She had discon­ tinued to attend the club for several meetings. When worker met her on the street one day, A., said her father had told her she could not come to the club any­ more. The worker talked*with the mother and the mother said that she could go to the club if she would behave herself and that the father was punishing her by not allowing her to go to the club. However, she promised that A. could attend the following Friday. The mother said to the worker, ,fYou tell her to behave so that she could come to the club meetings.11 The worker feels that perhaps this is a situation in which the family or the girl or both might be referred to a case work agency for help. There might be some resistance on the part of A. , but the family seems genuinely concerned about her behavior and may be will­ ing to accept referrals. It seems to worker that pro­ bably the manner in which the family is handling her behavior has a great deal to do with her hostile atti­ tude toward parents and teachers. CASE WORK-GROUP WORK COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES (Excerpts) Present:

R.D . , Chairman D.L. Mrs. B. M.E. C. O.M. T.G. E. A.


• ••There was a discussion of referral of A. to a case work agency. She has been a problem at Girls Vocation­ al High School fall. Miss B . , attendance supervisor, told of the school*s plans to visit the mother and to refer A. for psychiatric examination . Miss C. said,the C.W.B. would accept a referral for case work services if this family desired it. The agree­ ment was that when Miss R. visited A's mother, she would make the referral to C.W.B. if it seemed the opportune time, otherwise the group worker would visit the family at a later date and make the referral.., FOLLOW UP The secretary gave a brief summary of the preceding meeting. Miss G. said that the family had verbally ac­ cepted referral. Their application had been accepted by the Children*s Department of the C.W.B. Interpreta­ tion to the family is a problem as they feel the C.W.B. is an extension of school authority and still do not understand that the services are a. help and not a threat. Miss C. felt it might have been wiser for the school to have interpreted their issue to the mother, but not to have made a referral to a case work agency at the same time. The referral has been the stumbling block in working with the family. Miss C. felt it would have been more valuable for A. if the group worker had made the referral... Miss C. said that in the case of A . , the mother con­ stantly kep referring back to the fact that the school had made the referral. The mother had a great deal of hostility about not having known about the school situ­ ation previously. She admitted A. had problems and it showed in the home as well as in the school. At the present time, A*s school program is changed and she only attends four hours a week... Miss C. has found progress slow as it is difficult for her to talk with A. alone. She has seen the mother in the home, but has not been able to see the father. The decisions are always made by the father in the end... The record of the Jolly Ten contained information which showed the process of referring the group member to


a case work agency.

This material dealt with the questions

raised by the committee regarding the particular case, suggestions concerning how the job should be done and future meetings planned to do follow up on the case.

The records

also contained a summary on the group from which the girl was being referred, the first contact with the girl, the nature

of her problem and the possible solution. The record also showed the referral was made

and the

agency that accepted the referral. The follow-up found in the record revealed that the worker

interpreted to the family the value to be gained from

referring the girl and how the family could help in

the re­

ferral process. Work On An Individualized Basis.

An analysis of the

record content was next made to see whether or not the worker did a more highly individualized job than other group workers do.

It was found that covering the six months period in

which the records were studied there were one hundred and ten individual conferences recorded.

These came under the

headings of conferences with probation and parole officers, -school teachers, principals, attendance officers, playground directors, case workers, group workers, home visits, letters to club members, individual talks to members and many other

agency and lay individuals interested in the welfare of the members of the group. Excerpts were taken from three of the records to show the ways in which the workers did a more highly in­ dividualized job. LETTER TO INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF THE GROUP - JOLLY TEN GROUP RECORD Dear Marys I was hoping that I would see you at school Tuesday afternoon. Miss S. would have let us use her room and some of the records also. I will be at school Friday afternoon right after school but I don*t think we should plan to have a meet­ ing as your school program will be that night. Doctor G. told me about the program and I said I would be there. She also suggested that if any of you girls could not bring your mothers or some adult from your family that you could come to the program if I came. You can let me know on Friday afternoon. So donft forget to meet me right outside the office on Friday-after your last class. We will not have a meeting but you can let me know which of you need to have someone with you in order to get into Friday night school program. Sincerely yours, CONFERENCE WITH MRS. H . , CASE WORKER, CHURCH WELFARE BUREAU, REGARDING A MEMBER OF THE JOLLY TEN. I saw Mrs. H. at the Church Welfare Bureau and we discussed Janie P. Mrs. H. said that Janie stayed out all of Saturday and Sunday and that her father had forbidden her to ever go to Los Angeles again. He had blamed her friends in Los Angeles for her bad habits. Janie was de-

kS termined to go. She had not gone to school all day, but rather had gone to visit Girlfs Progressive High School. She told Mrs. H. that she was going to the club anyhow. Mrs. H. , after a long session with her, finally persuaded Janie to go home. She said it was better to go home before her father got home and that maybe he would let her come the following Wednesday. Janie had told Mrs. H. that she though the whole pro­ blem could be solved if she came to live with worker. Janie had visited Girl *s Progressive High School and seen some of her friends. Mrs. H. tried to point out that a solution would have to be more realistic and that just escaping from home would not settle the pro­ blem. THE JOLLY TEN GROUP. Date:

Thursday, November 20, 19*+7


Esther Jenkins

CONFERENCE WITH MRS. ROSS, PROBATION OFFICER, EAST LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S OFFICE. Called Mrs. Ross to tell her that Mary was in my club. Mary had told me that after running away from home she had been taken to Mrs. Ross and that Mrs. Ross visited her house. Mrs. Ross told me that Mary instead of going home the night of the party had gone to the home of a woman who had believed Mary's story that she had been beaten and thrown out of the house ,so she took her in. Mrs. Ross said that when she had visited Mary's homeo the older brother had tried to intimidate her. He questioned her right to come to their home. She said that she believed that the boy had been brutal in the past to the girl, but that Mary had made up the present story. Mrs. Ross told the mother that she would not blame her for spanking Mary, but she did not want the boy to lay a hand on the girl. She told Mary that if the brother ever touched her she should come down to the office and see her. I told Mrs. Ross that Mary had refused to go home with me the night of the party, but that she had gone to visit the home of her girl friend and probably her boy friend. Since she had no excuse to present to her

49 family for staying out l a t e , she probably was afraid to go home. She said that Mary had been in trouble a lot at school and repeated instances which Dr. Brand had related to me in which Mary had been hitting other girls in school with a heavy wedge of paper which she had stolen and with which she had been jabbing other girls in school and also hitting the other girls with a heavy ring she had on- her finger. Mrs. Ross said . that she realized that Mary was very sly and had a lot of tricks to play on her family. She said that Mary and her family had a very low index. Mrs. Ross said that she is filing a petition on Mary, not because of her behavior, but so that she can watch her. She said that if she known that Mary was in my club she would have included it in her original report so that whoever would be her probation officer could get in touch with me. I asked her if she thought that the probation officer would be Mrs. Horton and she said it most likely would be. BME 11-28-47 The excerpt from the Jolly Ten record revealed that the worker had to write individual letters to the club members as a follow up to keep the girls interested in coming to the club.

Also contained in the same letter the worker

had to remind the girls of an event that was being held at the school and that she would be available to pick them up and take them, in the event their parents could not take them. The excerpts from the record revealed information pertaining to a conference had by one of the workers with a case worker, regarding a club member of the Jolly Ten. Here the group worker discussed a club member problem with

50 the case worker and the two tried to arrive at some kind of solution. Excerpts from a third record revealed conferences with probation officers regarding an the group.

individual member of

Here was found material showing what the worker

did to help the probation officer understand some of the problems the girl was faced with.

This conference was con­

cerning how the probation officer and the group -worker could work together to help the girl adjust to her present surround­ ings. These records also contained a roster of the members of the group.

The roster showed the date the members joined

the group, the date they left, and the reasons they left. Many other things in the records pointed out ways in which they Special Service Unit workers worked on a more highly individualized basis than the average group worker.

CHAPTER IV SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The purpose of this study was to inquire into the content of process records- to determine the extent to which it was affected by agency function. Unit group records were analyzed.

Five Special Service As a result of this

analysis the following conclusions have been made. The stated functions and objectives of the Special Service Unit ares


To work with difficult groups and

to affect referrals to group work and case work agencies, and B.

To assist agencies to become more proficient in

handling the more difficult problem groups and individuals. It would be expected that if record content is affected by agency function the Special Service Unit records would be quite full.

The study of the records revealed this to be

true. The content of the records of the Special Service Unit contained more than a listing of names, ages, activi­ ties or an account of what happened at each meeting In terms of activities.

The records contained .material relat­

ing to the methods used by the "workers in working with the difficult groups and individuals.

They contained material

relating to the conferences and contacts with community

52 people prior to and after accepting a group.

These con­

ferences and contacts were a part of the group record.


records contained material relating to the meetings that were held before accepting the group, the process involved and the disposition that was made in each case.

Record con­

tent revealed the problems of the groups that were accepted. The types of services provided the groups were also found in the records.

The records showed the various ways

by which these services were provided.

Throughout all the

records the role of the worker and the skills the worker used was evident.

Also included in the records were copies

of the letters written to individual members by the workers. In recording home visits, the worker included the conversa­ tions held with parents and other members of the family. In accordance with the function of the Special Service Unit which involves the transfer of groups to other agencies, the actual process of the transfer including con­ ferences with the receiving agency and the manner in which the new worker was introduced to the group were included. The records showed that the workers followed the stated pro­ cedures that had been set up by the Unit.

The content of

the conferences with the agency representatives regarding the follow-up in helping the new worker and the group to make certain adjustments was contained in the records.


53 content was directly related to the proposed problem. The rosters kept by the Special Service Unit workers were found in the records and were found to be very helpful to the workers concerning the date the members came into the group, the reason they came, the d a t e .and the reason they left. In general, the records of the Special Service Unit, x^ere detailed and full. work that was being done.

They revealed the quality of the This was to be expected because

an agency which is doing a qualitative job should keep records which show the quality of the work.

The Special

Service Unit records contained much that was of an explora­ tory nature in instances where no precedent had been set. These records also pointed up ways in which the workers were experimenting in fulfulling the function of the Unit. Because of the multiple function of the Special. Service Unit, it was expected that the records kept would take a variety of forms.

The records were made up of face

sheets, rosters, evaluationso transfer summaries, and descriptions of the actual process involved in writing the records.

The writer was familiar with the records and the

study revealed that the records did not contain many im­ portant casual contacts which were had with agency repre­ sentatives which were of more importance than some of the

scheduled conferences which were recorded.

However, after

an analysis of the records were made under the various headings, it appeared that the recording was affected by the function of the Special Service Unit. This study revealed several outstanding factors which would be helpful to group workers interested in pro­ cess recording as it is affected by agency function.


following are major areas of concern that group workers should take into consideration when attempting to write process records. First, agencies are set up to perform a definite function.

The function is determined by many factors.


of these factors are community attitudes of which the agency is a part; the purpose for which the agency was established; the type of program the agency attempts to carry out; the ways by which the program is carried out and the types of groups the agency serves. Second, agencies must keep records that are in keep­ ing with their function.

In agency similar to the Special

Service Unit, whose function requires a qualitative rather than a quantiative job, must keep records that reveal the quality of services rendered.

The records should show the

relationship and role of the worker and how these relation­ ships develop and grow.

It would be expected that the

55 records would show the role of the worker in providing group work services for the group.

It would be expected that the

records would show individual and group participation, the degree of cooperation the group and leader received whenplanning an activity.

Records should show the degree to

which each individual is integrated into the group and the interaction of the various members who make up the group. The keeping of process records in an agency such as the Special Service Unit which does such a highly individualiz­ ed job is very important. Workers should not feel unprofessional because they may not record as fully as workers do in other agencies, since recording must be in keeping with the function of the which they work. Third, there is no set form or style that can be adapted to meet the needs of all agencies serving groups. However, certain basic recording processes are utilized by all agencies serving groups.

These basic processes might

be some form of record writing and report preparation.


though the specific content and style might vary, there would be found a similarity as to the type of records kept. Fourth, there is a value in keeping full process records.

Such records may be used to evaluate and improve

the type of services the agency is rendering and indicates

56 whether these services are in keeping with the stated function and objective of the agency.

Thus evaluation may

be focused around the program content and its direct rela­ tionship to the individuals being served.

The records may

also be used to measure the effectiveness to which the group worker lives up to the requirements of the job speci­ fications.

Records may be further used as a means of de­

termining whether the worker is earring out the wishes of the group or whether he is superimposing his wishes and de­ sires upon the group. Records may also be used to help the worker do a more qualitative job with the groups he is serving.


records may be used for the improvement of the methods and techniques which are so vital to the worker, agency and field.

Records can be used as teaching aids and for re­

search purposes. In general records serve many useful purposes which can help the worker in the improvement of the services to the groups and individuals he serves.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Burdman, Leah, "The Role of the Group Worker With Problem Groups .11 Unpublished Master's Thesis, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1946. Coyle, Grace, Studies in Group Behavior* (Harper, New York, 1937). Dimock, Hedley, S. , Trecker, Harleigh B. , Supervision of Group Work and Recreation* (Association Press* New 55rE7 !9>i5',- SSb"pp7J----Erickson, Mildred,,"An Exploratory Study of The Use and Content of Committee Minutes in Community Organizations, Unpublished Master's Thesis, The University of SoLithern California, Los Angeles, 1948.' Hamilton, Gordono Principles of Social Case Recording * (Columbia University Press, New York, 1946). KaiserJ Clara, "Record Keeping in Social Group Work" in New York Trends in Group Work, (Association Press, New York, 1938.) Robinson, Duane, Chance to Belong* (Woman's Press, New York', 1949), 173.PP-. Somers, Mary Louise, "Recording the Quality of Program," (Paper the Ohio Welfare Conference on. November 6 , 1 9 4 7 ? Columbus, Ohio, Mimeo.) Trecker, Harleigh B . , Social Group Work: Principles and Practices * (New York: Woman's Press, 1948, 313 PP«) Wilson, Gertrude, Group Work and Case Work — Their Rela­ tionship and Practice * New York: Family Welfare Association of America, 1944, 107 pp.

SCHEDULE OF CONTENT ITEMS TO LOOK FOR IN THE GROUP RECORDS (Based upon the Stated Function of the S.S.U.) 1.



Accept referral of Difficult Groups. A.

Why was the group referred?


What agency referred the group?


What was the age 5 race, sex, of the group?


What steps were involved in accepting the referral?

Provide Group Work Services for B o y s 1 and Girls' Whose Maladjustments Create Problems Within a Community. A.

What types of services were provided for these groups?


What was the role the worker played in carrying out these services?


What was the relationship of the worker to the group?


What skills were used by the worker in carrying out the agency's program?

Make Referrals To Group Work Agencies. A.

To whom was the referral made?


How was this done?


Was there a meeting held in regard to the referral process?


Was there a placement?


Was there follow-up and adjustment after the group had been transferred?

What: happened?

59 IV.

Helping Agencies To Become More Proficient in Handling the More Difficult Problem Groups. A.

What were some of the types of problems presented by the groups and individuals.


Were there conferences with agency representatives regarding these particular problems?

C . . What was the content of the conferences?



Was the content of the conference directly related to the proposed problem?


Was there action taken as' a result of the conference?

Make Referrals To Case Work Agencies. A. B.

What was the nature of the referral?


Were there meetings held in regard to making referral?



To whom %fas the referral made?:


What was the content of the conferences regarding the referral?


Was there a placement?

What was the process used?


Was there follow-up and adjustment after the ment was made?


To Work More on a Highly Individualized Basis Than Do Average Workers. A.

What are some of the ways this can be done?


What was the approximate number of conferences within a given period?


Were there conferences held with others in helping to effect certain adjustments for the individuals?


Who were these conferences with?


What was the content of the conferences?


Approved January, 19*+9

"The Youth Project was formed eleven youth service agencies to provide more adequate services for youth in the Cityfs highly congested areas, where minority problems and largest rates of delinquency are concentrated...It was not a war project. The war merely brought to light a neglected sit­ uation. 11 (Bnuner, August 1, 19*16.)... nIt would attempt to counteract delinquency by capturing the interest of youth for broad your service programs at the development of health, character, and good citizenship .11 (McCandless, Mqy 3, 19w.)...The Youth Project budget for.$23^.000 was in4" eluded as a part of the Chest campaign in the fall of 19^3• The Project got under way in December, 19*+3* flThe Youth Project was born out of riots and tension in Which delinquent gangs figured strongly. It was conceived as a delinquency prevention program. It was explained to the public and the public believed it as such. During the early months of work in the field the workers realized that they were contacting many unadjusted youth, and a few skills were evolved for working with these young people. r,Yet the agencies grew more and more aware that regular agency programs had only a limited appeal to gang groups, and that new techniques had to be found that were more ef­ fective than the old ones. The public, and many persons interested in the project, kept asking the blunt questions as to what was going on that would cut down on the number of de3.inquent youth. There were searching questions about how well the special needs of gangs of delinquent youth were being met with the budget being spent and by the re­ gular agency programs.

11The Delinquency Committee. To answer this wuestion, a special Delinquency Committee was appointed in 19^5, with a membership including a broad group of Los Angeles author­ ities on delinquency control. The Committee studied the matter thoughtfully, directing its attention to the vexing problem of neighborhoods which agencies were not serving and where there seemed to be a. need for service by workers

6l especially skilled in working with delinquent youth.

11The Special Service Unit. The Committee*s first recom­ mendation to the Board was that a Special-Service Unit be set up in the Youth Project. It would have a professional staff of group workers whose primary job would be to develop a group work program for gangs and delinquent youth and to work with the agencies in developing like programs. "This was a pioneer experiment in Los Angeles. and while the grou agreed to try it out there were doubts ■chat a Special Service Unit was needed, and questions arose about how they would work. It was largely at the insistence of the lay members of the Board ancL the Delinquency Committee that the recommendation was finally approved. A small number of wellqualified workers were employed -to work with gangs. "The relationship of the Special Service Unit to the agencies ■yas not clearly defined. The understanding of both the agencies and the staff of the Unit was rather obscure as to methods of work, the degree to which the Unit workers and the agency members would work together, and in what fashion they would do so. But the workers started out looking for gangs and experimenting with methods of work with them." (quoted from Chapter V of initial draft of IMPACT.) Becommendations Regarding the Delinquency Committee and the Place and Function of the Special Service Unit (by Project Director, October 2*+, 19^6.) I.


That we recognize that the original objectives of Special Service Unit are still validi A.

To work with difficult groups and affect refer­ rals to group work and case work agencies.

B. ■

To assist agencies to become proficient in handling the more difficult groups and individuals.

That the originally conceived function of the Com­ mittee and of the Director still hold: A.

The Committees

1. 2.


The Director:.


To guide the work of the Unit - be the operating board for it. To coordinate the work of similar units. To be the working supervisor of the unit.

62 2*


To take leadership in co­ ordinating the work of the Committee and of the co­ operating unit.


The Director and the Committee, in coordinating the work of the various units, most likely would recognize the value in having the Probation De­ partment handle the more difficult groups; and the Special Service Unit, the less difficult.


The committee, in addition to operating the Special Service Unit and coordination of other efforts, has responsibility to make recommendatilns to the Youth Project Board on all matters relating to the Project responsibility in the field of delinquency prevention.

That the entire Unit should be transferred from the office of the Director- to one of the cooperating agencies, the agency to take full responsibility for supervising and administering the entire process out­ lined above.




Requests may come from any source: citizens of the community, school authorities, Probation and police officers, agencies etc.


The approach to a situation may be initiated by a re­ quest coming to: 1. The area coordinator, or 2. The Special Service Unit directs If the request for service is initiated through the coordinator, he confers with the Special Service Unit representatives* If the request comes first to a Special Service Unit worker, he suggests that the one initiating the request should call the area coordina­ tor and he also reports the request to the Director or the Group Work Supervisor of the Special Service Unit who then follows up with the coordinator.


If a meeting is contemplated, the coordinator is responsible for securing the necessary data and in­ formation which is to be considered.

B . . When little is known about the individuals involved, information may sometimes be secured by the Special Service Unit worker. This may involve contact with individuals in order to determine the nature, com­ position and extent of the group. This procedure is much more likely to be necessary if girls are involved because the girls are more often known only as individuals, and personal contact on the part of the worker is then necessary to determine if there is any group feeling amohg the girls, or some reasonable hope that they can be worked with as a group. A MEETING CONCERNING THE PROBLEM IS CALLED BY THE AREA COORDINATOR. Upon establishing the problem or the need, the need, the


Area Coordinator selects and invites representatives of agencies:, which (1 ) may be able to assist in planning pro­ gram for the group; and/or (2) have workers available for the immediate community area. This -usually includes repre­ sentatives of the Playground Department, the National Pro­ gram agencies and particularly those agencies with avail­ able building facilities. Local school people, attendance supervisors, Probation Officers and representatives of the Group Guidance Division of the Probation Department and other interested professional workers in the community should be invited in order to have the benefit of.their knowledge of the group. ■A.

Purpose of the meeting. 1. To present information regarding the group and its members so as to determine the extent and nature of the problem. 2. To discuss and pool resources of the specific community for working with t is particular group and its members. 3. To reach a decision as to who will take the im­ mediate responsibility for leadership of the group. b, To provide opportunity for interpreting the methods involved in working with distrubed groups and individuals.


The conclusions of the meeting will vary but will often be similar to one of the following:


If the group seems to be a natural group and not too disorganized or disturbed basically, the representa­ tive of one of the agencies present may agree to take the responsibility for contacting the group and offering the leadership and program of the agency. (For example: Y.W.C.A. assumed responsibilities for a problem girls group at Pueblo Del Rio.)


It is possible that an agency may be willing to as­ sume responsibility eventually, but realizes the group will take more time and professional skill in the beginning than that agency can spare. .An agreement will then be made that the Special Service Unit will work with the group for a period of time after which transfer arrangements to the agency will be made. (This rarely happens as most agencies hesitate to assume responsibility for a group when little is known about it and when it is not sure that even work by a Special Service Unit worker will prepare the group to

65 enter into the regular agency program.) 3.

No agency present may care to commit itself to ac­ cept the group if the information presented indicates serilus maladjustment. If the problems of the group are such that intensive work by a professional worker is indicated, the Special Service Unit would agree to assign a worker to the group. The agreement would then be that the agencies gathered at the meeting would meet again after an experimental period so that the Special Service Unit worker can report on developments of the group, and so that agencies can better determine who can eventually provide leader­ ship for it.


The Special Service Unit \40rker confers with the person making the original referral of the group or group members and also with others who are acquaint­ ed with the group or group members. It may be that the person referring the group knows them well enough and can tell them that he or she can obtain a leader for the group, or it may be more advisable for the worker to contact each member individually.


It is possible that a few weeks work of the Special Service Unit worker with the group or with individ­ uals may prove one of the followings

1 . that it is not

possible to organize a group from the individuals referred; or 2 . that the group referred cannot be reached through a group work program; or 3 . that they are not a separate group but a part of another group related to another on-goin group program; or *f. that a group may break up or lose its identity due to natural social processes often construct­ ive; such as members moving away, older members entering the armed forces; some members marrying; or occasionally one or two being committed for , some offense. C.

After establishing a relationship with the group and its members, the Special Service Unit worker works toward building up a club program and organi­ zation which will make them acceptable to a regular agency program and also attempts to help the members

66 of the group realize the value of belonging to an agency program. D.

At any stage in the process a re-evaluation may take place.


The Special Service Unit Worker keeps case record o'f the group in accordance with the Special Service Unit policy.


Actual acceptance of responsibility for the group by an agency is more often made after a second meeting than at first. At the second meeting, the Special Service Unit worker should know the group and the members well enough to give a clear picture to the agency representatives. It is also possible that two or more agencies may agree to work together to­ ward offering a program for the group.


The Special Service Unit worker and supervisor will confer with the supervisor and worker of the accept­ ing agency to attempt to work out a method of transferral of the group. At this time the plans are made for introductin the new leader to the group.


The new worker is introduced to the group and after he is accepted, the Special Service Unit worker has no further responsibility for direct leadership but makes follow-up contacts with the agency staff person who is responsible for the group.


The Special Service Unit worker prepares a transferral summary of the group to be submitted to the ac­ cepting agency.

N 0 T E : 'Where the policy of the agency accepting the trans­ fer is for the use of volunteer leaders, it must be recognized that an exceptionally mature and skillful volunteer is necessary to take the transfer of an especially difficult group. Or, it may be necessary that avprofessional worker will need to give closer attention for a longer period of time than customary. It is also to be expected that the Special Service Unit worker would use par­ ticular care in working with such a worker and would con­ tinue his contact with the professional supervisor and the volunteer for a period of time longer than would sometimes be necessary in transferring a group. This indicates that

67 transferrals should be unhurried and should be made in such a way as to secure the gains made with the group rather than risk losing the time and effort that had been invested. FOLLOW-UP PROCEDURE. A.

The Special Service Unit x^orker, who handled the group, is responsible for following-up and keeping in touch with developments of the group after its transferral* This Special Service Unit worker is responsible for periodic reports as to progress of the group and the individual members in the group. A periodic follow-up report is made after conferring with the agency to which the group is now attached.

January 2*f, 19*+9


The Special Service Unit is essentially a group work program under the direct leadership of professional workers. It provides group work services for hoys and girls whose maladjustments create problems in the com­ munity. It is more highly individualized than the average group work program, and its workers must be capable of dealing with individuals and their families in a closer relationship than is usually necessary in a group work program. It must be recognized as having the advantages and the limitations which are inherent in a group work program.

2-a.The Special Service Unit works on the assumption that a group under its direction will ultimately be trans­ ferable to one of the regular agencies and will not accept that agencyfs leadership and program. In some cases the group may not be ready for the complete agency program at the time of transfer,- which may necessitate a temporary modification of the agency program. 2-b.The Special Service Unit would not be e j e c t e d to take a group that was clearly non-transferable, or that held no hope of becoming transferable after a reasonable length of time. 2-c.The transferability of the group is sometimes evident at the start. However, the transferability frequently may not become apparent until two or three months have passed under the guidance of the Special Service Unit worker. 3-

The Special Service Unit shall not hesitate to withdraw from the leadership of a group, if after a reasonable experience, it does not show evidence of development in the direction of transferability.


If a group is showing growth and making progress but is slow in reaching the transfer point, the Special Service

69 Unit will not hesitate to continue responsibility for it even as long as ten or twelve months, though in many cases the transfer point will be reached consider' ably soon than that.