Socw 6121 week 10 | Social Science homework help


Week 10: Task Groups

Agencies sometimes use task groups to address problems or initiate new programs. These groups often have specific goals, and it is the responsibility of the group leaders to develop a well-organized agenda. Although this type of group is an effective way to solve problems within an agency, task groups can be used as clinical interventions. The experience of participating in a task group itself can be therapeutic; however, the group leader must make sure that the members not only successfully complete the tasks set for the group, but that they are benefiting from the social experience as well. The success of the intervention depends on the skills of the clinical social worker in facilitating this process.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Evaluate task group interventions
  • Apply group process skills

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to group work practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Chapter 11, “Task Groups: Foundation Methods” (pp. 336-363)
Chapter 12, “Task Groups: Specialized Methods” (pp. 364–395)

Van Velsor, P. (2009). Task groups in the school setting: Promoting children’s social and emotional learning. Journal for Specialists in Group Work34(3), 276–292.

Document: Group Wiki Project Guidelines (PDF)

Recommended Resources

Holosko, M. J., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter 1 “Assessment of Children”
Chapter 2 “Intervention with Children”

Discussion: Task Groups

Group work is a commonly used method within school settings. Because peer interaction is important in the emotional and social development of children, the task group can serve as a wonderful therapeutic setting and tool; however, many factors should be considered when implementing this type of intervention.

For this Discussion, read the Van Velsor (2009) article.

By Day 3

Post your understanding of task groups as an intervention for children. Use the model for effective problem solving to compare and contrast (how to identify the problem, develop goals, collect data). How does this model differ from a traditional treatment group? What are the advantages and possible disadvantages of this model? Describe how you might use this model for adults. What populations would most benefit from this model?

By Day 5

Respond to a colleague by suggesting other advantages or disadvantages of the model for effective problem solving.


 Sharon Turner RE: Discussion – Week 10COLLAPSE

Task Groups as an Intervention for Children

Task groups allow children the benefit of working together in a group while learning to practice and acquire valuable social and emotional learning (SEL) (Van Velsor, 2009).  Task group also teaches children to cooperate and collaborate to reach an end goal (Van Velsor, 2009).  Additionally, Toseland & Rivas (2017) states that a task group can draw people together, create a sense of cohesion, commitment, and respect for the other group members in order to resolve a problem (p. 337).  

Effective Problem Solving

Problem-solving is one of the main functions of a task group.  Toseland & Rivas (2017) point out six steps to effective problem-solving, they are: identifying a problem, developing goals, collecting data, developing plans, selecting the best plan, and implementing the plan (p. 353). When working within a group, it seems to be a better way of problem-solving than when doing so individually. This can be done, for example, by a “brainstorming method” (Toseland & Rivas, 2017).  Brainstorming allows group members to share ideas, thoughts, and opinions openly. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

On a day to day basis, we engage in social gatherings and groups. Thus, learning to function in a group setting is a critical adjustment for all human beings.  Task groups can help those who struggle with group settings.  Task groups can help build on one’s self-esteem, self-management, and build on relationship skills (Van Velsor, 2009). Another advantage of a task group is that it can help the group members prepare for life responsibilities (Van Velsor, 2009).  In order to establish an atmosphere of growth, warmth, and respect, the therapist or group leader much embody ways of cohesiveness by setting an example to the group members. A disadvantage pointed out by Van Velsor (2009) is that children who “with less developed social and emotional skills” may have difficulties learning the skills taught in the task group. 

The task group can be used for both children and adults.  To develop a task group for adults, the counselor must understand the mission of the task group and develop the skills accordingly (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). The task group model can help build healthy and appropriate boundaries and promote valuable skills such a problem-solving. Both adults and young people can benefit from a task group model, as everyone develops at different levels.  There may be many adults who did not learn SEL as children; thus, they can also benefit from SEL as adults.  


Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to group work practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Van Velsor, P. (2009). Task groups in the school setting: Promoting children’s social and emotional learning. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 34(3), 276-292.


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