This essay attempts to define and explain the purpose of groups within a community setting and to demonstrate how an understanding of group dynamics and communication can help a worker to succeed in their role of facilitating positive active participation from group members whilst at the same time offer support and guidance throughout a group’s lifecycle.
In attempting to define a *community *group*, it* could be described as *consist*ing* of* a collection of* *people who come together to pursue a common cause or interest for the good of their community. These group members are linked through their social interactions with each other and their collective goals.
In a community setting, groups can be divided into two main types. Formal groups are arranged in order to achieve a specific function, whether it be a work group, student council or bowling club committee. A formal group has a structure, goals and activities are clearly defined, and rules determine how the group members behave. Temporary work groups are formed in order to solve a specific problem or to complete a predetermined task such as cleaning up the streets or fundraising for a youth club trip.
On the other hand, informal groupsare far less rigid in their structure. Many do not have an elected committee* **and lack organisation or required patterns of behaviour. Examples of informal groups include friendship or interest groups where members may come together to chat and relax **such as a youth club* or a knitting club.
*Both types of group can be either open or closed. Closed memberships restrict group members to thosewho are invited only whereas open groups are more flexible and allow anyone to join and attend at their convenience. Groups can also either be task orientated, created in order to achieve a specific outcome, or process orientated where the emphasis is on participation of the members. Groups meeting can be regular, a set time and place or ad hoc, which is more dependent on the...