SOCW Wk 10 Response

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

Colleague: Julie

 There is an old saying about many hands making light work. This can be seen demonstrated in the concept of teamwork. It is commonly accepted that more can be accomplished through a group, than with a single person. There are many that find working with others difficult and these individuals prefer to work alone. The ability to work well with others at home, school, and in society, can be understood as social and emotional intelligence. Adults obtain social and emotional intelligence through the social and emotional learning they received during their maturation process (Van Velsor, 2009). There have been findings that support positive outcomes in adults that have developed social and emotional intelligence (Van Velsor, 2009). This makes evident the need to help children to develop social skills and prosocial behaviors. Children can develop social and emotional learning through participation in a task group.

            The classroom is an ideal setting for a task group with the purpose of cultivating social and emotional intelligence. School children should not be limited to knowledge in academics alone. A well-rounded education should include social and emotional learning as a part of the curriculum. Social workers can work with teachers and develop the goal for the task groups (Van Velsor, 2009). The students in the task group can work together on an academic task while the social worker assists them with their collaboration. The social worker should help the task group with a balance between the content and the process of the group (Van Velsor, 2009). As the students work to complete the task, there will be many opportunities to develop socially. The social worker would model how to interact with others in the task group (Van Velsor, 2009). Team building exercises could be implemented to build cohesion in the task group (Van Velsor, 2009). This develops the process aspect of the group. Conflict is likely in a task group that includes children. The social worker can help mediate the conflict through providing problem solving strategies (Van Velsor, 2009). Conflict in a task group can provide another opportunity for the social worker to model skills in conflict resolution.

            The model for effective problem solving is an example of a tool that can be used to address challenges. The model consists of the identification of a problem, the development of goals, gathering data, developing, selecting, and then implementing, a plan (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). Goal development in treatment groups are developed after the worker conducts individual assessments and then continue to be ongoing as goals are reformulated (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). Tasks groups are linked to the goals of an organization (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). The purpose of treatment groups is meeting the socioemotional needs of the group members (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). Specific goals are decided upon during the initial assessment process in treatment groups (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). In task groups, the goals are formed by the worker who is given a specific task from a sponsoring organization (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). Tasks groups can have a group-centered goal, common group goals, and individual goals (Toseland & Rivas, 2017).

            Different types of data are gathered in treatment and task groups. In treatment groups, the worker should continually assess the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environment, aspects of each of the group members (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). The workers in tasks groups will also assess these same aspects but not as comprehensively, and with a different focus (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). An example of the data a worker would gather could be related to the group member’s motivation for attending and expectation about achieving the group’s purpose (Toseland & Rivas, 2017).

            Task groups address and solve problems. The six-step problem solving model is ideal for usage in task groups. The simple, specific, and comprehensive steps make this model advantageous to implement. Growth can occur as a result from application of this model. An example of a disadvantage is when group members have hidden agendas (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). This model could be effective with adults in the mental health population that needs guidance with their thought processes. It could also be used in group work to assist people with the group work collaboration needed to address a problem. It presents a clear model with a structured approach that I could use with a variety of populations.


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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