Sample Coursework Paper on Development of Plan for Client Group

Development of Plan for Client Group


The purpose of the nonprofit organization called Catholic Charities is to provide immigrants to the United States with an opportunity to settle well in the country and get equal opportunities (Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio, 2014). This is made possible through community service that focuses on nourishing their emotional, financial, and where possible, spiritual needs. The development plan focuses on how I, as a social worker, intend to form, implement and evaluate a client group. The group that I am targeting consists of immigrants from the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Most of these are of Arab origin and are Muslims by faith (Bhui et al., 2003).

Identified Need

The targeted group of immigrants is faced with financial challenges, as most of them are unemployed. They also have intense trauma resulting from the experiences they have had in their war-torn home countries. They are also victims of human rights abuse and generally have problems in trusting persons from backgrounds that are different from theirs (Bhui et al., 2003). This is one of the reasons for keeping them together as a group so that they may share their experiences and have a feeling of belonging and that they are not alone in their trials. The ones that are better at cooperating and trusting the social worker will encourage the rest to do so and in the process make the work of serving them easier.

The criteria I used in selecting this group are the similarity of their backgrounds and the reasons that have led to their immigrant status. They come from a region that has experienced continued violence and has faced discrimination regularly based on their ethnicity and religion (Bhui et al., 2003). They also share the same faith, which makes it easier for them to interact and get along with each other. Their common history of pain will help in lowering the negative feeling that each of them feels after they are shared. Their language is similar too due to their origin and it will be easier to communicate with those yet to grasp the English language completely through translations by their peers. It will be easier for this agency to provide them with avenues for employment after their collective qualifications and skills are taken into account.

Bringing together persons from similar backgrounds and facing the same problems will lead to easier networking among them. This group will become a form of support for the individual members and will make their transition into becoming residents of the United States easier. The members will be encouraged to open up about their past traumatic experiences and the present challenges facing them (National Association of Social Workers, 2001). They will be among persons that have gone similar experiences, which makes it easier to get empathy and understanding from the listeners. This will make the work of communicating with these individuals easier for the social worker, as the effort required in getting information and understanding these individuals will be lessened. Therefore, I will be in a good position to identify the specific needs of each individual, not as a result of questioning them directly but from the discussions they will be having among themselves with minimal input from me.

The factors that will be considered in the formation of this group and the schedule for the meetings will include the willingness of the individuals, their social-cultural values, and the need identified by the social worker. Their gender and ages will be paid special attention to so that the social worker does not bring together the group in a manner that is contrary to the social-cultural expectations of the individual members (Shulman, 2012). Data from earlier interactions with the group participants will be used in identifying their needs and their suitability for inclusion in this targeted group.

Pre-Forming Plan

Organizational support

I will request the Catholic Charities governing committee for permission to form this group by writing a formal letter to them. This will be accompanied by the reasons why I feel that this group will be more effective in addressing the problems faced by immigrants from the Middle East and the Horn of Africa as opposed to an individual approach. I will elaborate to them on the similarities in the needs of persons from these regions and propose the possibility of these members forming a support group to advocate for their rights in circumstances where the organization may not have the resources or authority to play a part.

Group composition

The group will be composed of persons from the Middle East region that is in conflict and in Somalia located at the horn of Africa. They are of Islam faith, and this will make them interact more easily. Their languages are related, in that they are variations of the Arabic language (Bhui et al., 2003). It will therefore be easier for them to interact. The gender composition will be of females only. The first reason for this is that the culture of their countries of origin restricts the mingling of the genders. The other reason is that it is the females that face the worst form of suffering, hence requiring greater support compared to their male counterparts. The third reason is that the approach used in this group to heal emotionally may not appeal to male persons, as they are not apt to share their painful memories.

The size of this group will be a minimum of ten clients and a maximum of 20 clients. This is to enable me as the social worker, to attend to them well and keep up with their progress at individual levels in addition to their group progress. The recruitment will be done by perusing the organization’s database of current clients. Those fulfilling the criteria for selection will be chosen to form this client group. The qualifying clients will then be contacted and requested to join this group of clients where they will have their needs addressed collectively (National Association of Social Workers, 2001). If they accept, then they will be included in the group, and if otherwise, they will be let go and others sought to replace them.

Resources of the group

The meeting place of the group will be at the city social hall, which I will be booking in advance to allow the meeting to take place without interruptions. The meetings of the group will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.00 PM and last for two hours. The meeting time and duration of the meeting will, later on, be revised to reflect the wishes of the members after the group has become functional. The members incurring transport costs will have them refunded by the organization. I will also offer free transport to these members whenever possible (Shulman, 2012).

Group Format and Guidelines

The members of the group will be allowed to choose officials from amongst themselves. The work of these officials will be to assist me in informing the members about the meetings and in passing across information to the members regarding any new development concerning the group that may crop up in between the meetings (Shulman, 2012). They will also be responsible for ensuring punctuality in arrival and in concluding the meeting in time. Any activities carried out by the group outside the meetings will be facilitated by the group leader. They will also have the mandate to endorse any new members to the group. The group leaders will include the chairperson, the secretary, a welfare team consisting of three members, and the timekeeper.

Forming of the Group

Having selected and contacted the group participants, the first meeting will be held at the City Social Hall. I will be the person presiding over this meeting, as I will be the only person known by all these members. The meeting will be a bit informal in order to allow the members to acquaint themselves with each other. While addressing the group, I will use a friendly tone and adopt an inviting posture (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2009). I will explain to the members that they should feel free to raise any issues affecting them during our meeting. It is during this first meeting that the ground rules on how the meetings will be conducted will be set. One of the major rules we will have is that of keeping the issues of the group within the circle of the members. The members will be required to become confidants of each other. Each member will have a chance to state their name, their country of origin, and their likes, and dislikes. Since the composition of the group will be females, having them bond is not expected to be much of a problem. The next meeting will be well scheduled, and I will announce that they are to elect the leadership of the group at that meeting. The non-attendance by any member will be followed up with inquiries from not just me but by the other members as well (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2009). Punctuality in attendance of meetings and not exceeding the time taken by the meeting will be strictly adhered to.


The plan outlined above will incorporate members that are already under the Catholic Charities program. If the group is successful in the attainment of the projected goals, then more members will be added. The group seeks not to mix men and women members, as it may make it hard for them to express the emotional and personal problems faced in the presence of the opposite gender (Cournoyer, 2014). Some of the pains and traumas experienced by the females were in the hands of males, and this may make such a discussion difficult in the presence of the opposite gender. This was in part why it was decided that the group be inclusive of only the women.


Bhui, K., Abdi, A., Abdi, M., Pereira, S., Dualeh, M., Robertson, D., . . . Ismail, H. (2003). Traumatic events, migration characteristics, and psychiatric symptoms among Somali refugees. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 38(1), 35-43. doi:10.1007/s00127-003-0596-5

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. (2014, April 8). Refugee services. Retrieved from

Cournoyer, B. R. (2014). The social work skills workbook (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson  Brooks/Cole.

Kirst-Ashman, K., & Hull, G. (2009) Generalist practice with organizations and communities, (4th ed.) Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.

National Association of Social Workers. (2001). National Association of Social Workers  standards for cultural competence in social work practice. Washington, DC: Author.

Shulman, L. (2012). The skills of helping individuals, families, groups, and communities (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.