There are a number of stages or phases in formation of a social work group. Ken Heap (1985) discussed these as group formation and planning, the first meetings, the working phase; use of activities and action; and the termination of the Group. According to Douglas (1979) there are five stages viz; conceptualisation, creation, operation, termination and evalution. He has disscussed these as the functions of leader while Toseland and Rivas (1984) discussed the stages under planning phase, beginning phase, middle phase and ending phase.
For our purpose we can discuss the stages of social group practice under the following five heads;
Pre-group (group formation) phase
Initial (first meetings) phase
Middle (Active working) phase
Evalution of the group
Terminating/ending the grop phase
In the pre-group phase worker identifies the need for organising a group and initiates steps to form the group. In the initial (first meetings) phase the worker and the group members meet at the place specified-agency or any other place where group is likely to have its sessions-and initial orientation to the groups' purpose and other information is given and shared. In the middle (active working) phase the group continues its deliberations and activities to accomplish its goals and in evaluation phase the performance of the group is examined vis-a-vis the group purpose and members, goals. Finally, in the ending or termination phase the group is made to dissolve and the worker enables the members to part with each other on a goodwill note.