Group Dynamics and Activity Planning for the Youth Justice Worker

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
YJWD 2300
Group Dynamics and Activity Planning for the Youth Justice Worker
Youth Justice
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
4 hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction



Group presentations

Course Description
This course will provide students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary for planning and running a variety of groups. Specific course objectives include the understanding of group roles and dynamics and an examination of both theory and application related to group counselling and activity planning for youth. Students will be expected to demonstrate competency in leading both counselling and activity groups. Course content will emphasize the needs of youth involved in the youth justice system.
Course Content
  1. Benefits of Groups
    • Efficiency/effectiveness
    • Potential for learning of transferable skills
  2. Ethical considerations in working with groups
    • Psychological and physical safety
    • Trained leaders 
  3. Leadership styles and models
    • Co-leading groups
    • Mediating model 
  4. Stages of group development
    • Preparatory
    • Beginning
    • Storming (transition)
    • Work
    • Ending
  5. Membership roles
    • Quiet member
    • Internal leader
    • Deviant member
    • Dominator
    • Defensive member
    • Distractor/Gatekeeper
  6. Leadership skills
    • Planning
      •  Needs assessment
      • Cultural and developmental appropriateness
      • Developing objectives
      • Values congruity in recreation planning
      • Generating program solutions
      • Screening members
    • Explaining the group process and purpose
    • Engaging members/drawing out
    • Tone setting
    • Cutting off/limit setting
    • Holding, shifting or deepening the focus
    • Using rounds and dyads
    • Using and processing exercises and activities
    • Evaluating groups and activities
      • Process
      • Mid point
      • Summative
  7. Therapeutic use of groups and activities
    • Enhancing individual development
    • Whittaker’s typology of individual variables
    • Using non-traditional activities
    • Play and art therapy
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to successfully lead a counselling or activity group.
  2. Understand that groups progress through developmental stages and be able to describe the stages.
  3. Describe the characteristic roles that group members may occupy and appropriate response to group members in those roles.
  4. Recognize that the need of a group for structure and direction varies in accordance with its stage of development and respond appropriately.
  5. Articulate the therapeutic potential of group counselling and recreational activities.
  6. Plan, implement and evaluate counselling and recreational activity groups.


Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.   This will include but not be limited to:  written assignments, group presentations and analysis of skill development.

Textbook Materials

To be determined


YJWD 100 or YJWD 1100 and CYCC 220 or YJWD 220 or CYCC 1220 or YJWD 1220