Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers

By David A. Hardcastle; Patricia R. Powers et al. | Go to book overview

14
Using Organizing:
Acting in Concert

El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido! (A people, united, will never be defeated!)

DIRECT ACTION CHANT

How can we bring together a community to change the status quo? Think struggle. Think engagement. Think stories. Those who seek to strengthen the power of people, social connections, and community capacity 1 frequently operate from one of three distinct (though often overlapping) traditions: (a) organization and mobilization, (b) coordination and participation, and (c) innovation, narration, and liberation. 2 It is not suggested that there are only three. Changing society is never easy, but this chapter will describe ways to mobilize community within each tradition, whether the focus is on a problem, place, or program. The idea is to provide pictures of what is happening at the level of the street.


VALUES-DRIVEN COMMUNITY
INTERVENTION: AN EXAMPLE

Before explicating three traditional ways that community members are being connected with each other, we provide an account of abuse, neglect and depersonalization in a group home. This story illustrates why social workers must know how to act in concert with others to protect service users.


The Community Calls to Us to Stop
Human Hurt

In the social service world, those concerned about fairness and accountability play the role of caring critics, often intervening when others have not served the community well. Communal responsibility must substitute for individual responsibility in those cases, such as group homes for teenagers or the physically and mentally challenged, where abuse and death can occur (Levy, 2002a, 2002b, 2000c; Schwartz, 1992, Chapter 5). Professionals who monitor such homes must research the government oversight structure and the private contractor network to determine who is making, or deferring, decisions and how to best access and influence them. In Box 14.1, a newspaper reporter 3 documents what can happen when a service delivery system and a vulnerable group exist in isolation.

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Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface v
  • Note viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents *
  • Community Practice *
  • 1 - Community Practice: an Introduction 3
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • I - Understanding the Social Environment and Social Interaction *
  • 2 - Theory-Based, Model-Based Community Practice 33
  • Notes 57
  • References *
  • 3 - The Nature of Social and Community Problems 61
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 4 - The Concept of Community in Social Work Practice 91
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 5 - Community Intervention and Programs: Let's Extend the Clan 120
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • II - Community Practice Skills for Social Workers: Using the Social Environment *
  • 6 - Discovering and Documenting the Life of a Community 145
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 7 - Using Assessment in Community Practice 172
  • Notes 202
  • References *
  • 8 - Using Self in Community Practice: Assertiveness 208
  • Notes *
  • References 240
  • 9 - Using Your Agency 244
  • Notes *
  • References 270
  • 10 - Using Work Groups: Committees, Teams, and Boards 272
  • Notes 292
  • References *
  • 11 - Using Networks and Networking 293
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 12 - Using Social Marketing 320
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 13 - Using the Advocacy Spectrum 355
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 14 - Using Organizing: Acting in Concert 391
  • Notes 420
  • References 421
  • 15 - Community Social Casework 426
  • Note 439
  • References *
  • Subject Index 441
  • Name Index 453
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