Social Work Theories in Action

By Mary Nash; Robyn Munford et al. | Go to book overview

Introduction
This section moves to focus on practice in community settings, another level in the integrated practice framework. The challenge for social and community workers is to maintain a focus on social justice and to develop an understanding about what wider structures are impacting negatively on the lives of their clients. Central to this is knowing how to challenge current situations while working alongside groups to develop alternative structures that can be sustained over time and that ensure that all citizens can fully participate in their communities.The chapters in this section clearly demonstrate a strong link between practice and achieve this by exploring some key principles of community development in action, from a range of perspectives. These include:
visionknowing that change includes challenging current structures that marginalize communities but identifying a vision for the future
indigenous frameworks having a clear understanding of the rights of indigenous populations and their central place in our communities
global and local contexts understanding the relationship between global issues and local challenges and choosing how to work to effect change on a number of levels
locating oneself– this includes knowing how groups have arrived at their current positions and understanding how this will contribute to achieving positive change for their communities
understanding power relations– knowing how to work within power relationships is a key strategy in community development practice
self-determination achieving self-determination and understanding the meaning of this will be done within cultural frameworks and the other frameworks that determine how communities wish to organize their daily lives
working collectively people work together and share resources and experiences to achieve positive change

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