Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers

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

5
Community Intervention
and Programs:
Let's Extend the Clan

Cynicism or hope. That's the real question, the choice all of us face.

P. LOEB (1999, P. 340)

One goal of community practice is to expand the circle so that more and more people will be embraced by others as an integral part of the human family. Chapter 4 presented environmental factors and the context of community practice. The purpose of this chapter is to convey a sense of what much of community work is like today, in terms of goals, approaches, and preoccupations. Through concrete examples, this chapter will showcase contemporary community intervention modes and successes. 1 It will describe the kind of programs underway to address some of the problems outlined in Chapters 3 and 4. It will show how direct service practitioners can be part of activities such as building capacity, identifying assets, creating caring connections, and joining with others to promote community cohesion and individual and group self-respect. Community intervention encompasses the ability to tap community strengths and the skills of including, linking, engaging, and empowering citizens. (See Chapter 14 for advanced skills in connecting and organizing people and communities. )


COMMUNITY UNDERTAKINGS

Current Burst of Activity

After decades of pessimism about the quality of community life, phrases such as community resiliency and comeback cities suggest a new societal atmosphere. Community practice also has increased status in our profession and workplaces. U. S. News2 labels social work a “hot job” and says being a community practitioner is part of that hot track: “Elected officials are hiring these organizers as a liaison to the community, tracking problems facing constituents. Labor unions employ them to do fieldwork, and nonprofits bring them aboard for local issues, like organizing low-income neighborhoods against hospital chains said to be unsympathetic to the poor. More groups are bringing them on to do good work” (U. S. News & World Report, n.d. ).

Such positions involve working beside people of varied backgrounds to create a culture of change, identify assets, and link groups. Thousands of neighborhood associations have been

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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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