The paper "Security Science: Introduction to Community Work" is a perfect example of an assignment on social science. This reflective journal reflects on the learning I have done throughout the entire semester with respect to understanding community work and acknowledging a broad range of skills that are necessary to work with a range of communities. Specifically, I will touch on three modules namely understanding communities, approaches to working with communities, and skills in working with communities. Module 1: Understanding communities In module 1, gained useful insight regarding what community work looks like.
I learned that community work is a work aimed at ensuring that individuals have networks of relationships around them that can assist them to address their increasing aspirations and needs (Muirhead, 2003). In other words, community work is people in the community that work together toward the action of their choosing or work that fosters the capacity of communities to address their own aspirations and needs. I was also introduced to examples of community work. Some of these examples include a youth worker who strives with others with the aim of establishing a skate part where young individuals are likely to meet and construct larger networks.
Another example I was introduced to is a child health nurse who assists establish local playgroups and construct relationships among new parents with the aim of ensuring that they are less isolated in their parenting tasks. I noted that there is a difference between individual focused work and community work. Individual focused work strives to work one-on-one with an individual with the aim of ensuring that he or she meets his or her own aspirations and needs (Mawson, 2008).
I also learned the differences between family-focused work and community work. Specifically, I noted that family-focused work strives to assist families to become places in which people are able to have their own aspirations and needs addressed or met. I was introduced to key principles for working with communities. Taylor, Wilkinson, and Cheers (2008) highlighted two important principles for working with communities. These two principles include understanding the community you are working with and establishing and sustaining effective relationships and working with partnerships with individuals who are impacted by the work one is performing or doing (Muirhead, 2002). I was also introduced to community planning and knowledge.
Community planning is a process, many ways of collecting information and getting a picture of the community. Additionally, I learned that community planning connects the whole of the community via all fields, identifies achievable goals and strategies, and owned by the community (Weeks, Hoatson & Dixon, 2003). Community planning adds value, change, and redirects or stimulates local or external action. Elements of community planning encompass decision making, leadership, partnerships, and community capacity.
I learned that these elements are all key to ensuring that the plan eventuates and is useful as well as relevant. I also gained useful insight regarding community profile. Community profile cannot be obtained through both primary and secondary information. Secondary information can be obtained on the internet, government departments, local government, and census. I learned that primary information can be obtained by talking with locals, networks, and services or through focus groups and interviews. It was interesting to learn a broad range of reasons why community profile is done.
Some of these reasons include knowledge, current, relevant, evidence, objective, to identify gaps, needs, and mismatch of services to target groups, guides direction of allocation of resources, and grant applications.
Kretzmann, J. (1993). Introduction in building communities from the inside out a path toward finding and mobilizing a community’s assets. (p.1-18). Evanston, III: Centre for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, Northwestern University.
Mawson, A. (2008). The social entrepreneurship: Making communities work: London: Atlantic
Muirhead, T. (2002). Weaving tapestries: a handbook for building communities. Mt. Hawthorn:
Local Government Community Services Association (WA)
Muirhead, T. (2003). Elements of community building. Unpublished paper from the local
government and community services association National Conference, 29th July 2003
Taylor, J., Wilkinson, D., & Cheers, B. (2008). Working with communities in health and human services. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Weeks, W., Hoatson, L., Dixon, J. (2003). Community practices in Australia. Frenchs Forrest: