Community Work Essay

2243 words - 9 pages

In your view, is the main purpose of Community Work to satisfy the needs of local people or those of Government? Justify your views through reference to appropriate literature and illustrate your response with examples from practice.Submitted by: Mohammed Shamrez Sharif In your view, is the main purpose of Community Work to satisfy the needs of local people or those of Government? Justify your views through reference to appropriate literature and illustrate your response with examples from practice.Community development is the process of helping a community strengthen itself and develop towards its full potential by working in partnership with local people and organizations to meet identified needs. Involving the community is critical if the partnership is to bring about long-term change in an area. The local community offers a valuable insight into an area and its problems and the partnership can draw support from existing local groups and community networks. The key aim for a community worker is to provide long-term support to communities to develop and manage their own initiatives.Community work however is an area of practice that is both imprecise and unclear; it can be almost everything to everyone. Yet it is a particular activity with clear boundaries and target groups, informed by a range of disciplines that place the activity in education and welfare fields. Abram (1978,p. 11) states ?the concept of community is slowly being evicted from British sociology, not because there is agreement on the empirical collapse of community, but rather because the term has come to be used variously and different relationships identified as those of community, have been discovered in so many different contexts that the word itself has become almost devoid of precise meaning?.From this we can see that definitions of community are imprecise and often contradictory which are problematic when trying to identify the main purpose of Community work. According to Popple (1995 p. 6) ?community has both descriptive and evaluative meaning, and is as much an ideological construct as a description of a locality. The term not only exists in a geographical and material sense but also reflects peoples thinking and feeling as to where they believe a community exists?.I am attempting to explore the debates surrounding community work in relation to its main purpose. Is it to satisfy the needs of local people or those of government? I am trying to look at models of community work and their importance to theory and practice. In order to discuss the main purpose of community work it is essential to look at its history and development. What is important is the way trends or features in community work history have an influence upon, or link into present day developments. A crucial debate is whether or not community work is about containment and control or about the liberation of oppressed groups through political action.It is difficult to locate a precise date for the...

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