Community Practice Skills

Community Practice Skills: Local to Global Perspectives

Dorothy N. Gamble
Marie Weil
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 496
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/gamb11002
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  • Book Info
    Community Practice Skills
    Book Description:

    Dorothy N. Gamble and Marie Weil differentiate among a range of intervention methods to provide a comprehensive and effective guide to working with communities. Presenting eight distinct models grounded in current practice and targeted toward specific goals, Gamble and Weil take an unusually inclusive step, combining their own extensive experience with numerous case and practice examples from talented practitioners in international and domestic settings.

    The authors open with a discussion of the theories for community work and the values of social justice and human rights, concerns that have guided the work of activists from Jane Addams and Martin Luther King Jr. to Cesar Chavez, Wangari Maathai, and Vandana Shiva. They survey the concepts, knowledge, and perspectives influencing community practice and evaluation strategies. Descriptions of eight practice models follow, incorporating real-life case examples from many parts of the world and demonstrating multiple applications for each model as well as the primary roles, competencies, and skills used by the practitioner. Complexities and variations encourage readers to determine, through comparative analysis, which model at which time best fits the goals of a community group or organization, given the context, culture, social, economic, and environmental issues and opportunities for change. An accompanying workbook stressing empowerment strategies and skills development is also available from Columbia University Press.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-52092-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. PART I COMMUNITY PRACTICE:: PURPOSE AND KNOWLEDGE BASE
    • [PART I Introduction]
      (pp. 1-4)

      Our goal in writing this book is to provide community practice workers with a comprehensive guide to skills for practice and with a knowledge base drawn from the values, purposes, and theories that form the foundation for work with communities. To help workers understand and differentiate among a range of intervention methods and skills for effective practice, we have developed a framework of eight different models illustrating approaches focused on specific goals. Our discussion for each model includes guidance for effective engagement and ethical practice, with examples drawn from both the United States and international contexts. This material will be...

    • 1 COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITY PRACTICE IN LOCAL TO GLOBAL CONTEXTS
      (pp. 5-23)

      The meaning of community varies with each new generation, each distinct geographic location, and each community of interest. Scholars in the areas of sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and social work have all explored the meaning of community (Creed 2006; Martinez-Brawley 1995; Park 1952; Stein 1960; Warren 1963, 1966). Community can evoke the image of the traditional, bucolic village drawn from Ferdinand Tönnies’s classic work that described small rural communities as characterized by gemeinschaft—that is, close-knit, face-to-face relationships imbued with a sense of mutual responsibility and obligation. Or community can call forth Tönnies’s contrasting image, gesellschaft—that is, mechanistic...

    • 2 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS AND MODELS FOR COMMUNITY PRACTICE
      (pp. 24-46)

      In this chapter we present an updated version of the eight models of community practice we first introduced in the nineteenth edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work (Weil and Gamble 1995), along with the rationale for their organization. We also discuss three “lenses” that we believe will significantly influence the contexts of community practice in this century, and we examine the primary and related roles community practice social workers must adopt to engage in these eight models.

      Many models and approaches are available for understanding community practice, historical and current, both from academic colleagues and from skilled practitioners. Currently,...

    • 3 EVOLUTION OF VALUES, CONCEPTS, AND COMMUNITY PRACTICE APPROACHES
      (pp. 47-82)

      This chapter examines the origins and evolution of values drawn from wisdom traditions, humanism, and democratic theory that have become the ethical value base of social work along with central ethical concepts and a brief history of approaches to community practice. The principles that support community practice represent the strongest human values promoting social justice and human rights, advocacy, and support for poor and marginalized populations, building connections among groups and communities, mutual assistance, and collaborative work for progressive change. Three ethical principles—altruism, enlightened self-interest, and interdependence—encourage enactment of these values. Altruism means “concern for the welfare of...

    • 4 THEORIES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR COMMUNITY PRACTICE
      (pp. 83-118)

      In chapters devoted to the eight community practice models presented in Part II of this volume we make use of theories to assist in explaining and developing understanding of each model and its specific focus. Some types of theories explain “big picture” issues, while others provide guidance for our practice. Theories help us understand why and how we practice as we do and enable us to test methods and approaches. Theories embody worldviews and perspectives on human and community behavior and, at least implicitly, include value bases that shape how we think and what kinds of positive changes we believe...

  6. PART II EIGHT MODELS OF COMMUNITY PRACTICE FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
    • [PART II Introduction]
      (pp. 119-120)

      In part II we analyze each model in turn to present the scope of concern, the basic process, and the theoretical underpinnings and conceptual understandings that are important to the model. In addition, we identify the primary roles, skills and competencies, used by practitioners for each model. Our end goal is to help successful community practitioners develop the knowledge and skills needed to engage in this important work.

      The eight models represent types of work that we have actually engaged in or closely observed in the United States and other parts of the world. They are intended to provide a...

    • 5 NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZING
      (pp. 121-172)

      Pass Christian, a Mississippi coastal town, is located halfway between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. It has been hit twice by major hurricanes in recent years. On July 17, 1969, it was hit by Hurricane Camille, and then at 4:30 a.m. on August 29, 2005, it was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Winds of up to 130 miles per hour pummeled Pass Christian, and the storm surge that followed leveled the town for more than a half mile inland. The storm destroyed or damaged all but 500 or so homes; twenty-five residents of Pass Christian died as a result of the...

    • 6 ORGANIZING FUNCTIONAL COMMUNITIES
      (pp. 173-208)

      Karen Tse grew up in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. After completing law school in the United States and working in the San Francisco public defender’s office, she took a position working on legal reform in postwar Cambodia in 1994. In Cambodia she founded the Cambodian Defenders Project and Legal Aid of Cambodia, and trained prison guards, police, and judges through the United Nations Center for Human Rights. She returned to the United States in 1997 to enter Harvard Divinity School. By the time she finished, she had founded International Bridges to Justice, a voluntary organization that...

    • 7 SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 209-245)

      In 1972 two dedicated social entrepreneurs returned to Bangladesh from studies abroad to begin the task of developing programs and services for the poor in their newly independent country. Both had received formal educations in Britain and the United States, one in finances and the other in economics. They worked independently, but their common interest was in making changes for the destitute. Soon both discarded the Western theories about development and economics they had learned abroad for a more grounded understanding of what was really happening to the poor in Bangladesh and what they needed. People’s lives had been disrupted...

    • 8 INCLUSIVE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 246-285)

      This chapter presents three approaches (submodels) of program planning and development: the basic rational planning model, inclusive program development, and the interpretive planning-emergent approach. We illustrate two approaches with case examples, discuss the distinguishing features of each approach, and suggest some guides for choosing the optimal program planning and development approach in differing circumstances.

      In the twenty-first century, a major change in principles underlying program development is under way. Experiences in many parts of the world have brought recognition that it is poor practice and ethically problematic to design and implement new local service programs or community development efforts without...

    • 9 COMMUNITIES AND SOCIAL PLANNING
      (pp. 286-323)

      Since 1989 the people of Porto Alegre, Brazil, have engaged in an innovative community planning process called participatory budgeting. It is a form of participatory planning and direct democracy that can engage a broad and diverse group of people in setting priorities for some portion of their municipality’s budget. Historically, the budgeting process in most towns and cities throughout the world has been a power lodged with political, socioeconomic elites—and more recently also technical/professional elites. Participatory budgeting opens doors to larger scale participatory planning and community empowerment over its resources and direction. The initial Porto Alegre experiment in participatory...

    • 10 BUILDING EFFECTIVE COALITIONS
      (pp. 324-349)

      What could such a seemingly benign product as infant formula have to do with organizing coalitions? IBFAN, the International Baby Food Action Network, emerged from a shared concern about unfair marketing practices used by corporations to promote their infant formula products as superior to breastfeeding (IBFAN 2008; Baby Milk Action 2008). These aggressive marketing campaigns often have devastating effects on infant health and mortality rates, especially in low-wealth neighborhoods and less developed countries. The producers of infant formula heavily promote their products, especially in less developed countries, without regard for the mothers’ access to resources to buy formula or the...

    • 11 POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ACTION
      (pp. 350-386)
      Mat Despard and Ivan Parra

      We begin this chapter by referencing the last section of the NASW Code of Ethics as it sets the tone for our focus on the political and social section model. This section of the Code is often overlooked in the education of social workers and community practice workers—perhaps because it comes last and a crowded curriculum squeezes it out. Or the reason may be that we social work educators are simply too unfamiliar with these policy and participation directives, making us reluctant to integrate them into the whole of social work practice. Section 6.02 of the Code simply states...

    • 12 MOVEMENTS FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE
      (pp. 387-417)

      There are many metaphors in nature to describe social movements: a little spark starting on dry prairie grasses that begins as a small fire and soon spreads across the whole landscape; a small dust devil you see in the distance, raising a little sand but soon turning into a full-blown tornado, changing everything in its path; a spring rain that seems innocuous enough until it continues for days, soaking the ground, forming springs that cut gulches into the soil as it runs down to the river, filling its banks as it rages down to the sea.

      The spark is like...

    • 13 THE CHALLENGES FOR COMMUNITY PRACTICE AHEAD
      (pp. 418-430)

      It is our intent to inspire and prepare you to become a community practice social worker in the twenty-first century in the United States or anywhere in the world these models can be appropriately applied considering the local context and needs. Throughout the book we provided scenarios for you to consider how and when to become involved with community practice. To help clarify the possibilities, we have organized the approaches into eight different models, with the opportunity to compare them along five characteristics. Comparison of discrete characteristics helps you to see the likely outcome for each of the different approaches....

  7. REFERENCES
    (pp. 431-464)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 465-482)