Discussion: Community Social Work
When was the last time you drove through an unfamiliar neighborhood or community? How quickly did you identify that area as a “good” or “bad” part of town? What led you to that assessment? It is easy to label a community or town based on its appearance or reputation alone. Have you ever wondered, as you drove through certain communities, why some areas appear to be safe, clean, and filled with many varied businesses, while others appear run-down and lined with only check cashing centers, fast-food restaurants, and liquor stores? As a macro social worker, you often will see that communities thrive and falter due to the lack of resources available. Additionally, these areas may not grow or prosper because their resources have been untapped. Identifying strengths—be it in your individual clients, groups, families, and communities—is a key social work value. Use of this strengths perspective helps you to identify the potential strengths of a community and how to advocate for its members to obtain the resources and services they need to be successful.
For this Discussion, Reflect on a community with which you are familiar and that is in close proximity to you. Then, consider the population and geographical characteristics of that community, as well as its strengths and challenges. Take pictures of the community that represent the characteristics you identified. Finally, think about how these challenges you identified might be viewed as a strength for that community.
A description of the community you selected. Then, explain the strengths and challenges associated with that community based on its characteristics. Finally, explain how you, as a social worker, might help the community view its perceived challenges as a strength.