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Models of Community work

A) Defining Community work and Community

Popple (1995 : 150 - 151) says that: One of the problem facing community work is, that it has
no single definition and is frequently considered simply as a form of welfare work. For
example, a wide range of activities, such as visiting housebound and older people, working in
economically and socially deprived housing neighbourhoods and intervening with young
offenders, have all been described as community work.
Because it encompasses such a wide area of work, “community work” can be considered as
an umbrella term.
It has been argued, therefore, that the term “community work practice” is imprecise and
unclear. It can be almost everything (or nothing) to everyone. For example, practicioners
have been acused of lacking direction and certainty about their role (Thomas, 1983;
Twelvetrees, 1991).
Some of the questions frequently posed are: do community work for or against local
authority? Can/should community workers tread a middle path while maintaining both their
professional standing and street credibility? As a significant amount of community work
operates on short-term funding, can it therefore be considered as little more than
experimental? These dilemmas are not clarified by much of the community work literature,
particularly that derived from projects, which is often considered to be both descriptive and
anecdotal. However, paradoxically, it can be argued that the experimental and creative
approach of comunity work is its strength.

The view that the term “community work practice” is imprecise and unclear is
compounded by the numerous definitions used to analyse the concept of community. For
e.g, Hillery (1955) found that there were 98 definitions of the term and the only thing that
sociologists agreed on was that community had something to do with people!

Newby (1980) defined community in three ways:


1. as a social system (a set of social relationships)
2. as a fixed locality (a geographical area)
3. as the quality of relationship (a spirit of community)

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These aspects of community are interrelated, atlhough Newby claims that they are distinct,
and evidence of one does not guarantee the presence ot the others.

Czech author Musil (1998 : 2) on the basis of work Popple (1995), Willmont (1986) and
Hedley (1997) summarize meanings utilization of the term community by social workes.
They mark so - those, who share disadvantage – a category of disadvantaged people (clients).
This term implies, that it is a groupment of individuals, between them needn’t exist
relationships, in sence of a sociological concept it is not a community.
Organised community is a result of professional activity of community worker, partly it can
be result of a spontaneous need of clients to join together. This mixture of associative and
solidarity links express good the term “community of interests”
Community workers also work with families (neighbours ) etc. – to could in cooperation with
professional organisations participate on help providing, so raise organised network, which is
based on relationships in community. We can speak about informal networks, that are
providing informal help. Their cooperation with professional organizations grow up
intagration of formal and no-formal care, that we could specify by the term service
community.

In opinion of Musil (1998) in social work the term community express:


- a category of disadvantaged people – unorganized groupment of people, they need a
help
- a community of interests – organised interest association, that express its interests
and work on them
- a service community – organised connection inhabitants of community, that are able
afford a help with a network of professional organizations
- a municipality – that is mean as social space, in which are built relations between
providers of services and disadvantaged, who are able establis their interests and
support their realisations by an activity/action

Social work (Popple, 1995; Barker, 1987; Hartl, 1993, 1997) consider as community rather
groupment of people, who have common characteristics, no expect with existing sens of
community, fellings of solidarity etc. Objectives of community work are to mobilise this
facts.

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About the term Community work is no universally agreed meaning (Popple, 1995: 54)

Process of development defining of CW:

In the late 1950s and early 1960s accounts of practice and theoretical explorations began
to appear that viewed community workers as a distinct occupation. Prior to this there
were separate groups of workers such as community centre wardens, secretaries of councils of
social services and development workers on new housing estates, who did not possess a
common occupational identity. As Thomas (1983: 25) has argued, the main orientation was to
the educational.

The Younghusband Report (1959) on social work was a significant turning point. It
specifically drew on the North American division of social work into casework, group work
and community organization, describing the latter as:

“primarily aimed at helping people within a local community to identify social needs, to
consider the most effective ways of meeting these and to set about doing so, in so far as their
available resources permit”.

The Younghusband report was one of the first to legitimise community work in Britain.
(Thomas, 1983 : 19)

The first major collection of material (Kuenstler 1961) took up the notion of ‘community
organization’, but it was the terms ‘community development’ and ‘community work’ that
became popular - and tended to merge. The term 'community development' was adopted by
many U.K. workers and projects for work that focused on work with local neighbourhood
groups to set and meet their own needs. (http://www.infed.org/community/b-
comwrk.htm)

The changes were symbolized in two initiatives - the setting up a study group by the
Gulbenkian Foundation in 1966 (the first report appeared in 1968) to look at the nature and
future of community work in the UK; and the development of the Community
Development Projects by the Home Office as part of an anti-poverty strategy.

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The Gulbenkian Report was actually focused around training but inevitably spread its net
much wider. Community work was taken to include:

- helping local people to decide, plan and take action to meet their own needs with the
help of available outside resources;
- helping local services to become more effective, usable and accessible to those whose
needs they are trying to meet;
- taking account of the interrelation between different services in planning for people;
- forecasting necessary adaptions to meet new social needs in constantly changing
circumstances (Gulbenkian 1968: 149).

From this the committee concluded that community work had in it aspects of direct
neighbourhood work, closer relations between services and people, inter-agency coordination,
and planning and policy formulation. In a crucial section they argued:

This community work function should be a recognised part of the professional practice of
teachers, social workers, the clergy, health workers, architects, planners, administrators and
others. In the modern conditions of social change it is also a necessary full time professional
task.

The Community Development Projects

During the 1960s and early 1970s there was a growing recognition of the extent to which
poverty remained a major feature of UK society (see, for example, Coates and Silburn 1970).
There had also been a fairly substantial series of debates around the significance and
importance of people's participation in various aspects of government activity - perhaps the
best known being the Skeffington Report on planning (MHLG 1969). Following the efforts of
the Democratic administration in the United States of America to wage a 'War on Poverty', the
UK government sought a similar, but cheaper, initiative. Self-help and resident participation
were seen to be possibilities for the improvement of inner city situations.

The result, in 1969, was the launch of the Community Development Projects programme. It
was the largest action-research project ever funded by government. The avowed intention was
to gather information about the impact of existing social policies and services and to
encourage innovation and co-ordination. The projects had a strong and explicit research focus
and an emphasis on social action 'as a means of creating more responsive local services and of
© Anna Krausova, Department of Social Work, Medico-social faculty, University of Ostrava
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encouraging self help' (Loney 1983: 3). The projects were initially based in 12 areas of social
deprivation. These were neighbourhoods of 3,000 to 15,000 people. Each project involved a
small group of professional workers and researchers. The emphasis in CDPs on research
meant that they produced a range of important material both about the nature of community
work and about the social, political and economic condition of particular areas.
(http://www.infed.org/community/b-comwrk.htm)

In the early 1980s another report sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – David
Thomas suggested that community work had three major aspects:

First, to help people take action on specific issues of importance to them. These issues
will almost invariably involve the influence of resources, either those held, for example, by
local authorities, or to be found within communities themselves. I have referred to this as the
distributive aspect of community work. It is equivalent to the conventional category of
'product goals' familiar in community work literature. Influence on the distribution of
resources will be terminal goals for the people involved, but I have argued that we should see
them also as instrumental in contributing towards:

secondly, the development of political responsibility; and

thirdly, that of communal coherence. (Thomas 1983: 102)

By the early 1990s the position of community development work had become a little battered
and activity was reduced (Popple 1995: 30).By the mid-1990s it was clear that community
work approaches were being further harnessed to the development of centrally planned
initiatives such as community care; and have become less the province of the traditional
concerns of community organization and development. Where people have been able to hang
on to some of these concerns - as perhaps has been the case in a number of the rural
community initiatives (see Francis and Henderson 1992) - the emphasis was arguably less on
fostering democracy than on facilitating enterprise, holding onto local services such as post
offices and pubs, and on developing social provision such as housing. There has also been a
flurry of interest in rural work (Francis and Henderson 1992; Henderson and Francis 1993)
and in children’s work (Henderson 1995; Cannan and Warren 1997).

Instead of looking to community work as an organizing idea, a number of people started to


talk of community practice
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Netting, Kettner, Mc. Murtry (1993: 3 – 4) say that: “Social work practice is broadly
defined and allows for intervention at the micro (individual, group, or family) level, and at the
macro (organization and community) level. ...Some professional roles require that the social
worker be involved full-time in macro practice...”
What is macro practice?
Macro practice is professionaly directed intervention designed to bring about planned change
in organizations and communities. Macro practice, as all social work practice, is built on
theoretical foundations, proceeds within the framework of a practice model, and operates
within the boundaries of profesional values and ethics. Macro-level activities engage the
practitioner in organizational community, and policy arenas.
These activities go beyond individual and group interventions but are often based on needs,
problems, issues, and concerns identified in microactivities. Organisation activities include,
but are not limited to, supervision of professional and paraprofessional staff, working with
committees, participating in budgeting, writing proposals, developing programs. Community
activities engage the practicioner in negotiating and bargaining with diverse groups,
encouraging consumer participation in decision making, establishing and carrying out
interagency agreements, conducting needs assesments, and advocating for client needs in a
variety of community systems.

Community worker
Community worker is a professional social worker focused on collective problems and self-
management of the people concerned. In general, there can be discerned three types of
community work:
- territorial: working in a specific area with different groups of population
- cathegorical: working with specific groups
- thematically: working in the field of a specific topic like educatin or environmental
issues

The two main tasks of a community workers are:


- supporting local iniciatives, groups, councils, communities
- inovation: signalising and stimulationg new projects

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The support a community worker gives to local communitis (the first main task) can be
divided in four different kinds:
- organisational support: helping to organise meetings, fo form working groups, to
think about the best way to do the work as an initiative group or assocation and to
have continuing attention for the voice of the community
- strategic support: helping the group to think about the best way to reach the aims it
has, where to find information, how to contact authorities, helping to make step-by-
step plans
- educational support: helping members of the group or association to fulfil their tasks
such as: keeping records, writing a letter or a report, phoning to the municipality,
negotiating with authorities, to be a chair of a meeting, to make an agenda for the
meeting, to make a plan for a specific activity.
- facilitating support: arranging the practical conditions for the functioning of the
group such as a place to meet, paper and pencils, computer, finances.

First of all a community worker has to be able to make contact and to communicate with
all kinds of people. Listening and summerising what people say, is a very important skill.

The second main task means that the community worker is also able:
- to find out if there are important topics that are not yet mentioned by the people
themeselves or that maybe are more complicated or take place on a bigger scale like
economic developments
- to find new ways to tackle problems
- to stimulate and start new projects
- to make a connections between different local organisations and between local and
regional/national organisations. (Schuringa, 2005: 33 – 34)

The role of the Community worker


As Popple (1995: 156) says most of community workers are employed in the public sector,
either by local authorities or the voluntary sector, which receives public finances.
Increasingly, these agencies are required by founders to meet specific objectives, and those
who do not meet these place themselves in a vulnerable position where their funding can be
terminated or reduced.

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This can create difficulties for practitioners who experience a dilemma in terms of their
personal goals, including ideas to be involved in change, and those of the agency that is
required to meet performance targets. However, the role of community worker reflects both
the unique position that community work occupies and the resultant challenges for its
practitioners.
For example Gilchrist (1994) has identified five main roles: organiser, advocate, challenger,
developer and supporter. However, if the community worker is based in a small
organisation, he or she may have further tasks including fundraising and employing and
managing workers.
We must remember that community work si about working with people in ways to encourage
and empower them to do things for themeselves. Therefore, the role of the worker centers on
helping people to learn new skills, build self-confidence and develop talents and abilities. A
good deal of community work focuses on gaining and disseminating information that can be
applied by the neighbourhood or community. Hence, community work has often been
associated with the slogan “information si power”. With adequate and appropriate
information, communities can make informed decisions and take action. (Popple, 1995: 156 –
157)
Netting, Kettner, Mc. Murtry (1993: 4) say that these professional roles are often referred to
by such titles as planner, community organizer, manager, or administator. The direct service
worker or clinical social worker however, also bears responsibility for initiating change in
organizations and communities. The direct service worker is often the first to recognise
patterns indicating the need for change.

B) Setting of Community Work in Czech Republic

Althouhg we can find some historical roots of community work in Czech republic e.g. exists
data about Jewish Toynbee Hall in Prague (wife of president Masaryk was concerned by
studying ideas of settlements) in 20th years of 20th century, community work in Czech
Republic above all due to ideological reasons has developed in early 1990s.
Essentialy is necessary to say, that absolute majority of programms of community work have
started develop NGO’s. In a few places of our republic has became iniciators of changes in
community institutions of public services (municipal offices, district authorities).

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Iniciators and realisators of community programmes face up limiting factors:
- people are not well prepared to solve together common problems – in consequence
strong determination in society to be closed into “individual consumption”, but also in
consequence 40th years of manipulation with citizen and abuse his/her need to
participate on a life of community
- dominate expectation inhabitants in community, that another people are set (delegated)
to solve their problems
- dominate orientation municipal offices rather on “managing people” than on
supporting their participaton in solving problems (imagination that “passive citizen is
good citizen”)
- stint financial resources, that forbid successful project realisation
- in places, where is used community work, are built “islands of positive deviation” are
missing legislative, finacial, organisational conditions

Czech definitions of Community Work

In Czech literature we can meet with definition of community work by authors Novotna and
Schimmerlingova (1992 : 87), that define community work: “...help people in concrete life
sutiations in certain territorial unit, no matter, if is concerned on individuum, group or whole
community. Respect biological, psychological, cultural, social, ekonomical, ecological needs
of inhabitants of community.”
Another definition offers Reznicek (1994) in his opinion the aim of comunity work is
mobilisation selfhelp of citizens on behaf bigger number of people, and it requires
cooperation with representatives local govermment and potitical authority. In community
work become involved citizens activists, so inhabitans. Community worker fulfil the role of
stimulator and of organizator.
Another czech author Hartl (1997, p 130 – 131) community work define as a method of
coping of social change. According Hartl community work lean on involving people into
problems influencing their lives and:
- change balance of power, focuse on relation of people and institutions
- appreciate skills, knowledges and experiences of people, as their reacton to social,
economical and political problems

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- take notice of inequalities and discrimination, support understanding these problems in
groups and organizations

Havrdova (Hartl, 1993 : 11) “From global viewpoint community work facilitates social
chagne. Change balance of power by the way, that help to powerless discover and assert their
skills. Active they involves into solutions of things, that influence their lives and confront
attitudes and behavior indivuum and institutions, that discriminate somebody.

Objectives of community work:


The general objective of community work we can define as an aspiration (on) any social
change. It takes place throuhg two processes:
- by analysing of social situation
- by forming relationship social worker and community and mutual relationships
between different groups inside a community

For achievement of above mentioned objectives are important following steps:


Activation – means influencing citizens, to play active role in development and in
functioning public and social services. Activation means active participation of people.
Activation we can define as burdening citizen bigger responsibility for his/her problems. One
of the form activation can be targeting activating research, which brings information and
motivate people to activity /its part is educational component/. Effort is support members of
community to receive continously another knowledges of implications in which live and to
accomplish better formulate their opinions. In social work with gypsy community we can
speak about method of activization of local groups. Posibilities of activating depend on the
level of development of community.
Identification – means to identify with certain group. This step is focused on improving sens
of pride in membership in a community. Dutch organization SPOLU in field of identification
advises principles in social work with gypsy community – that are shared responsibility,
identity building, respect to differences etc.
Equalizing tense betwen needs – it means orientation to equalizing continuous tense
between needs of people and insuficient resources. Important task here is to motivate
members in community. When people see unfavourable conditions, they can be also motivate
to do something. A strong element in motivation can be also experience of discrimination. For
motivation are important these factors: awareness (of qualities, competencies), education

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(knowledge own rights, indipendency), perspectives (achievable goals), ownership (human
feels responsible, when knows his/her possibilities to influence his/her life), support, raising
confidence, inclusion into society. (Hartl, 1997; Schuringa, 2005).

Although it can be claimed that “community work” is an umbrella term, there have been
many attemps to explain why and how it operates as it does, and to identify the models used.

C) Models of Community work

Probably with the aim to deal with heterogenity of definitions of community work, which
cover up number of different activits and procedures, outgoing from different teoretical
concepts, authors have started discuss about approaches in community work (Gojova, 2006 :
69)
Model has in scientifical cognition instrumental function (an instrument of cognition and
bearer of knowledges). Model represent an original always from certain angle, is in acceptable
size simplifying, due to gain enclosed and compact form (Gojova, 2006 : 69)
Payne (1997 : 35) perceive a creation of models in social work as a reaction on loss of
theories in postmodern discourse. Model is in his opinion a generalization of thing, which is
happen in a practice.

We can recognize the first trying to discern models in community work. E.g. in a
publication “Community Work and Social Change” (1968) authors discerned two
approaches in community work: namely – community development and community
organisation.

In the same time Rothman (Zastrow, 1989) discerned three models of work with community:
1) Local development or community development
Methods of work with community groups used by settlement houses and in 'colonial'
community development work. A major focus is on the process of community building.
Working with a broad, representative cross section of the community, workers attempt to
achieve change objectives by enabling the community to establish consensus via the
identification of common interests.

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Leadership development and the education of the participants are important elements in the
process. In this approach great store is set by the values of both participation and leadership.

2) Social planning
Is the method of community organization traditional to health and welfare councils although
its scope and arena were enlarged in the 1960s to encompass city planners, urban renewal
authorities and the large public bureaucracies. Effort is focused primarily on task goals and
issues of resource allocation. Whereas the initial emphasis of this approach was on the co-
ordination of social services, its attention has expanded to include programme development
and planning in all major social welfare institutions. Heavy reliance is placed on rational
problem solving and the use of technical methods such as research and systems analysis.
Expertise is the cherished value in this approach, although leadership is accorded importance
as well.

3) Socal action
Is employed by groups and organizations which seek to alter institutional policies or to make
changes in the distribution of power. Civil rights groups and social movements are examples.
Their methods may be, often are, abrasive, and participation is the value most clearly
articulated by those who use this approach. Both leadership and expertise may be challenged
as the symbolic 'enemies of the people'. (http://www.infed.org/community/b-comorg.htm)

According to Thomas (1983: 108) community work have function distributive and
developing, that are part of five approaches:

1) Community Action focuses on the organisation of those adversely affected by the


decisions, or non-decisions, of public and private bodies and by more general structural
characteristics of society. The strategy aims to promote collective action to challenge existing
socio-political and economic structures and processes, to explore and explain the power
realities of people's situations and, through this twin pronged approach, develop both critical
perspectives of the status quo and alternative bases of power and action.

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2) Community Development emphasises self-help, mutual support, the building up of
neighbourhood integration, the development of neighbourhood capacities for problem-solving
and self-representation, and the promotion of collective action to bring a community's
preferences to the attention of political decision-makers.

3) Social Planning is concerned with the assessment of community needs and problems and
the systematic planning of strategies for meeting them. Social planning comprises the analysis
of social conditions, social policies and agency services; the setting of goals and priorities; the
design of service programmes and the mobilisation of appropriate resources; and the
implementation and evaluation of services and programmes.

4) Community Organisation involves the collaboration of separate community or welfare


agencies with or without the additional participation of statutory authorities, in the promotion
of joint initiatives.

5) Service Extension is a strategy which seeks to extend agency operations and services by
making them more relevant and accessible. This includes extending services into the
community, giving these services and the staff who are responsible for them a physical
presence in a neighbourhood. (Thomas 1983: 106-139)

According to Popple (1995) models of community work have developed incoordinately.


Different models are not clearly separated, rather coincide with the others.

1) Community care

Community work which is focused on the model of community care attempts to cultivate
social networks and voluntary services for, or to be concerned about, the welfare of residents,
particularly older people, persons with disabilities, and in many cases children under the age
of five.

The community care model concentrates on developing self-help concepts to address social
and welfare needs and uses paid workers (sometimes termed “organizaers”) who encourage
people to care and to volunteer initiative. Professional involvement in community care can be
on one of three levels.

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One level is where professionals are expected to fulfil a more or less permanent supportive or
monitoring role, using volunteers and low-paid helpers. A second level is where the activity is
initiated by professionals who plat to be supportive for only a short period, so that comunity
care can be continued without them. A third level reflects community care as an activity
undertaken by laypeople with relatively little help from professionals.

The voluntarism associated with the community care model supports the notion of engaging
volunteers in care-giving. In practice, the term “informal care” refers to care undertaken by
families, neighbours and friends, on an informal, unpaid basis and largely in the recipients’
own homes. (Popple, 1995 : 55 – 58)

An example from practice

E.g in community (Liščina – Ostrava) was established “Club of ugly women”, which consist
form gypsy mothers, that meet regularly in community centre and they learn together sew,
producing some toys for the needs of community cente. Together these mothers spend free
time and also work as volunteers. They active parcitipate on organization and providing free-
time activities,, educational activities etc.

Majority of these mothers are unemployed, some of them had a problems with alcohol,
gambling, had an experience with domestic violence.

Another expamle: in Ostrava – Heřmanice group of gypsy youth (boys) decided to create
football team (in 2004), which has regularly trainings and represents the locality in different
competitions etc. Some members of this football team also train in football children from a
locality, they manage this team – and after one year their existence they decided in
community to built a playground. (in the frame programme of Nokia “Make a Connection –
programme, which support informal groups of young people, who take an iniciative in local
level, they had prepared a project, which received small financial support)

2) Community organization

Community work formulated on the community organization model has been used widely in
Britain as a means of improving the co-ordination between different welfare agencies.
Through such co-ordination it si thought possible to avoid duplication of services and poverty
of resources.

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Examples of community organiyations are councils of voluntary service, older person’s
welfare commitees, and “similar organizations that are engaged in the coordination,
promotion and development of the work of a number of bodies in a particular field at local,
regional or national levels” (Jones, 1977 : 6)

Lindeman (1921) defined community organization as: those phases of social organization
which constitute a conscious effort on the part of a community to control its affairs
democratically, and to secure the highest services from its specialists, organizations, agencies,
and the institutions by means of recognized interrelations. (1921: 173)

The aim of this model is improving relationships between different organizations, respectively
which their objective is providing services that answer to actual needs of clients.

An example from practice

NGO Life Together (in which I work as a volunteer) cooperates namely with municipal
office /Slezska Ostrava/ by organizing of common meetings with inhabitants from locality, on
that are invited its representatives.
At this meetings are solved actual problems, eventually participants of these meetings
together discuss and agree different strategies that contribute to problems solution.

To community organization we can involve issue of networking. One type of network we can
create is organizational network – which is one of the forms of interaction between people,
one of the forms of cooperation and problem solutions. Network we can in one meaning
understand as an organizational form. In a practice we can see – that are created different
networks of organizations. E.g. we can name international network SPOLU International
Foundation. (www.spolu.nl)
These networks can cooperate on realization of community projects.

3) Community development

The community development model of community work is concerned with assisting grous to
acquire the skills and confidence to improve the quality of the lives of its members. With the

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emphasis on promoting self-help by means of education, this model is thought to reflect the
“uniqueness of community work” (Twelvetrees, 1991 : 98)

The community development model which was championed in North America in the early
1960s by Biddle and Biddle (1965), evolved in Britain from the work initiated by Batten
(1957), which initially derived from his experience with such a model when working in the
colonies. After the Second World War the British Colonial Office became concerned with
'community development'. Mayo (1975: 130) suggests that administrators 'concocted' the term
out of their attempts to develop 'basic education' and social welfare in the UK colonies. For
example, a 1944 report, Mass education in the colonies, placed an emphasis on literacy
training and advocated the promotion of agriculture, health and other social services through
local self help (Midgley et al 1986: 17).

Community development was defined in one UK government publication as: active


participation, and if possible on the initiative of the community, but if this initiative is not
forthcoming spontaneously, by the use of techniques for arousing and stimulating it in order to
achieve its active and enthusiastic response to the movement. (Colonial Office 1958: 2)

The experience of community development in Britain has been characterized by work the
neighbourhood level and, as noted earlier, has focused upon a proces whereby community
groups are encouraged to articulate their problems and needs. The typical worker in this
model has been described by Dominelli (1990 : 11) as “usually a man who helps people learn
by working on problems they have identified. He is typically a paid professional interested in
reforming the system through social engineering.”

An example from practice


To this model we can involve project “Model house in Zarubek’. (that realised NGO “Life
Togeter”) This project was developed from initiative inhabitants and was prepared in
cooperation of local board (members of the board are elected inhabitants from each house,
community worker, one representative of municipal office).
After identification main problems in community (that were defined by inhabitants,)
prioritization – inhabitants elected the one most important at a community meeting
(improving living conditions). Because in community were limited resources, community set
up criteria according which was chosen one house that was repaired (was redecorated).

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One of the conditions for provision material resources (from local authority of Slezska
Ostrava) was cleaning of cellars, garrets and neighborhood of houses by self-help of
inhabitants. In this project we can see here has been applied task centred approach,
principles of empowerment.
Clients were supported in their formulation of problems, needs, ideas for solutions.
Community worker played the role of the model behavior (showed to inhabitants how to be
succesfull in negotiation etc.)

Dutch organization SPOLU International Foundation on the base of its big experiences with
projects of community development in different European countries worked up strategy of
community development, which appear from four principles: improvement, complex
approach, inclusion, sustainability and movement.
This strategy of community development is described in a book “Community Work and Roma
inclusion” by author Leida Schuringa (see a prospectus)

Model of community development is often used also in social work in gypsy settlements in
Slovakia (see case studies on above mentioned book, or presentation of some information
from my practical experiences visit of Žehra and Chminianske Jakuboviany in 2003)

Project of community housing in Brno (www.drom.cz) and project of “Coexistence


Village” (www.vesnickasouziti.caritas.cz) can be also classical exemplary projects of
community development, that are focused on improving living conditions of gypsy
community.
All project mentioned above are built on ecological approach, which stress reciprocal
dependence and influence of people and their neighbourhood.

4) Social/Community planning

The social/community planning model of community work is described to be similar to


community development and has been described as: the analysis of social conditions, social
policies and agency services; the setting goals and priorities; the design of service
programmes and the mobilisation of appropriate resources; and the implementation and
evaluation of services and programmes. (Thomas, 1983 : 109)

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The social/community planning model is belived to be the most common of community work
models (Twelvetrees, 1991 : 98).

Community planning is about public, private and voluntary agencies working together more
effectively to provide good-quality public services and, in doing so, making sure the
communities who are affected by planning decisions and who might use the services are part
of the decision-making processes. Under section 16 of the Local Government in Scotland Bill,
Community Planning Partnerships must involve communities in the planning process.
(http://www.infed.org/archives/gov_uk/working_together.htm)

Ministry of labour and social affairs of Czech Republic has developed project of community
planning from the year 2002 and in this year published a publication “Community Planning
- a Public Matter”. This publication is dedicated to communities, regions, providers and
users of social services, brings essential information on importance, principles and structure
of community planning of social services, offers a layout of more detailed methodological
instrument designated to support communties and regions which are determined to introduce
community planning of social services, it cannot give a comprehensive answer to all
questions, which could emerge in connection with community planning.
(http://www.mpsv.cz/files/clanky/2009/com_plan.pdf)

What is community planning?


It is a method that enables to prepare materials on the development of different areas of public
life at the level of a municipality or a region and that strongly supports the¨principles of
representative democracy.

What is typical of the method is an emphasis on:


- the involvement of all stakeholders in a given area
- dialogue and negotiations
- achieving a result that is adopted and supported by the majority of stakeholders.

What is community planning of social services?


- It is a method which allows for planning social services at the level of municipalities or
regions in such a way that they really meet local specificities and needs of individual

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citizens.
- It is an open process of identifying needs and resources and of searching for the best
solutions in the field of social services.

What’s the aim of community planning of social services?


- It is a method how to strengthen social cohesion of community.
- It is a method how to support social inclusion and to prevent social exclusion of
individuals and groups. What is an outcome of community planning?
It is namely a system of social services at local level, which meets, identified needs,
responds to local specificities and ascertains that spending of finances to social services is
effective. (http://www.mpsv.cz/files/clanky/2009/com_plan.pdf)

5) Community education

The community education model of community work has been described as “a significant
attempt to redirect educational policy and practice in ways which bring education and
community into a closer and more equal relationship”. (Popple, 1995 : 63)

Community education has a long tradition in the United Kingdom which, according to Martin
(1987), has evolved from three main strands.

The first is the school-based village and community college movement initiated by Henry
Morris in Cambridgeshire during the late 1920s (Morris, 1925)

The second strand of community education were the experiments developing from the
Educatonal Priority Area projects (1969 – 72) which attempted to provide “compensatory
education” in selected disadvantaged inner-city areas. (Midwinter, 1972; 1975).

The third strand was on the working-class adult education work undertaken by a number of
the Community Development Projects in the late 1960s and the early 1970s (Lovett, 1975)

The conflict or radical model shares with community development an emphasis on innovative,
infromal, political education, and has been greatly influenced by the Brazilian adult educator,
Paulo Freire, whose work has served as a significant challenge to school-based education.
Accordint to Freire, before people can engage in action for change they have first to reflect

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upon their present situation. Freire believes that educators have to work on the wide range of
experiences brought by oppressed people.

The educational process entails providing opportunities for people to validate their
experiences, culture, dreams, values and histories, while recognizing that such expressions
carry both the seeds of radical change and the burden of oppression. (Popple, 1995: 62 -64)

Hartl (1997) include in community educaton programmes, whose aim is to acquire change in
certain sturcture of interpersonal relationships by education of members from community.
Education has to offer skills and knowledges to community, that help to cope problems of
people from communty. Community education work for (strive for) a change of attitudes of
community members. Formal, non-formal, informal education are instuments of community
education.

Matousek (2003) states, that important institution of community education is a school, which
can involve parents and children into education. Schools became a centres of local community
and offer possibilities common meeting of wide range of people. Activities that are offered in
schools can lead professionals as well as volunteers from community. Some schools in Czech
Republic are focusing (profile) as community schools, most of them specialize in education
programs for gypsy minority.

An example from practice

In Czech Republic NGO Nova skola (“New school”) (www.novaskola.org) offers some
education programmes as seminars, workshops, conferences with issues (transformation of
schools into community schools, assistant programs for community coordinators,
development new tools that support multicultural education in schools etc.

Not only in schools can be provided different education programmes: also community centres
in localities are very often used as a platform for meetings and organising of education
activities.

E.g. City Ostrava in 2003 – 2004 realised special educational programme in cooperation
with Dutch partners and local NGOs named as: “Project of integration minorities in Czech
Republic”. The 1st objective of this project was to reinforce a support local-goverments in

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solutions of questions of minorities. The 2nd aim of the project was to involve parents of
children into eduction, support their motivation and competencies in leading their children.

Project was focused on education of gypsy mothers how to prepare their children on
succesfull entrance to basic schools. These mothers were educated direct in localities, they
had regular meetings (once a week) with teachers (who were also educated for purpose of
this project – culture, traditions, norms, values of gypsy minority etc.) and worked with
special materials together with children. After one year of the realisation of this project – the
most active mothers were chosen as a “mothers from neighbourhood” and they helped to new
involving mothers. (success is that one “mother from neighbourhood” got a job as a gypsy
teacher assistant in basic school and each pre-school age child who finished this project
started school career in a basic school).

6) Community action

Community action model of community work was both a reaction to the more paternalistic
forms of community work and a response by relatively powerless groups to increase their
effectiveness. The community action model of community work has traditionally been class-
based and uses conflict and direct action, usually at a local level, in order to negotiate with
power holders over what is often a single issue. Since the 1960s examples of community
action have been varied and include the squatting movement, the welfare rights movement
and different forms of resistance against planning and redevelopment.

The role of the community worker in the community action model is an interesting one and
highlights the tension within the state towards community work. However, community action,
by its very nature, is often engaged in conflict with the employers of community workers, the
local authorities. It is for this reason that community action is usually seen as an area of
practice undertaken by campaigners and activists who are not employed, directly or indirectly,
by the state.

Thomas (1983) argues that one cannot conflate the role of community worker with that of
community activist. They are, in his view, different. (Popple, 1995 : 66)

An example from practice

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I can also introduce as an example of this model community action - petition of inhabitants in
Hrušov – after catastrophical floods in 1997. NGOs “Life Together” has helped to
inhabitants solve unhygienical living conditions in a houses and neighbourhood..

District Slezska Ostrava (local and political authority) for a long time didn’t solve this
problem., although in 1997 decide to exclude locality for the purposes of housig. However in
2000 at least seventy families were lived there. All or neearly all of them were Roma. Kumar
Vishwanathan a local community worker characterized a situation here: “The sewage system
doesn’t work in the area, so there is a bad smell in the area and sewage floods cellars and
ground-floor corridors. During the summer months, because of the raising water, there are a
lot of mosquitos and other insect.”

Accordint to Ms. Iveta Zigova, Ms. Renata Gaziova and Ms. Jana Tiserova, Romani women
living in Lower Hrusov, Roma moved after floods in 1997 back to Lower Hrusov, while non-
roma were preferentially offered flats outside Lower Hrusov.

First of all representatives with community worker tried to negotiate with local authority
(municipality office), but without success. This fact conducted them to organise
demonstration before municipality office (also were invited representatives of municipality, of
media (press, radio, television). Althouhg this action woke-up discussion, nothing has
changed. After this attempt community decided to prepare (write) appeal to public defender
of the rights – who inspected this case and prescribed to Slezska Ostrava urgently solve this
situation (inhabitants from one house – which was in the worsest state - received new flats
during 2 days.

7) Feminists community work

While there is no agreed single theoretical feminist position, there is a consensus that the
central aim of “feminist community work practice” is the improvement of women’s welfare
by collectively chalenging the social determinants of women’s inequality.

Although much of the practice is focused at the personal, local or neighbourhood level, it is
linked practically and theoretically with wider feminist concerns. For example women have
been active in many localities in providing accomodation, usually in the form of emergency
housing.

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Feminist community work practice emphasizes the objective of working with women’s own
personal experiences in group. This is area, that helps redefine social problems and challenges
the individualising, and pathologising approaches to women’s issues marking the practice of
traditional community workers and social workers. (Dominelli, 1990: 43)

Feminist community workers have engaged in a variety of creative attempts to develop non-
hierarchical structures and more participatory ways of working.

An example from practice

Here I would like name pilot project against usury (which started in 2002) (NGO „Life
Together”), and now continue as a project of “Police assistance”. Issue of usury relates with
problem of poverty of gypsy community. Majority of gypsies is without a job, this is the reason
why mostly is dependent upon social benefits. Due to long-term unemployment are not able
generate incomes (save money for unforeseen circumstances). When these situations come,
common procedure is to take a loan. Due to unemployment is impossible to gain a loan in a
bank. This is the reason why most of them take a loans by private companies (Financial
Providend, Pronto etc.) or persons (interests are here very high – from 30% - 100%).

The most frequent victims of the usury are gypsy women, because they fulfil active role in
community in a care of children, family. One aim of this project is to stimulate gypsy
community and its support. Police assistants provide social services to victims of usury, help
intermediate communication and cooperation between victims and police.

8) Black and anti-racist community work

Historically there is evidence that the black community work has not passively accepted
racism and racist policy and practice. Since their arrival in Britain, black people have been
active in their communities, supporting each other and organizing to resist discrimination and
defend their rights. (Hiro, 1992; Solomos, 1989).

The focus of discrimination has varied, although frequently it has appeared as if black people
have been and continue to be besieged in a number of areas including education, housing,
immigration, health, employment, and police relations.

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The establishment of community projects by the black population is often a response to
exclusion form white-determinated provision as well as providing opportunities to develop
and strenghten cultural, social and political ties.

An example from practice

ERRC (European Roma Rights Centre) has undertaken field research in five countries
(Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia), documenting empirical facts
about separate education of Roma as well as practices by educational authorities which aim at
or result in the segregation of Roma in schools. On the basis of existing data and information
provided by educational authorities, Romani parents and children, as well as other individuals
with relevant expertise, the ERRC report describes the most common practices of
segregating Romani children in education based on their ethnicity.

These include segregation in so-called "special schools" for children with developmental
disabilities, segregation in Romani ghetto schools, segregation in all-Romani classes, denial
of enrolment of Romani children to mainstream schools, as well as other phenomena.
Whatever the particular form of separate schooling, the quality of education provided to
Roma is invariably inferior to the mainstream educational standards in each country.
The report concludes with the ERRC recommendations for governmental policy. The
complexity of the issue of segregated schooling of Roma calls for a thorough-going legal
and educational policy reform.

The desegregation of Romani education and the prevention of further segregation should be
the core of governmental educational policies towards the achievement of equal educational
opportunities. The outcome of the desegregation action should be:

- phasing out of the remedial special schools for children with developmental
disabilities and integration of the students from these schools into mainstream schools;
- mandatory first year enrolment in mainstream classes no more first year students in
remedial special or other separate and substandard classes and/or schools;
- enrolment in mainstream secondary education of graduates from primary special
schools and ensuring their successful adaptation;
- elimination of all-Romani schools, pre-school facilities and classes;

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- achievement of racial/ethnic balance in the composition of the student bodies in the
schools and classes in each municipality comparable to the demographic
characteristics of the respective municipality.

Few roma parents brought a suit against Czech educational system to court for humarn rights
(Strassburg) because their children were sent to “special schools” by reason their etnicity.

Mgr. Anna Krausova

Department of Social Work


Medico-Social Faculty
University of Ostrava

In Ostrava, 2006

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