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MEDN60072 Working With Communities

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MEDN60072 Working With Communities Question: Critically reflect upon the profile that you have selected and lay out the essential elements you would propose need to be included so that it is transformed from a “deficits” based profile to an “assets rich” description of the community.   With reference to the community profile you selected, outline a simple plan for an asset based approach to working with the communities to improve their health and justify how your approach will increase the communities’ resilience, build social capital and build on/strengthen its existing community assets   Provide a critical assessment of the key enabling factors and barriers that might affect your proposal/s Have a critical understanding of the rationale underpinning working with communities, its contradictions, and the theoretical approaches to community involvement and community development Apply the learning by developing ways of involving people in the planning, process and evaluation of community based projects Explain and critically discuss asset based ways of working and the concept of coproduction of health Answer: Reading the health profile of East Oldham District gives a clear indication of the approach used in describing it. It is evident that the council affirms the township as being a deprived and deficient community where most of the discussions focus on the negative and what the community needs as opposed to what the community has. An asset-based community driven development description recognizes that people should concentrate their efforts on what tangible positive aspects the community has to offer (Aigner, Raymond, and Smidt, 2002, p.88). The purpose of this approach is relatively simple: Describe people in a negative way, they will feel less important and lacking in what to offer t make society better. However, if you focus on the assets and strengths of the community, you make the members appreciate each and build connections that will uplift them and contribute to building better, healthier and safer communities (Green, and Goetting, 2010). ABCD focuses on the assets of a community and its strengths as opposed to the needs and problems. It seeks to identify and mobilize the assets possessed by the individuals and the community together with their skills and passions (Green, and Haines, 2015). This approach is community driven and is a bottom-up as opposed to the top-down as it builds communities from the inside out (McKnight, and Kretzmann, 1993). Finally, it relies on building relationships. The description of the East Oldham District could be bettered using the ABCD approach. In this case, instead of concentrating on the unemployment, the high levels of drug abuse like tobacco, an exhibition of violent behaviors, and families being exhibited as being dysfunctional, the focus should go on the individual skills and communal strengths (Matarrita-Cascante, and Brennan, 2012, p. 205). For instance, they could focus on the successful stories of people that have come out of the community to be successful and contribute to the nation. Indeed, there are various groups like musicians, artists, academicians and all sorts of professionals that have come out of the district. Instead of just mentioning of the diversity of the population, they should bring a positive element of a diverse community with different cultural and social perspectives and how those can be harnessed for the betterment of society (Montoya, and Kent, 2011, p. 1004). Besides, the description just states that the majority of the population is young with 26.4% of the entire population aged below 16 years. This should be treated as an asset to create a stronger community. Emphasis should be given to the fact that there are lower obesity rates, high uptake of flu vaccine and lower winter deaths in the community and what that means to the community. Another important inclusion should have been the identification of voluntary community networks and what they offer as well as the connections between the governmental agencies, NGOs, businesses and the community. The focus should be more on the small and local institutions. The economy should have been looked in a broader way to include the informal and formal economy and appreciation of the cultures, heritage, and stories from the community (Foster-Fishman, et al., 2006, p. 214). Proposal For An Asset Based Community Development Programme In East Oldham District Of Oldham Borough The East Oldham Voluntary team seeks to make an investment in the ABCD initiative in East Oldham District to help it comprehend how the approach can help the communities in the district to improve their health and remain resilient and independent.  The aim of this program is to test this innovative approach that engages communities to enable them to become active, unified and resilient. Through this approach, we envision to:    Identify vulnerable and isolated people and engage them    Establish the people’s assets    Unify the people    Give the people the capacity to develop services    Enable connections between people and services within the neighborhoods Using these increased connections in the community, the residents will have been supported, which we believe will lead to reduced demand or delay of the social care and health interventions provided by the traditional statutory agencies. The outcomes shall be determined by use of the measurement tools like the well-being assessment tool, statistical information, and case studies (Goldman, and Schmalz, 2005, p.126). We intend that the East Oldham Voluntary team will support the efforts of the Oldham Council plans that include coordinating the communities to address the issues of health and lifestyle changes, addressing low income and poverty, and community safety and cohesion programs to improve the perceptions of crime. Using the experience that we have gained before, we shall: Build mapping tools that resonate with the local community Build tools that will allow the citizens to support execution of the initiatives Engage with a minimum of 250 people with diverse social and health care needs from at least three communities in the district Organize for community events to enable community engagement and establish connections Engage with the various local organizations and governmental agencies and adopt this approach as part of the method of working for the communities Involve the community to develop an evaluation report which includes a plan for sustainability, tools for the project and its template to allow for duplication in other locations if necessary In overall, the desired outcomes of the programme will be to: Increase the participation of the community in health and social care matters Enhance the participation of the people in the community activities  Improve the coordination of various organizations and stakeholders working in the area to positively impact the delivery of service to the local people (Phillips, and Pittman, 2014). Asset mapping the communities to unmask the individual, group and community assets (Dorfman, 1998). Link the various assets to improve the capacity of the communities Reduce the delay and demand for the local statutory services Build sustainable service delivery models. This being a pilot project, we anticipate that we shall succeed in affirming that ABCD does indeed support the efforts of the Oldham Council of improved health and well-being for the vulnerable and the deprived communities. Once this is possible, we can then request that it be replicated across the entire District and the borough at large. This programme shall further provide us with the necessary learning to enable us to identify and commission projects that meet the intentions of the group and that of the communities. Financial Implications The project will require financing in form of a one-time grant of 40,000 sterling pounds to help it run for a period of one year beginning 1 July 2017 and 3o June 2018. The grant shall cover the costs of the staff and all resources needed to design and develop the ABCD project. We shall apply for grant funding from the Council of Oldham. Enabling Factors And Barriers To The Proposal Besides the fact that the team seeking to implement this proposal is a team that has been working with communities at the local level through voluntary activities, the relationships that we have created is a critical factor that will enable our project. The ability to balance the issues that affect the community and the relationships is fundamental in running any ABCD project. We have established that we shall form relationship-based organizing as opposed to issue based will enable us to sustain the corporation and engagement with the community. This is because issue based organizing only focuses on the issue and once it is solved, the group and the relationship disintegrate (Israel, et al., 2003, p. 58). We have established that intimate interactions encourage participation and subsequent expression of assets inherent in the individuals.   The levels of involvement that team members have and the participants have to the community directly influences the interpersonal relationships they build as well as the ability to create a sense of belonging to the community which protects them from the feelings of isolation. That notwithstanding, we shall have to keep some focus on the issues as well. As Traynor (2002) suggest, community-based development projects that happen without an agenda will leave the group fragmented because the efforts will be episodic and disjointed. We shall use Treynor’s proposed change agenda to help us focus on the critical issues while creating relationships with the communities. We shall use a neutral community coordinator from the council to help us maintain the focus on both creating resilient communities by focusing on the issues that we have set out to achieve. However, the community issues can also be barriers to the effective creation of relationships between communities. Peterson and Lupton (1996) provide a critical analysis of the levels of participation in community development by arguing that underprivileged communities are more likely to be faced with constraining factors that will limit their participation. They say that such factors as family responsibilities, income levels, training and dispositions and the presence of prejudices may limit access and thereby involvement in the engagements. Wakefield and Poland (2004, p.2825) tend to agree with this assessment when they argue that even when the people are given the opportunities to participate, it is only persons with particular habits, self-perceived competency and disposition would comfortable to attend. Another barrier that would be expected is the divide that exists among the residents. The divisions occur in such aspects as the type of housing, levels of income among other things which could be a barrier to building relationships. For successful engagement and building of relationships, there is a need to break both the physical and perceived barriers (Rans and Green, 2005). The residents also experience substantial stigmatization ranging from negative stereotyping of all residents from the external communities. Some studies have indicated that people who live in low-income streets and communities usually get negative reactions when they tell people where they come from (Lloyd-Jones and Rakodi, 2014). Because of the messages that this place communicates regarding the values and characters, social norms and conduct, some markers are laid down that will continuously remind the residents of who they are (Nowel et al., 2006, p. 29). Some other factors like age, gender, religion, type of employment, immigration status, country of origin, sexuality ability are also likely to be a barrier to the implementation of the proposal in East Oldham District. References Aigner, S., Raymond, V. and Smidt, L., 2002. “Whole community organizing” for the 21st century. Community Development, 33(1), pp.86-106. Dorfman, D., 1998. Mapping community assets workbook. Foster-Fishman, P.G., Fitzgerald, K., Brandell, C., Nowell, B., Chavis, D. and Van Egeren, L.A., 2006. Mobilizing residents for action: The role of small wins and strategic supports. American journal of community psychology, 38(3-4), pp.213-220. Goldman, K.D. and Schmalz, K.J., 2005. “Accentuate the Positive!” Using an Asset-Mapping Tool as Part of a Community-Health Needs Assessment. Health promotion practice, 6(2), pp.125-128. Green, G.P. and Goetting, A., 2010. Mobilizing communities: Asset building as a community development strategy. Temple University Press. Green, G.P. and Haines, A., 2015. Asset building & community development. Sage publications. Israel, B.A., Schulz, A.J., Parker, E.A., Becker, A.B., Allen, A.J. and Guzman, J.R., 2003. Critical issues in developing and following community based participatory research principles. Community-based participatory research for health, 1, pp.53-76. Lloyd-Jones, T. and Rakodi, C., 2014. Urban livelihoods: A people-centred approach to reducing poverty. Routledge. Matarrita-Cascante, D. and Brennan, M.A., 2012. Conceptualizing community development in the twenty-first century. Community Development, 43(3), pp.293-305. McKnight, J. and Kretzmann, J., 1993. Building communities from the inside out. A path toward finding and mobilizing a community’s assets. Montoya, M.J. and Kent, E.E., 2011. Dialogical action: Moving from community-based to community-driven participatory research. Qualitative Health Research, 21(7), pp.1000-1011. Petersen, A. and Lupton, D., 1996. The new public health: Health and self in the age of risk. Sage Publications, Inc. Phillips, R. and Pittman, R., 2014. An introduction to community development. Routledge. Rans, S.A., 2005. Hidden Treasures: Building Community Connections by Engaging the Gifts of People on welfare, People with disabilities, People with mental illness, Older adults and Young people. Traynor, B., 2002. Reflections on community organizing and resident engagement in the Rebuilding Communities Initiative. Wakefield, S.E. and Poland, B., 2005. Family, friend or foe? Critical reflections on the relevance and role of social capital in health promotion and community development. Social Science & Medicine, 60(12), pp.2819-2832.

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