By Alan Twelvetrees (auth.)
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Additional info for Community Work
From this point a worker is primarily trying to see how far other people are interested in that issue, although she may not have reached this stage unless she has already found several people who are in agreement about the general area of need. The next step is to bring them together. Often two or three keen people will meet to discuss the idea further. This may well happen without her suggesting it, and if so that is a good sign. They also need to understand it is their project. If possible the worker does not want to become seen as their leader.
But it can also be bad practice, because if a worker is under external and internal pressure to get something done, she may be desperate to find an embryonic community group of any kind. She quickly becomes involved only to find later that the two residents who seemed keen to set up a group are fervently disliked by the rest of the community, or that she is spending all her working hours helping one group stay together while there are potentially more fruitful avenues to explore for which she no longer has the time.
If, for example, the contact says there used to be a playgroup run by Mrs X but since it closed the equipment seems to have got lost, the worker could offer to visit Mrs X to try to discover the whereabouts of the equipment. Actions like this are often more important in conveying what the worker is there for than mere words. At the same time she has to take care that she does not spring too quickly into action, thus neglecting her strategic planning tasks and giving the impression that she is there to do things for people rather than to help them do things themselves.
Community Work by Alan Twelvetrees (auth.)