Social Planning, Community Development, and Social/Community Action

Social Planning, Community Development, and Social/Community Action

A Community can be defined as a group of people who don’t just live in the same area, but also share the same interests, experiences and often concerns about the area in which they live. Often when individuals have lived on a street or in an area for a while they become familiar with each other and the issues surrounding them. Children often attend the same schools and grow up together, again sharing similar experiences. In some instances adults may work together, and quite commonly all community members will share the same doctors, dentists, hospitals, health visitors and other public services and facilities.

Frequently however, issues arise amongst a community that need attention. In this essay I will outline and discuss some of these issues and the interventions, projects or programmes designed and used to tackle and combat them. The three models of intervention or, ‘Community Development’, I will discuss in this essay, "Social Planning", "Community Development", and "Social/Community Action", all have the same aim regardless of how it is accomplished and this is to improve and maintain the conditions which affect the lives of the community.

‘Social Planning’, is a model of development which can be described as, ‘Doing For’, the community. If it is perceived by government bodies that a community has sunk so low that is unable to be resolved by using alternative methods, (some of which will be discussed later in this essay), the government will intervene with methods deemed necessary.

Initially a profile of a community will be drawn up using research methods, surveys and statistics that will highlight the issues faced by the community. Then a plan...

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...ith rather than weakening it by doing for. Community development creates independence and an ability for a community to stand up and control, to an extent the factors that affect the lives, exactly what the intentions were in the first place.

Social/Community Action while this appears affective in some instances it can become out of control and altogether unproductive. It is probably the most empowering model yet at the same time the most confusing if the aims, objectives and facts are unclear.

Through the study of each of these models it is apparent that the best form of community development embraces all three Social Planning, Community development and Social/Community Action, and quite often community workers and practitioners do. Taking a piece from each model and using it at the appropriate time will be much more beneficial than using one single model.
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