Examples/case scenarios for community development assessment framework

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The research team is aware that at present there is no specific standard for community development. However during the course of interviewing academics involved in the field education unit of study, it became apparent that ‘fitting’ community development work into the existing standards was presenting difficulties and a number of interview participants identified a need for  a specific community development standard. 

The community development standard in this framework has been developed by  selecting the most pertinent principles from the existing seven AASW standards.





Ife J (2004) Social Work and Human Rights: A Foundation for Policy and Practice, Australian Social Work, 57:2, 209-211.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0748.2004.00142.x

Ife .J (2010)  Human rights from below. Achieving rights through community development Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press.

Kenny S (2006) Developing communities for the future. South Melbourne, Vic: Thomson, 3rd ed.

Kenny, S. (2002). Tensions and dilemmas in community development: New discourses, new trojans? Community Development Journal, 37(4), 284-284.

Rawsthorne & Howard A (2011).Working with communities : critical perspectives Champaign, Ill. : Common Ground Pub.

Shields. K (1991) n the tiger's mouth: an empowerment guide for social action. Millennium Books, Newtown, N.S.W

Community Development Journal. Oxford University Press. OnlineJournals

New Community quarterly  http://www.newcq.org/


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  • Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/

  • Community builders: http://www.communitybuilders.nsw.gov.au/resources.html

  • Local councils websites have useful information such as ‘Community Profiles’ (demographic statistics) and ‘Community Directories’ (guides to local services, groups and organizations).

  • Attending interagency meetings, community and other groups as appropriate to the placement context.

  • Talking to workers and residents to draw on the knowledge of the community.

  • Walking or driving around the local area.

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The Bank of Ideas website has a range of useful resources including  ideas for facilitating community conversations, facilitating focus groups and enabling effective youth participation.


The Change  Agency. Working in Groups.


ladder of participation (get from Ally)

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Case scenario –Communication skills and working with existing power imbalances

case scenarios to come (Have asked Ally)

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Working in Groups

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Ally doing case scenario

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Case scenario developing different types of written communication skills

The student is undertaking their field education at a youth service and is involved in both counselling and community work.  One of their tasks is assisting with events for Youth Week which are being organised by a committee made up of members of the local youth interagency meeting. The student will be attending various community group meetings in relation to the events, is responsible for developing promotional material and has volunteered to take the minutes at the youth interagency meetings. This means the student has to develop skills in writing for different audiences, purposes and using different styles and formats.

a. Recording different types of meetings

The student needs to develop skills in recording meetings in different ways. This includes formal meetings, such as the interagency meetings, which have a prescribed recording format for taking minutes and less formal meetings, such as community group meetings, where the aim is generate ideas for the events.  

To develop these skills the student, with assistance from their field educator, first gathers examples of the records of different types of meetings. The student begins recording the various meetings they are involved in and as required seeks feedback feedback from the field educator. 

b. Developing skills in writing for different audiences

The student has to prepare written information about the youth week activities for a number of  different audiences and using varying formats. Examples include, information for the service website, the service newsletter, information about the event to appear on a youth focused website and a  media release for local papers.

As preparation for these writing tasks the student collects examples of these different types of writing and discusses them during supervision. Key issues discussed include, identifying the different target audiences, identifying the purpose of each document and discussing the similarities and differences in the content and style of each of the example documents. 

After the supervision meeting the student then prepares in dot point form a summary of the first document they need to write, discuss this with the supervisor and after receiving feedback prepares a draft document which is reviewed by the field educator.

c. Reporting the project /event

At the conclusion of the youth week events the student is involved in writing a number of reports.  These include a report to the organisation that provided funding for the event, a report for the organisation’s management committee and short articles for the agency newsletter and  the peak body for youth services.

The field educator provides the student with previous examples and in supervision they discuss the similarities and differences in purpose, style and content of these reports. The student prepares an outline for each document and after receiving feedback from the field educator completes drafts of each of the reports.

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Assessing student on getting to know the community and integration of this knowledge into practice.

The student is completing a case work focused placement in a service working with the issue of violence against women and children.  The service is located on the outskirts of a major city and the service covers a large geographical area that includes urban and semi-rural areas.  The student has learnt about the local communities in a variety of ways including driving around the area, locating relevant demographic information on local council websites and attending a variety of interagency and community groups on an ongoing basis.

As a result the student has been able to identify of a number of key issues that impact on women and children using the service. These include poor public service infrastructure,  limited private bus services , appreciation  of the distance between the service location and areas where some service users live, the high percentage of families with young children in the area including many sole parents  and a high percentage of people living on very low incomes, including Centre link payments. 

During supervision the field educator has asked the student to consider how these issues may impact on individual clients, in particular their access to services. They have also discussed the policies the agency has in place to address these issues and as well as the gaps.

The field educator has observed through case discussions that the student is effectively utilizing these policies in their case work. The policies include reciprocal arrangements with other services so that workers can offer appointments closer to home when the woman lives a long distance from the service and sensitivity to women’s financial situation, for example awareness that some women may not have money to get to appointments scheduled the day before Centre link payments are due.

They have also discussed  the fact that at present the service does not provide  child care and the impact of this for some women, including attending counseling appointments and going to court for AVO’s . The student has been able articulate a sound rationale using key social work principles for why childcare is required and has  identified strategies the agency is employing  to address this issue, including documenting each case where this is an issue and raising it at relevant interagency and community meetings.

In response to questions posed during supervision and case discussions with the team, the field educator has observed that the student is able to articulate the relationship between their individual practices, the agency policies and the social work goals of social justice, intervening in disadvantage and respect for people.

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Scenario 2

The student is undertaking a final year placement in a sexual assault service. As part of her placement she, along with her field educator have joined the local ‘Reclaim the Night’ committee, which organises the annual march against violence towards women and children. The student along with a social work student from another agency have taken on the task of  organising the entertainment and information and food stalls for after the march. In order to complete this tasks, the students first came up with a plan which included identifying the tasks to be completed, dividing up the tasks and devising a timeline to ensure they were completed on time. The tasks included

  • Contacting and liaising with entertainers

  • hiring equipment such as tables, a stage and a generator

  • Contacting services who may be interested in having a stall. 

  • Sourcing people to provide food on the night.

  • Contacting the local council to ascertain the safety and hygiene requirements for the food stalls.

  • Logistics on the day of the march included, delivery time for the hired equipment, allowing enough time to set up the area, advising  stallholders  what time they needed to arrive, ensuring the food stalls were set up in time for the council hygiene inspection  and advising the entertainers of when they were due to perform. 

Completing these tasks required the students to work together as a team and as members  of a larger team ( the committee). For example in devising the timeline the students needed to consult with other committee members such as the person responsible for publicity, as publicity material would not be circulated  until the entertainers were organised. The students also needed to liaise  with committee members who had contacts in the entertainment world or who had undertaken the tasks in previous years.

The field educator assessed the students competency in completing these tasks on the following evidence. As a result of discussing the tasks and timeline in supervision the field educator was satisfied the student in consultation with her student colleague had devised a realistic and achievable plan. As a consequence of observing the student during the committee meetings, and feedback from relevant committee members, the field educator was satisfied the student was able to work collaboratively with others and had taken up the suggestions and feedback offered by committee members. The stalls and entertainment were well organised and successful.

In addition in supervision the student was able to articulate the purpose of the march, the principles  underpinning it and the types of knowledge and skills she had developed and demonstrated as a consequence of her involvement. These included working collaboratively to achieve a goal, time management and organisational skills, knowledge of local services and networks.

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As a consequence of reading the interagency minutes, recordings of other meetings, commenting on drafts of the  promotional material and reports and reading  the final copy of each, the field educator is satisfied the student has demonstrated the ability to produce written documents appropriate to the audience, context and purpose.

On the basis of the discussions during the preparation of the documents and reports the field educator is satisfied the student understands and is able to articulate the relationship between target audience, context and purpose and the type of document or report produced.