During the workshop and throughout the module, I have been able to deduce several aspects regarding community resource and asset management. The term community asset is used to refer to anything that can be used to improve the quality of community life (RobertsDegennaro, 2010). The assets may be an individual, a physical structure or place, a community service, a business that employs local community among others. The importance of identifying the community assets includes
Can be used as the basis for community development
External resources may not be available, as a result, the locally available resources should be exploited
Identifying and controlling community assets enables residents to manage their lives and environment
An individual cannot fully understand the community without analyzing its assets
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), is defined as a systematic methodology that aims at promoting a sustainable socio-economic development of a community based on the resources, the potential, and strengths that a given community possess (RobertsDegennaro, 2010). Community asset and resource management entail assessing the available resources, the experience, and the literacy level of the society members. Such strategies use community-owned and managed resources as the basis for social development; it empowers the society members to take pride and utilize the resources that the community already possesses. Unlike Needs-Based Community Development (NBCD) strategy that majorly depicts the deficits and seeks external agencies for resources, Asset-based community development focuses on refining and leveraging the prevailing strengths in the society. Community assets and resources management is allied to principles of empowerment, it stipulates that the solutions to community problems can be found through shrewd utilization of the community resources (RobertsDegennaro, 2010). The are several principles that guide the ABCD; these tenets include;
Every community member is uniquely gifted; therefore every individual has something to contribute to the society.
Sustainable community development is enhanced by the establishment of communal relationships. People should be united to promote public development.
Citizens are active participants; they should be viewed as actors and not recipients in community development strategies
Leaders work in a team. The effects of community development has far-reaching impact when all stakeholders are engaged
Public opinion. Leaders should listen and address the concerns of the community
Local community inhabitants should be given control of the communal activities.
The ABCD approach employs several tools in assessing and mobilizing the community. Majorly, the methods used include capacity inventory, asset mapping, and time banks.
It involves assessing the qualification and abilities of an individual member of the community. During the assessment, the following set of factors is considered;
Skills information. Records the skills that a person has acquired at home, work, or by serving with established communal and social institutions. This includes skills such as hairdressing, babysitting, sewing etc.
Community skills. Entails a list of community and charity works that an individual has engaged in or the future communal activities in which they would wish to participate.
Enterprise experience and interests. It entails a deduction of the experience in a specialized field.
Personal Information. It lists the contact and other essential information for follow up on the individual community member.
According to RobertsDegennaro (2010), there are five primary resources in any given community, that is, associations, individuals, physical connections, physical assets, institutions and connections. Contrary to need maps that solely focus on negative aspects of the communities, asset maps majorly highlights the community assets, skills, strengths, and abilities to build a sustainable future. A breakdown of the asset map can be depicted in the figure below
Figure 1: A sample Asset map
TimebanksTimebanks primarily connects individuals assets to one another. In this symbiotic relationship, neighbors and local organizations share skills with each other thus they earn or spend timebank hours in the process.
Regardless of its numerous advantages, the ABCD has been met with widespread criticism from contemporary scholars. Remarkably the methodology has been disparaged for implying that disadvantaged communities have all that they need to solve their problems (RobertsDegennaro, 2010). It is imperative to note that ABCD approach recognizes that there may be systemic or historical injustices that may force the community to seek external assistance. However, the strategy upholds that the foreign sourcing is more effective when community assets are leveraged at a full capacity. The methodology aims at building the capacity within the society by expanding the social capital and citizens participation.
Intervention Strategy to Curb Drug Abuse in the Society
To curb the menace of drug and substance abuse in my community, I propose interventions using community-based programs and institutions. In this intervention strategy, village leaders, teachers, women and youth leaders should be actively recruited in the campaign against drug and substance abuse. The most outstanding strengths and assets present in my community includes,
There are high number of government-licensed medical practitioners who are willing to participate in the campaign for eradication of drug and substance abuse
There exist a well-established and coordinated police system that is willing to arrest and prosecute drug dealers
The local government has established numerous clinic and health institutions that can successfully handle, counsel and rehabilitate the drug addicts.
Several community-owned social movements and institutions are willing to offer guidance and counselling to the affected Individuals
There has been development of community-sponsored sports competition, thus nurturing talents and discouraging idleness among the youths
The local media has offered to advertise the effects of drug and substance abuse for free to the local community
There has been imposition of strict rules and regulations to business selling alcohol and other drugs to prevent consumption of such substances by underage youths
To complement the existing strategies of curbing drug abuse, I encourage the utilization of anti-drug abuse prevention education. School-based education and seminars have a long history of being among the most effective method of reducing or discouraging drug and substance abuse among youths. Undisputable empirical evidence postulates that life skills training tends to increase the cognitive-behavioral skills, decrease the desire to use drugs, and shrink the vulnerability to social influences that encourage drug and substance abuse. Remarkably, if the availability of harmful drugs can be reduced and the youths behavioral-cognitive skills boosted, then the likelihood of drug abuse among teenagers will decrease. This method should entail, teachers, law enforcement agencies, community health practitioners, parents and the general community since drug abuse is more of a social than a personal problem.
RobertsDegennaro, M. (2010). Using an evidencebased program planning model in a macro practice course. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 30(1), 46-63. Doi: 10.1080/08841230903479524
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