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What is included in community development?

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I see a lot of options for a social work major in working with community development, but I am still unclear on what exactly that entails. #college #career #social-work #work #community-development

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Carole’s Answer

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Community Development work can be generic or specialized. Generic work takes place in a particular geographical area focusing on working with the community to identify their need and issues, and formulating strategies to address those issues. Specialized community work focuses on either specific groups within a region; homeless, unemployed, families with young children and other concerns such as:mental health, public transportation and tackling drug abuse. Although this area of work is open to all graduates a degree in social sciences may improve your chances. Some of the skills you will need to have on your resume for this kind of job are: networking skills, listening skills; a non - judgmental and positive attitude; creative thinking and problem solving ability, political; social and negotiating skills; an understanding of how public sector works; fundraising; and compassion and empathy for people's life experiences.

The most common employers for Community Developer work are: Community education, housing associations, local authorities, City and County offices, social services and voluntary sector organizations including : children charities, churches, community associations, environmental groups, health and mental health organizations, homeless projects, shelters, and women's groups.If you like to work with all kinds of people this might just be a great career for you. I will suggest a couple of things to do to make this decision.

Carole recommends the following next steps:

  • Go to a Career Center at your college or private one take some assessments on What career is best for you and whether or personality will go with this career and will you like it. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU LIKE WHAT YOU DO).
  • Try and get an internship or a volunteer job within an organization that requires Community Development skills.
  • Make sure you have a resume that shows the interviewer that you have the skills that they require for the job.
  • Check out the library book titled "Do What You Want" by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron. It will help with your decision making process! Good Luck with your future endeavors!!
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Eva’s Answer

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Hello Deana,


Community development can mean a lot of different things. One career path is being a community organizer, leading groups typically made up of people from under-resourced neighborhoods in advocating for their needs. Community organizers help to bring power to people who have not been represented by their elected officials.


Here is some background on community organizing:

http://archive.advocate.nyc.gov/organizing-toolkit/part-b/1


This is an example of a non-profit organization that supports community organizers who are working on local issues:

http://www.oaklandcommunity.org/

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