Community Engagement Assignment Discussing Theoretical & Practical Aspects
The purpose of this community engagement assignment is to develop an understanding of community engagement, the types of community engagement, the skills required and how to develop personal and professional abilities from community engagement that support employability.
This assessment has a focus to building understanding of the pillars of community engagement
- Building connections:
- Acting with humility,
- Developing understanding,
- Affirming dignity,
- Pursuing Justice
And how each of these pillars is achieved with community engagement and how you achieve each of these and build personal and professional skills. In this assessment you are required to consider theoretical and practical aspects of community engagement and the interactions with both ACU community engagement and ACU careers. You report will draw on materials on LEO, further research and the support materials offered for this unit.
You need to consider the following issues: the common good, types of community engagement, skills required to engage with the community and at-risk clients, ethical implications of community engagement and how community engagement will assist with your employability.
In this community engagement assignment, the main purpose lies in developing an understanding of community engagement specifically. The theory of Community Engagement has been discussed in detail by referring it with the pillars of it. The pillar of Community Engagement, which has been discussed elaborately, includes building connections, developing a level of understanding, acting with humility, affirming the dignity, alongside pursuing justice respectively. Along with it, the personal and professional abilities acquired from Community Engagement have also been described at large. This section would give an idea about how such skills are developed while performing activities in a community respectively. In the process, the pillars are described in such a way that would help in giving an idea of how these have been achieved and guides in building conjectural and real-world facets of community engagement.
Additionally, along with the kinds of Community Engagement various kinds of methods namely advocacy, direct community engagement, community-based research, and project-based community engagement has been analysed effectively in this discussion on community engagement assignment. Moreover, the skills and challenges faced by the community workforces have been explained within the process. The skills give us a glimpse on what kinds of competencies are required in shaping a community. In contrast to it are the challenges, which depict a range of difficulties posed by the members of community while maintaining the flow of it. The skills, which have been discussed over herein this report relating to community engagement, includes researching and writing reports, analysing the environment at work etc. One of the challenges, which are covered in this section, includes the volunteers the volunteers losing the pace with which they initially started with. The prime reason for this lies in for not having appropriate motivation.
Community Engagement Theory
According to the research on community engagement assignment, community engagement is a process that make sure the associates of a community get access to esteemed societal settings and events, thereby enabling them to make a purposeful contribution towards the community (Boiral et al.,2019). It is through which the functional capabilities are being established enabling them to fully participate in the community programs. In accordance to ACU, Community engagement refers to the activities which help affirming human dignity by making approachable and reciprocal collaborations with certain communities who specially goes through a combination of economic and environmental burdens.
The Community Engagement at ACU is guided through five principles. The principles were being established by coordinating with the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy and are simultaneously constructed upon the Principles of the Catholic School of Thought and The Catholic Intellectual Tradition respectively.
The Community Engagement at ACU effectively identifies the deep-rooted, equal moral worth, and fundamental rights of people who are represented in the form and likeliness of a deity. Appreciating the poise of community workers implies ensuring the fortification of fundamental human rights. It is through which the establishment of human capacities are being developed, thereby instilling a sense of meaning, purpose, and self-worth among the people. Having such a sense of commitment to dignity generates a fundamental orientation in supporting the ones who belong to the marginalized section of society. However, it could be asserted that supporting the poise of people in a holistic way might give rise to a essence of humility as well as collaborating power for the communal good. (Boiral et al.,2019)
The Community Engagement of ACU works in favour of providing social justice. It is through building a level of understanding, the community engagement works cooperatively with the ones who mostly need them and tries to help several people for a good cause in the defined society. Further, it means that they work in providing equal opportunities for all, as they believe in a perspective of equality. The common good could not be attained by the community engagement if, the disadvantaged or vulnerable groups are ignored largely. The ACU community engagement works in a specific manner, thereby maintaining a fundamental orientation towards their approach in prioritizing the needs of the ones who are experiencing the vulnerable aspects of society (David-Chavez & Gavin, 2018).
The Community Engagement at ACU helps in establishing authentic connections with the organizations of a community. Staying in-relationship has enabled the ACU in building a level of understanding and realizing the importance of dignity, thereby flourishing in the process as human beings (Yudarwati, 2019). However, in the process to accumulate positivity and institutional growth the community engages in building a respectful relationship and mutually beneficial partnership respectively.
Developing a level of understanding
The community engagement of ACU solely strives in understanding the people they specially work with. An empathic understanding is a kind of ability, aligning the intellectual needs. Empathy is considered one of a pivotal aspect in building healthy relationships and positive interaction with clients (Hindmarsh & Alidoust, 2019).
Acting with humility
It is stated herein community engagement assignment that the community engagement at ACU generally develops by building its level of capacity and a degree of sustainability within the community via the virtue of modesty. Modesty is a sense of feeling that allows people to behave with people with respect and equality. This kind of approach helps to work cooperatively 'for' a community, instead of 'on’ a community. Moreover, humility helps in minimizing the power gaps, which is deep-rooted in some aspects of community work. Humility is an essential precondition for developing a level of understanding and respect for uplifting the dignity of people. It helps in bringing the people closer to heart, by building relationships effectively. Humility is considered as one of the most powerful and pivotal features in enhancing the growth. Similarly, it helps in building trust, thereby strengthening the institution of learning, which is very much required in leadership, and bringing personal development (David-Chavez & Gavin, 2018). However, it is by combining humility with motivation, which guides an individual in developing an ability to overcome a set of hindrances without giving scope to failure.
What are the types of Community Engagement and approaches discussed in the community engagement assignment?
Student Community Engagement
Studying at ACU provides the prospect to take part in a community engagement action as an integral part of their course. The Student Community Engagement plays a crucial part in implementing changes in the undergraduate courses. This helps in connecting the class with that of community action for experiencing a valuable set of service in the performance to the common good. (David-Chavez & Gavin, 2018)
One of the greatest aims of ACU is to develop the graduate students in such a way so that they can collectively work and are committed to their service in pursuing the shared good.
Staff Community Engagement
Being a staff member at the ACU might share his expertise, knowledge, and skills for the Community Engagement Time Release. It is through which a group of staff members can take part in performing a set of activities for community engagement, thereby making a valuable contribution to the community at large.
One of the important community engagements at ACU is overvaluing the same as a means of approaching a level of advancement while serving the common good for the people. It is through which the dignity and well-being of people living in communities are enhanced effectively (De Weger et al., 2018). This is important in the sphere of teaching, learning, and research, etc. As a part of such a mission, ACU has a sense of commitment in making sure that every student at ACU gets an adequate opportunity in making their contribution to their community, which seems to be meaningful to them, thereby aligning with the needs of a community.
Several projects work in collaborating with a group of people to solve a community-based issue.
Projects which mainly strive to bring several people together in building a level of understanding across differences.
Students at ACU tend to support one of the partner organizations of ACU, thereby making collaboration with an ongoing campaign in addressing a social issue respectively.
Forms of Advocacy in Community Engagement involve generating education to the public or government official for an issue, making the voters busy in providing particulars to an issue respectively (Litchman et al., 2018).
Students generally conduct or contribute to a research project, which is commonly required by an organization of a community.
Direct Community Engagement
The students generally tend to communicate with the members of community by an existent program mainly offered by the ACU or any external partner organization in the process.
Project-based Community Engagement
Students generally in such an engagement work collectively on a scheme with a tangible conclusion for the community organization (Wu et al., 2018). For instance, establishing a website for the community organization and formulating a strategic plan effectively.
Overview of the skills, challenges of workers and volunteers engaged in community-engaged services
Skills of Community Workers/ Volunteers:
- Possessing skills for excellent communication, interpersonal, and building a team.
- Ability to listen carefully
- Researching and writing reports
- Having the ability to analyze the data and interpret it efficiently.
- Understanding the social issues and of the community as well.
- Creating a positive and non-judgemental environment at work
- Having an idea about how a public sector body works.
- Negotiating, Political and Social skills
- Having an ability to empathize with the experiences of people
- Fundraising knowledge, Community workers need to recognize and pursue sources of funding at the same time. (Wu et al., 2018)
What are the challenges of volunteers engaged in community-engaged service mentioned within this community engagement assignment?
1. Lack of Motivation: The volunteers in a community engagement often take up the challenge of running a community. However, gradually in the process, dedication often is lost and becomes the most difficult part of running the community successfully. It is often found that the volunteers of community engagement often lose the pace with which they initially started with (Litchman et al., 2018). This, in turn, creates a communication gap with the members of a community, thereby losing the track of attaining their goal respectively.
2. Lack of Communication between Community Members: Maintaining the interactional level between the community members holds the utmost importance (Di Napoli et al., 2019). This, in turn, would help in the growth and strengthening of community engagement at large. A group of distinct thinkers should be recognized for implementing a sort of difference. Sessions like brainstorming and ice breaking are equally important in resolving the problems of the communities in creating solutions for defined problems effectively.
3. Inconsistency: The members of a community become inconsistent with the content they are working on. To solve the problem, the volunteers should start working on creating useful content for the people living in society. An inconsistent approach towards creating content might make the people lose their share of interest in the community (Pell et al., 2019). More participation can take place only when the community gets to post their respective content on an online platform regularly. Active participation would help to increase the awareness of a community program as well.
4. Finding a set of people having similar interests and goals- In a community, one of the difficulties lies in finding relevant people thereby sharing similar interests aligning with that of a community.
5. Benefits to personal and professional self-development and employability :
- The personal abilities acquired from Community Engagement includes maintaining a self-discipline
- Spreading Positivity in the form of love, affection, kindness, compassion, as this would help in strengthening the relationship with community members.
- Possessing a sense of humility, as it would help to maintain the temperament even in unfavourable and difficult situations
- Being Honest and Consistent in one’s approach
- In the process of building communities, a leader develops to have a proper set of communication skills.
- Having an ability to promote the efforts of a group
- Building a healthy relationship with community members
- Mastering to speak at public forums
Conclusively, the entire report on community engagement assignment comprehensively covers the process of Community Engagement largely (Poncian, 2019). Along with the type of Community Engagement, various approaches have also been discussed involving community-based research; advocacy, direct community engagement as well as project-based community engagement have been discussed. It, in turn, gives an idea of how the students of ACU communicate in building a project. The masts of Community Engagement have been discussed extensively by giving a note on how each of these is achieved and guides in building theoretical and practical aspects of community involvement. The pillars required in Community Engagement involve establishing connections, developing a level of understanding, acting with humility, affirming poise, and trailing justice effectively. The masts are a set of principles maintained by ACU. The skills of a worker discussed here in, involves listening carefully, the ability to empathize with the experiences of people, etc. The challenges, which workers often face, are Inconsistency, Lack of Communication between Community Members, etc.
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