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Locality Development Model

Frustrated Woman Asking Question At Group

Jack Rothman introduced three models of community organization: locality development, social planning, and social action. Today’s blog post will focus on locality development model.

Locality development (also called community development) is a process-oriented model that believes that the community should play a prominent role in order to effect change. In other words, it focuses on community building by engaging a wide range of individuals and groups from all areas of the community. The basis of this theory is that change efforts are most achievable when individuals join together in a shared effort to identify and address common concerns. Strategies such as community meetings and forums allow everyone to have a voice and to reach a consensus on the issues they want to address. These issues can range from creating job opportunities, improving the education system, repairing the roads, providing shelter for the homeless, and so on.

Locality development also focuses on “helping people help themselves.” Therefore, locality development encourages leadership from within the community and helps the community to become self-sufficient, able to identify resources and solve its own problems. An example of locality development is if gang members are causing problems within the community by defacing the walls with graffiti. The people living within the community would then come together to discuss a plan, which may include creating a space for them to express their artwork. The locality development model believes that to address or solve a problem, consensus, and collective action is required.

A social worker is asked to devise a strategy for promoting greater community involvement. The social worker begins by facilitating a series of community meetings and focus groups to foster a shared sense of common needs and concerns. This approach to community intervention is MOST closely identified with:

  1. Social planning
  2. Community development
  3. Social movement
  4. Activist

Solution: The answer is B. (A) Social Planning is task-oriented and emphasizes solving community problems. The key role is assessing and identify the community well-being and effectiveness. (D) Communities may require social workers to be an activist to raise awareness about certain issues and identify and address the causes of the issue. (C) Some issues can only be addressed through a social movement, an approach that brings people together with common interests to advocate for policy changes, social justice, or an increase in resources.

Hardcastle, D., Powers, P., & Wenocur, S. (2011). Community practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lundy, C. (2015). Social Work, Social Justice, and Human Rights (2nd ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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