As a community worker, the role I could assume is of an advocate. Advocacy is defined as a heart of social work (Dalrymple & Boylan, 2013). It is because I believe that I have many Leadership qualities and I want to help the marginalized communities who are suppressed by the dominant class. I can and want to speak on their behalf and help them in solving their social problems.
To carry out professional roles in the community different from those in which I was trained in is by first learning the moral or ethical codes of professional practice. These are the code which underlines the responsibility of a professional towards society and community. It is difficult for many professionals to retain their strength and reliability and work in a community which is different from the work of a therapist. A community worker is trained to help the people or community as a whole by advocacy but carrying out a professional role emphasizes to identify the social-cultural issues first and then give solutions to the problem without breaking any cultural norms.
Learning ethical codes and understanding the norms and values are crucial to becoming an effective agent for change in the community. It takes great courage and change in one’s perception towards different social problems to be a good agent for change. Getting involved in the community and considering their problem as your own is the vital point.
The skills required for community change as an advocate are to have a broader knowledge of human problems, to be willing to get involved with the community, to have influential personality and can affect public opinion. It is also important for a community worker to have deep knowledge of the culture of the society he is working in and to be able to solve the problems in the same cultural context. I believe that I hold many of the skills mentioned above
The essential skill I need to master is interviewing skill which is a core skill (Trevithick, 2011). Interviewing of different people in the community is helpful in understanding the problems of the people and their perspective towards other things. Different methods are used for interviewing like structured, unstructured, behavioral and many more. Which method of the interview should be used depends on the situation.
While working in the community, my concern is that I won’t be able to maintain a balance between the working of realities in a system and the ethical responsibility of an advocate to provide social justice to the people. It will also be a difficult task to make a collaboration with other institutions for support.
Changing ideas into strategies is a complicated task. Me being an advocate, I will keep following points in mind with the aim of making a change in the community. Identifying the problem and defining my role will be the first step. The next step will be to make strategies for intervention and to reach out to the larger community. Working with the individuals within the system will help in translation of my ideas into practical strategies
An advocate requires certain things which are essential for the role of advocacy. It is important that an advocate hold an influential personality which can change the legislation, public opinion or policies. It is also important for advocacy to develop consciousness of their own beliefs and attitude (Ratts, Toporek, & Lewis, 2010). I am fully aware of the beliefs and attitudes towards people I serve, and this will affect my work greatly. It will help me in having a deep understanding of the people and their problems and will be a guideline for me in making strategies.
Dalrymple, J., & Boylan, J. (2013). Effective advocacy in social work. Sage.
Ratts, M. J., Toporek, R. L., & Lewis, J. A. (2010). ACA advocacy competencies: A social justice framework for counselors. American Counseling Association.
Trevithick, P. (2011). Social work skills and knowledge: A practice handbook. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).