Mini Community Analysis & Report

Introduction and Overview

As professional social workers engaged in macro practice, we must view the geographical community as a dynamic and diverse entity embracing individuals, families, groups, organizations, institutions, cultures, and values in ever changing patterns of relationships.

When working in the community and attempting to involve the community in the planning, development, and implementation of human service programs, or to take social action to address and identify community concerns or needs, we must be thoroughly knowledgeable on the specific characteristics of the community and the various diverse views of its residents.

The data and information gathered from responding to this outline and questions will be beneficial for a “quick identification and assessment” of the major characteristics and general functions of the community. However, it must be noted, that this brief report is not intended to be a more detailed, comprehensive, or elaborate community research study!

An important reference; please read the article that will be distributed in class: Fellin, P., Understanding American Communities. It is also expected that this article and other material from the assigned chapters in Kirst-Ashman & Rothman, et al., will be utilized in completing your analysis and in preparing your report.

The text of the report should be at least 10 pages and no longer than 15 pages. This does not include the cover page, table of contents, references, and any support material in the appendix. This assignment is due Week 7.

You must follow the outline and format below in preparing your assignment. Include in the appendix any references, charts, graphs, statistical reports, maps, pictures, interviews, and any other reference material used in completing your analysis and report.

I. Identification and Description of Your Community

A. Name of the community or neighborhood area.
B. Identify state, county, city where the community is located.
C. What are the major geographical characteristics of the community?
D. What are the major population characteristics of the community?
E. What are the principle economic characteristics of the community?
F. What is the socioeconomic profile of the community?
G. What is the “political structure” of the community; how is the community governed? Who has the most influence?
H. What is the educational level of the community?
I. What is the poverty and unemployment rate of the community?
J. What is the health status of the community?
K. How would you classify this type of community: urban, suburban, rural, metropolitan, industrial, etc. (be specific)?
L. What are the housing patterns within the community; what is the median price of homes?
M. What is the role of local community based organizations and civic organizations and institutions?
N. What are the means of communication and/or sharing of information in the community? Is there “neighborhood associations” in the community?
O. Identify the various community and social resources (note any specific items of interest to the following types):
1. Educational
2. Health & medical emergency services
3. Law enforcement & fire
4. Recreation and leisure time
5. Human services
6. Businesses/industry, shopping areas
7. Labor unions/employee associations
8. Religious
9. Community utilities (transportations, water and sewer, electrical)
10. Charity organizations & foundations; local planning councils

II. Identify the Community Social Issues & Concerns

A. If any, what are the social problems within the community (i.e., poor housing, lack of community resources, lack of jobs, crime, gang activity, drugs, poor health, etc.)?
B. If any, what are the social issues and concerns within the community (e.g., poverty, low income, unemployment, affordable housing, lack of access to health and social services, homelessness, lack of political involvement and power, lack of law enforcement, discrimination, etc.)?
C. Are these social issues and concerns linked to any specific? population group or as identified by Bruce Jansson, “out groups” within the community (e.g., aged, mentally disabled, physical, racial and ethnic groups, sexual orientation, gangs, children and families, homeless, etc.)?
D. If any, what are the major the economic issues, concerns, and problems within the community.
E. If any, are there any significant conflicts or tension situations affecting the community; internally or externally? Identify the major “stakeholders” involved in these situations.
F. If any, identify the key local leaders who are involved in addressing these situations; is there a community mechanism to handle these conflicts and tensions? Is the local governing body or city council involved in addressing these issues and concerns? Identify any local community organizations involved in addressing these situations.

III. Community Analysis and Comments

A. What is the overall profile of this community; summarize its major characteristics?
B. What are the social norms and values within this community?
C. Do the community and its residents have a positive or negative attitude, identity, loyalty, pride, tradition, commitment, and belonging?
D. What are the major community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges?
E. Is this community characterized by having a great deal, a fair amount, or hardly any autonomy or influence over its specific institutions and future? Does the community leaders engage the residents in a “collaborative” process to address social issues and concerns?

IV. Conclusion

A. What is your overall impressions of this community?
B. From a “Macro Practice” perspective, do you have any recommendations for this community?

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