Category: Community Development

Principles of care can be bridged to the context of community development; “Hippocratic Oath for Community Workers”

This article by Jim Diers https://www.tamarackcommunity….est/author/jim-diers posted in Tamarack  lays out guideposts for community system and planning interventions.

… We need to acknowledge the ways in which we often inadvertently harm the very communities we are trying to help and pledge to work in ways that contribute to their health. Here, then, is an outline of principles I would like to see included in a Hippocratic Oath for community workers whether they are social workers, recreation coordinators, clergy, community police, public health workers, planners, educators, service learning students, outreach staff, organizers or other community-based professionals. …

Hippocratic Oath


I think Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) workers are also woven into community work.  We need to keep an eye on these principles.

Our role in community work is not well acknowledged as critical to actual care, and our efforts to have a sustainable health care system.

One effort to acknowledge the links of ACT with community development and system planning is shared here:

Assertive Community Treatment as Community Change Intervention

Abstract: Individuals with severe mental illnesses (SMI) are a vulnerable population, struggling to cope with fragmented and often unwelcoming community service systems. Research has examined Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) as an intervention for SMI individuals, but little research has explored ACT’s potential as a community system change intervention. Using focus groups with ACT teams, we explored changes in community service systems as a result of ACT teams’ presence. Changes identified included increased understanding of SMI; increased access to services; and increased collaboration across service systems. Processes by which these changes occurred included knowledge communication, negotiation, renaming by association, and ongoing relationships.

Assertive Community Treatment (Scheyett)

Ottawa Community Development Network, a resource to bridge our individual care efforts to client’s everyday lives.

Bill Dare explains – The network is taking on the complexity of the disjointed approaches to individual care and support to bring a “service user” driven foundation to community and neighborhood actions along with finding ways to align organizations and institutions. 

I recently learned more about its efforts to strengthen social and health wellness after discussing with Dianne Urquhart of the Ottawa Social Planning Council and attending a community meeting, how:  people are strengthening their own community, neighbourhood and work settings.

CDF-final_opt crop

Individual practice – care and support can chip at at strengthening individual’s connections in multiple and various forms to their communities.  How to embed, prioritize this approach in everyday practice beyond chipping, is not so easy as we negotiate layers of what is involved with Community Mental Health, Recovery practice but the formal framework  and Community Development guidelines help.

Community Development Framework (CDF) brings together residents, community organizations, and city services in priority neighbourhoods across Ottawa. Together, we:

  • Identify local community issues and strengths.
  • Decide on the changes the community wants to make and set goals.
  • Build on neighbourhood strengths, and develop skills and support to make the changes happen.
    • Some goals require change at a level beyond the influence of the local community (for example traffic calming or access to affordable and nutritious food). An important aspect of the CDF approach is to support the “systems” level (i.e. community agencies and institutions) to address those concerns at a city-wide level.


Guiding Principles for
Community Development Practice

Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres
Community Developers Network
February 2018

II. Guiding Principles for Community Development Practice
The importance of clarity regarding guiding principles became increasingly evident as this work
unfolded. The overall connection is the resulting impact on community change. This work is
grounded in over-arching principles of social change and requires foundational supports to provide
the infrastructure capacity for CD practice.

The framework below highlights four core principles that define the work of CD.
 Challenging Systemic Inequity & Power Dynamics & Supporting Empowerment
 Responsive to Community
 Transformational Practice
 Partnership & Collaboration

These principles are strongly inter-related and as such are used in all CD activities. Depending on
the activity, one principle may have a greater focus, but the other principles are still considered
when planning the most appropriate approach.

 The principles guideline for community developers can be found here:

Learn more at the Community Development website:

MEN AND THE GENDER EQUALITY REVOLUTION – Octopus book launch and discussion

Please consider joining the discussion with Micheal Kaufman at the book launch, it should be a good one. 

Thursday February 28th, 5-7 pm, 251 Bank Street. (note not at the store, rather the annex)

From closing the wage gap, challenging toxic masculinity, ending violence against women, to dismantling the patriarchy itself, the time has come for men to join the fight for gender equality.

Join Michael Kaufman and guests for a discussion that will explore the damaging effects of our patriarchal culture, and how changes in our workplaces, in the ways we raise boys to be men, and in the movement to end men’s violence will bring significant rewards in our community and all around the world.

Michael Kaufman is the cofounder of the White Ribbon Campaign—the largest international network of men working to end violence against women—and for decades has been an advisor on gender equality to the United Nations, governments, NGOs, schools, and workplaces around the world. With honest storytelling, compassion, and hard-hitting analysis, The Time Has Come is a compelling look at why men must take a stand in the fight for gender equality.

See Event Details Here:

Ottawa’s Cycle Salvation, social enterprise, individuals building community

The role of social enterprise to support people to enter employment, employment calibrated to a person’s- need, skills is unique in the continuum of Vocational Program development.  In my own practice I’ve found greater potential to actually find the best fit for an individual is through a social enterprise approach.   Maybe it is because of the structure and values in play where, while there always is a boss and a job to do, there are bigger outcomes and expectations involved.   This brief video gives a taste of such an approach.

BTW, they are always looking for bike donations.

See the video here:

Learn more about Causeway’s social enterprise efforts here

…“I am more than what happened to me, I’m not just my trauma”…

Shawn Ginwright’s article The Future of Healing: Shifting From Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement, provides a useful and in depth beacon of how we can take a broader focus in our alignment of services and individual practice.  It outlines that we can make trauma informed care along with the care of the individual, relevant to: families, neighborhoods and communities, shifting our focus to citizenship.  A kick, to move us to take a whole person approach to the recovery model. 

…The term “trauma informed care” didn’t encompass the totality of his experience and focused only on his harm, injury and trauma. For Marcus, the term “trauma informed care” was akin to saying, you are the worst thing that ever happened to you. For me, I realized the term slipped into the murky water of deficit based, rather than asset driven strategies to support young people who have been harmed. Without careful consideration of the terms we use, we can create blind spots in our efforts to support young people.

While the term trauma informed care is important, it is incomplete. First, trauma informed care correctly highlights the specific needs for individual young people who have exposure to trauma. However, current formulations of trauma informed care presumes that the trauma is an individual experience, rather than a collective one….

Please read the article here

Basic Income, a Critical Ingredient for Social Enterprise

CASW, shared this article.

A new study from the Mowat Centre in Toronto suggests that a basic income program could encourage people to take the leap and start their own socially conscious businesses.

The study involved surveying and interviewing members of the Centre for Social Innovation, which has sites in Toronto. It indicated that a basic income could give a leg up to people with a bright idea but limited resources to get it off the ground.

“Given our research, we think that a basic income could de-risk social entrepreneurship for people. We think that it could encourage more people from marginalized communities to try social entrepreneurship as a career,” said Michael Crawford Urban, a policy associate at the Mowat Centre and co-author of the report. …

See the rest of the article:

See the MOWAT Centre report here

Guide on strengthening our everyday agency partnerships

Our knowledge base and purpose as social workers focus’ on micro, mezo, macro levels even if it is not named in our job descriptions. A key ingredient in practice is supporting clients and our programs to be effective, relevant. This resource, shared by Community Workspace on Homelessness help us address the mezo in our practice.


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View the See Yourself as a Partner: Guide to Community Partnership Development elaborated collaboratively the University of Ottawa, a working group of community participants and with the HPS.  The guide is a how-to on addressing homelessness through partnerships. It includes key considerations, questions, checklists templates and other tools to create, maintain and evaluate community partnerships.

see the guide here:…/see_yourself_as_a_part…