What Is Community Work?

1834 Words Nov 7th, 2010 8 Pages
What Is Community Work?

Through this essay I will try to create a greater understanding of the term ‘community work’. I will begin with a short summary from two studies which help define the term on a broad basis. I will follow this by an explanation of the various approaches which can be used in community work. I will highlight the importance the community and voluntary sector have in social partnership in Ireland today. I will also discuss how funding, or a lack of it, impacts on essential services. Whether or not volunteers are an essential part of community work. I will also discuss the possible consequence of losing some of these organisations as a result of cuts in funding. Finally by looking at the work of ‘Community Platform’ I
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Social partnership was set up in Ireland in 1987. Its membership was initially limited to the government, businesses, trade unions and farmers. Organisations representing the unemployed and those experiencing poverty and inequality protested that their members did not benefit from the agreements and so began to lobby to be included in the 1996 negotiations. It was decided in 2000, by the Fianna Fail government, that inclusion of community and voluntary organisations was the way forward. Eight organisations were successful in their efforts when they were selected by the Government to become the Community & Voluntary Pillar - the fourth social partnership pillar. It is now made up of seventeen representative organisations.

This pillar represents huge progress for marginalised people. Although it is important to remember that in order to make a sustainable difference the voice these organisations have been give, must be listened to. While in theory social partners can be involved in both policy making and implementation of such policy, it is argued ( Meade 2005) that because community and voluntary organisations lack economic clout, they have been granted only marginal influence over the substance of policy decisions. Popples theory in “Analysing community Work”