Community Development Worker

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    Community workers help to improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals and groups by facilitating change and providing the means for self-help within community settings. As a community development worker you will help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area.

     

    Employers of Community Workers

    Community work organizations and agencies include:

    • community development projects
    • rural community councils
    • local urban and rural development groups
    • organizations concerned with particular groups (women, travellers, new communities) or issues (unemployment, migrant rights, drugs, poverty)
    • voluntary sector organizations.

     

    Duties

    • identify their assets, needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities
    • plan what they want to achieve and take appropriate action
    • develop activities and services to generate aspiration and confidence.
    • working with community groups providing a range of activities
    • identifying and building on communities’ assets and capacities
    • helping communities to share knowledge and resources effectively
    • setting up new services by liaison with interested groups
    • recruiting and training paid and voluntary staff
    • attending meetings and presenting verbal and written reports
    • managing finance and payroll
    • making funding applications
    • facilitating self-help in the community

     

    Qualifications

    Entry into the profession is possible for both university graduates and school leavers, although a recognized qualification in community development work (such as undergraduate certificates/diplomas or primary degrees, or postgraduate/higher diplomas or masters degrees) may be beneficial. Relevant degrees include:

    • social sciences
    • social or public administration
    • anthropology
    • economics
    • political science
    • social work
    • sociology
    • psychology
    • town planning

     

    Skills

    • advocacy and networking skills
    • excellent communication, interpersonal and team-building skills
    • good listening skills
    • research and report-writing skills and the ability to interpret or present data
    • knowledge and understanding of community and social issues
    • a non-judgemental and positive attitude
    • creative thinking and problem-solving ability
    • political, social and negotiating skills
    • an understanding of how public sector bodies work
    • compassion and the ability to empathize with people’s life experiences
    • fundraising – at management level there is an increasing need to identify and pursue sources of funding.

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