De Montfort University Centre For Social Action

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De Montfort University Centre For Social Action

De Montfort University Centre For Social Action

The role of the social action worker is to facilitate the group through a five-stage process. The intention is to change the traditional relationship between service users and the professionals employed to work with them.

A social action worker is a facilitator, not a provider. In this process service users are not just consumers, they are active agents for change.

Working alongside community members in this way requires the ability to plan and prepare well, to be creative, to listen actively, to be patient, to be disciplined and to be interested in people’s lives. It is also essential to maintain a consistent and realistic level of optimism and enthusiasm that will fire the group.

The five stages are as follows:

This is all about discovery, finding out what is happening in people’s lives. What are their issues, problems and concerns? What makes them angry, frightened, happy, and frustrated? What occupies their thoughts?

The social action worker designs ways in which the community members can express all this, creating as comprehensive a picture as possible of what is going on in their lives at present, without interpretation and without at this stage having to worry about what to do with the material.

This is often the longest stage of the social action process. Video, role-play, photography, drawing and discussion will all be used during this exploration of life in the community.

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