Community Analysis: Asset-Based Community Development for Wapakoneta (1910 words)

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Community Analysis: Asset-Based Community Development

Assignment Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is for foundation year social work students to develop an approach to understanding and analyzing communities by first recognizing the strengths andassets of community residents, including the capacities of residents themselves and the associations and institutions to which they are connected.

Therefore, a guiding principle for this project is that all communities and their residents have strengths, assets, and resources.

This does not mean that communities do not have needs. All communities have needs. However, it means that any efforts designed to build capacity and support for communities should first look at the existing strengths and resources within the communities and build upon those.

Assignment Description

Each student will engage at least six community residents in a conversation about their own individual strengths, associations, and institutional connections and also to learn about the strengths, assets, opportunities, and challenges the community member perceives in the community. (
Discussion and guidelines for these Learning Conversations are included in the reading for Week Six).

In addition to having conversations with residents of the community, students will also analyze census data, and create an asset map of their communities identifying the associations and institutions present within their communities.

This assignment will culminate into a final products:

 Final Product: Each student will write up an analysis of the community based on their conversations with community residents, census data analysis, and discovery of community associations and institutions.
The written analysis will include an overview of the community, a brief summary of conversations with community residents, an asset map, a short narrative description of the asset map, and a power analysis.

The written analysis will also include recommendations for one community project that would build on the strengths and assets identified, take advantage of the opportunities, and 2 address one or more of then challenges learned through the course of the project.

The paper will also describe the initial steps needed to begin implementing the community project.

Recommended Written Assignment Format
I. Introduction (one paragraph)

 The community’s name (and if that name differs from the name residents give the community).

 The geographical boundaries of the community

 The framework for the paper

II. Overview of Community1 (2 pages)

 History of community

 Demographics of community and census analysis

 Narrative description of asset map2 which students will attach to the paper as an Appendix.

III. Summary of Conversations with Community Residents (1 1/2 pages)

 General background/history of community members in community

 Strengths, associations, and institutions connected to community members

 Strengths, assets, opportunities, and challenges of community identified by community member

IV. Power Analysis: Discuss the three dimensions of power in the context of the community (1/2 page).

For example:

 Visible Dimensions: How are decisions made in/for/with the community? Who is represented in those decision-making bodies? What kinds of power do they represent? Who does not appear to have a voice in decisions affecting the community?

 Hidden Power: How do community groups decide what issues to tackle in their own communities? How are people engaged in making decisions about the community or deciding what issues are important for the community to discuss?

Are there any barriers to being engaged in that process?
 Invisible Power: Who shapes the meaning for the community? Who tells the community’s story, how do they tell that story?

V. Recommendation for One Community Projects Based on Strengths, Assets, and Opportunities found in community and mentioned by community members, including next steps toward achieving it. (1/2 page)

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Community Analysis: Asset-Based Community Development for Wapakoneta.
Empowerment is a well-recognized and a respected concept in the contemporary way of thinking and acting (Rothman, 2001, p. 42). Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a community can help embower its people to act and bring a positive change. The goal of empowerment is to increase the abilities of individuals, familiis, and communities to get that they need, …, and influence how resaurces are distributed” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2015, p. 327). In order to do this, community assets need to beidentified and carefully considered. Therefore, this paper will analyze the town of Wapakoneta which is located in Auglaize, Ohio. It covers the area of 6.2 square miles (MapTechnica, n.d.). It is divided by the Auglaize River which runs through its middle and it borders the Interstate Highway 75 to the east. In addition to the overview of the community, this paper will also include the interviews with several of Wapakoneta’s residents, a community power analysis and a recommendation for one potential community project.
Overview of Community
History. This piece of territory was first claimed by the Miami Tribe of Indians who resided here until 1782. The Shawnee tribe came here afterwards and Wapakoneta was name after its chief Wapa and his wife Koneta. They completely abandon this land to white settlers in 1832 after the Treaty of Greenville. who resided here before white settlers took over the region. Wapakoneta swiftly became known among the first European Settlers due to its location between Cincinnati and Detroit. In 1809 it became a Quaker mission site and Kentucky troops built a large fortification called Fort Amanda in 1812. The first supply store for the settlers opened three years after the fort’s...
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