Community Assets and Local Institutions
Determining Relevant Assets: Drug Abuse Prevention through
Community Assets and Local Institutions
Community assets are very vital in every community. They are considered as the “recognized attributes of communities essential for the maintenance of rural life and vital for the sustainability of the economy, society and environment” (Fuller, Guy, & Pletsch, 2002, p.5). These include the essential qualities that make resources valuable to those living within its borders. For this, it is important to make an inventory map of all the good things that the community possesses, and list all the valued aspects found within. It is the assets that make the community a valuable place to live in, giving them enough reason to live within the society. Mapping the assets interpret the common view of the society, to broaden what is being thought of, and “to hear and appreciate the values of others” (Fuller, Guy, & Pletsch, 2002, p.6). This is being witnessed in one of the communities at the State of [your State].
Primary Community Assets – Promoting Family Wellness
The community of [name of community] at the State of [your State] contains a number of assets witnessed on those who live within its borders. These primary assets are those of the individual, the association, and the organization, and each of them has its own assets, when it comes to promoting family wellness and the prevention of HIV and drugs.
Local government services
Local government services in a community are very important, as they contain the assets that hold and manage the monetary funds, the buildings, services, as well as the workers and staff within the community. They are the ones who are able to provide the most powerful influence to the society, giving the power and willingness for them to change and divert their potential. It is them that hold the basic knowledge and expertise within different fields, which allow the community to thrive, plan and administer change. They contain the basic leadership that would guide the community on what assets would be more fundamental in administering change, and how to improve the standards and the way of living. Two examples of organizations that work on the local community are: A Women’s Circle of Belize City; as well as (2) Mary Open Doors Organization (“Identifying Assets”, p.1).
In terms of promoting family wellness through the Mary Open Doors Organization at the State of [your State], there are some organizations that may not always be beneficial or very helpful in the use of assets, such as the police, schools, libraries, and businesses. However, all of the assets found within the organization level can be useful, including money, services, influence, staff time, power, knowledge and expertise, the willingness to change, goodwill, and leadership. As Arlette Shappard (2015) insisted in the interview, “Whatever the community has are assets, and so we try to use all that” (“Identifying Assets”, p.1). All assets that exist within the community should be put to good use, so that no asset should be left behind, to be ignored by the community, without making use of them.
Figure 1: Assets are divided into three: (1) individual; (2) association; and (3) organization. Assets are in the left; and the respective people are in the right.
Community associations in a community are likewise very important, as they also contain assets that hold and create the vision, the networks, the influence, the people power, the shared knowledge, as well as money, membership, and buildings. These bring about rural advantage, especially in a community that has a diverse culture and are composed of many population groups that differ from one another. As of now, the community has been struggling for a fragmentation of the responses to local deficiencies, in terms of families who needed to be prevented when it came to HIV and the abuse of drugs in women and children. This meant that there was need to build relationship among the different sectors of community, by using their assets in creating a new vision that would influence them. The community has shared knowledge and power, which is vital in driving change, with fiscal sources to give its residents the capacity to make drastic and effective change.
Last but not the least are the community members that are the vital entity of the community, as they are the key to strength, while building relationship among people, groups, and organizations. They are source of talents, knowledge and expertise, and give hope and empowerment to other members of the groups or organization. For this, most of the interventions being implemented are family-based, centered on the parents and their children, such as what was being done at A Women’s Circle. Another good example was Kumpfer’s (2014, p.1) Strengthening Family Program that fights for the prevention of substance abuse and other impulse control disorders. As stated in the article of Kumpfer (2014),
Adolescent behavioral problems are on the rise worldwide particularly for impulse control disorders including substance abuse, delinquency, obesity, delinquency, and HIV/STDs. (Kumpfer, 2014, p.1)
For successive treatment, individual assets of community members can be used, especially when it comes to assets like power, passion, skills, talents, knowledge, care, time, and experience. All these are vital assets when implementing a Family Prevention Program, and they can all be used in addressing the basic family problems of the community, including those that pertain to the treatment and prevention of HIV and drug abuse.
All these assets of the local government services, community associations, and community members—as well as the other community institutions—are all vital to the community in the State of [your State], especially when improve the state of living. In the said community, there are local community organizations and institutions that make way for the people to have hope in their dream, and give power to the people. They are the ones that influence the society and give them the capacity and the willingness to change. People are the very substance of the community, and for this they are the basic asset that every basic community has. This is one of the reasons why Arab columnist Maha Abdelilah El-Swais (2015) stated that “People are assets, not problems” (p.1). They are the basic necessity that allow the community to change, for development to concurrently thrive and occur.
Brighter Futures Together. (2015). Map assets in your community. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.brighterfuturestogether.co.uk/brighter-futures-together-toolkit/map-assets-in-your-community/.
Connors, E., & Maidman, F. (2001). A circle of healing: family wellness in aboriginal communities. In I. Prilleltensky, G. Nelson, & L. Peiorson’s (Eds.), Promoting family wellness and preventing child maltreatment: Fundamentals for thinking and action (pp.349-418). Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.
El-Swais, M.A. (2015, June 11). A technological revolution in the Arab world people are assets, not problems. (Web log post). Retrieved from http://blogs.worldbank.org/arabvoices/technological-revolution-arab-world-people-are-assets-not-problems.
Fuller, T., Guy, D., & Pletsch, C. (2002). Asset mapping: a handbook. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0041/00413571.pdf.
Kumpfer, K.L. (2014). Family-based interventions for the prevention of substance abuse and other impulse control disorders in girls. International Scholarly Research Notices -Addiction, Article ID#308789, 1-23.
Leventhal, J. (1997). The prevention of child abuse and neglect: Pipe dreams or possibilities? Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2(1), 489-500.
Lewis, N. (n.d.). Learning Session One: Early years collaborative: Mapping community assets. Powerpoint Presentation. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0041/00413571.pdf.
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (n.d.). Section 1: Asset mapping. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/programs/health-data/trainings/Documents/tw_cba20.pdf.
Winland, D., Gaetz, S., & Patton, T. (2011). Family matters—Homeless youth and Eva’s initiatives “Family Reconnect” program. Toronto, Canada: The Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.