Uploaded by Paul Joshua Flores

NSTP- 5 Mainstrands

Paul Joshua P. Flores
In the late 1950s and early 1960s accounts of practice and theoretical
explorations began to appear that viewed community workers as a distinct occupation.
Thomas (1983) argued that it is primarily education in orientation. In addition, I quite
agree when the Younghusband Report (1959) cleared out social work primarily aimed
at helping people within a local community to identify social needs, to consider the most
effective ways of meeting these and to set about doing so, in so far as their available
resources permit.
Meanwhile, to further elaborate Social Work, David N. Thomas emphasize five
main strands or approaches in the study of community work in the early 1980's. The first
strand is Community Action which focuses on organizing those adversely affected by the
decisions or non-decisions of both public and private entity. This strategy aims to promote
collective action to defy the pre-established norms and socio-politicalcand economic
structures. This can be a positive way of exploring and explaining both end or extremes.
In such a way, this will help people understand the realities of those in power and those
who are not. Furthermore, it can create critical perspectives of the existing affairs which
can be used to find alternative basis of action. The second strand is Community
Development which put emphasis to self-support, mutual support, building of
neighborhood integration for problem-solving and promotion of collective action. I quite
agree with this one, since it recognizes the individual capacity to help himself and the
collective power of an engaged community. Indeed, there is power in unity. Additionally,
if a community is united they can came up with a consensus which is vital in their
representation as one and to be heard in the political decision making. On the other hand,
the third one is Social planning which put forth the assessment of community needs and
problems and the systematic planning of strategies to solve them. It is good that they took
it into account since before a problem can be solved there is a need for thorough
assessment and planning. Systematic planning is efficient since it is like creating a
cushion to obliterate possible failure in the solving process. Also, a good plan has with it
contingency plan which can be executed in case that the main plan failed or it departed
from what was expected. Community Organization is the fourth strand, which emphasizes
the collaboration of separate and distinct community with or without additional
participation of statutory authorities. This can be beneficial since it does not all end inside
the community itself, since social work moves beyond the community barrier towards
other communities. It can encourage joint initiatives between different communities
towards a common goal. Another benefit is that it can create networks so they can lend
hands with each other. The last and the fifth strand is Service Extension which seeks to
extend agency operations by making them relevant and accessible. As what I mentioned
beforehand, social work should not stop at one’s community but should spread to other
Community work is the integration of all these strands, one cannot stand
alone. The thing is that, aside from the five, still we should be aware of the range
of other contributions that are feasible and advantageous. Community work is
also evolving, whatever that are effective before can no longer suit today or
whatever that suits today did not work before. But the thing that will never
change is its advocacy to help and serve the community.