What is a Community Assessment?
Community assessments are an ongoing and intentional process that allow Community Social Workers opportunities to blend the facts and the faces of the neighbourhood, and provide the foundation for inclusive and participatory work in the community. CSWs have a solid understanding of existing data about their neighbourhoods. This information comes from a range of sources, including Statistics Canada information, the results of the Equity Index and reports from partner organizations (such as Calgary Economic Development, Vibrant Communities and the United Way of Calgary and Area). Drawing upon those sources, assessments then help more clearly animate the lived reality of that information at the local level. Additionally, assessments support the residents’ augmentation of the local meaning of the information, through the gathering and sharing of “stories”. These stories and local facts then help Community Social Workers work with residents to use the assets of the community to provide effective, efficient and sustainable responses.