Defining Community-based Approaches
Traditionally, community has been defined "...as a locality or space, people or members, shared institutions and values, interaction, distribution of power, and a social system" (Warren as cited in Kettner, Daley, & Nichols, 1985. p. 18). However, the community, in the context of systems of care, refers to the concentric circles that surround the youth and families served, from the extended family and friends, to neighbors and others within the jurisdictions of the agencies providing services and support, including formal and informal service providers and community-based agencies. The concept of community within a system of care includes issues of locality, connection, and services as well as a "...social bond characterized by a sense of mutuality, care, connection, and identity, awareness and obligation to others" (Boyes-Watson, 2005, p. 362). Following a community-based approach means child welfare agencies and their partners must not only provide relevant and individualized services in the community in which a young person lives, but also must include community input in the administrative and policy-making work of building a system of care.
Communities Supporting Youth and Families
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