Aims of this assessment
This assessment is aligned with the following course objectives:
• understand the role of non/government community-based human services organisations
• analyse the causes and effects of disadvantage
• assess the effectiveness of non/government human service organisations in responding to disadvantage
• demonstrate competence in academic and professional literacy
• demonstrate skills in ethical research and enquiry.
The aims of this assignment include assessing your knowledge and skills in:
• collecting and evaluating information by independent research
• understanding and identifying the relationships between community development theory and practice.
The first of the assessment tasks serves as an introduction to welfare and community development work. It is designed to demonstrate your understanding of the general principles, models and theories that inform community development, and the challenges posed by the cultural, economic, political, and social contexts in which it operates. Hence, your task is to write a case report on a non-government human service organisation that uses or could use community development theory and practice to enhance the welfare of citizens.
As there are numerous organisations from which to choose, an effective way to approach the selection process is to conduct a search of human service organisations in your locality, access information about their auspice, purpose, clientele, operations, and activities to narrow the choice of prospective organisations, and consult representatives in order to gain further details about the most promising organisation from which to choose. It is possible for some of the organisations operating locally to be subsidiaries of national, and even, international, agencies, e.g., Salvation Army, Amnesty International, Red Cross, etc.
Note that the task is not simply confined to Internet and library research, but involves direct contact with organisations. This is because in contrast to other courses, CDS1000 is not simply theoretical. Rather, it is practice oriented. Nevertheless, preparation is required before selecting an appropriate
organisation. Indeed, there is even some advanced reading which may be undertaken. Module 8 and Chapter 6 of the text provide useful background information on community organisations that can aid the process of selection.
The following survey of the Community Services Sector by the Australian Council of Social Services offers an additional resource for the identification of an appropriate organisation:
The word count must be between 1200 and 1500 words (there is no +/- 10%). The word count includes everything in the body of the case report. In-text references and any direct quotes used are counted. It excludes the title page and the list of references. Note that while the penalties for going over the word limit are somewhat limited, assignments will not be read beyond 10% over the word limit, i.e. over 1650 words).
The marking scheme provides the basic structure for the case report. The specific criteria serve as prospective headings, appropriately tailored to the content. The report must be shaped into a coherent narrative, and not simply form a series of unconnected responses to the criteria.
Three quarters of the marks (75%) will relate to the specific requirements for this assignment:
• Identify the organisation, explain the rationale for your choice, and describe its main goal(s). While such goals can often be found in various documents pertaining to the organisation (annual reports, audits and evaluations, mission and vision statements, client charters, publicity, and so on), avoid lengthy direct quotes and express the goal(s) primarily in your own words. (15%)
• Identify the main sources of funding for the organisation. Try to obtain actual figures of the proportion of funding from different sources. Where this is not possible, identify the main sources and types of funding, i.e., cash and in kind. (5%)
• Identify what the organisation has assessed as the main cause(s) of the disadvantage it has been set up to address, citing relevant government and independent reports, scholarly literature and statistical evidence. Give your own analysis of the cause(s) and the extent to which the organisation has addressed them. (15%)
• Identify the main services, programs, and projects used by the organisation to increase people’s capacity to address their disadvantage and assess the extent of their success in doing so according to internal and independent evaluations. Avoid merely listing these without adding any discussion or
• Classify the organisation and its programs, services and projects according to the five general models of community development work discussed by Kenny. Do not be surprised if there are aspects of more than one model. Be sure to identify the most prominent of these, and justify your
classification. (Discussion of the five models of community development can be found on pp. 232-237 of the textbook.) (10%)
• Assess the organisation’s use of community development theory, including key principles, according to your selection of model(s). Theoretical perspectives are covered in Module 4 and discussed in detail in Chapter 3 of the textbook. Refer to Chapter 1 and Module 2 for a discussion of principles. Consider the connection between principles and models of community development, particularly in terms of consistency. (15%)
A quarter of the marks (25%) will be more general:
• Approach to written content. The extent to which you have you demonstrated critical analysis and assessment. (5%)
• Rigour of approach. The extent to which you have researched the topic. You are expected to reference information from the textbook, readings and other academic sources. Do not cite modules or lecture notes as references. (5%)
• Literary form. The extent to which the case report flows and is free of factual, grammatical, and spelling errors. This criterion applies to the clarity of expression and argument. (5%)
• Organisation. The extent to which the case report is organised, structured, compliant with the format requirements and within the specified word limit. Use appropriate headings. (5%)
• Referencing. The extent to which you have accurately cited and referenced all sources used in the case report in accordance with the APA system of referencing. (5%)
• Do NOT reference the study modules directly. You may reference the textbook and/or readings.
• Choose an organisation for which information is publicly available and readily accessible.
• Complete appropriate background reading and other preliminaries before you contact an organisation.
• Approach organisations with the utmost care and respect. Inform organisational management about your affiliation with USQ and the purpose of your contact. Ensure that conversations and interviews with representatives are conducted with the least intrusion and inconvenience possible, and arrange them well in advance of the due date for the assignment. Keep contact with the organisation to a minimum.
• Do not choose an organisation, such as Relationships Australia or Lifeline, which practices individual, group, and/or community counselling.
• Do not submit extraneous material, such as brochures, newsletters, etc., from the organisation with your assignment.
• It is possible to use work done on this assignment as the basis for the next assignment, i.e., the project proposal.
The prescribed text for CDS1000 is: Kenny, S. (2011). Developing communities for the future: community development in Australia, 4th edn. South Melbourne: Nelson Thomson Learning Australia.
This is a standard introductory text in community development courses. The course will cover most of this textbook.