Social work and community development in Australia

Philip Mendes, Fronica Binns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Social work and community development in Australia have a complex relationship. Community-based interventions are relatively marginal in social work practice, and many community development workers seem to hold a negative view of social work and social workers. Equally, social work and community development seem to be divided around the target (individual versus collective) of their practice interventions, and in their attitudes to professionalism. Yet at the same time, some social work practitioners and educators argue that social work and community development share similar values, and view community development as a crucial social work strategy that can lead to far more effective outcomes for service users. Using the findings of two recent small-scale studies of Australian social workers who integrated community development values, skills and strategies into their practice, we argue in favour of a closer partnership between the two disciplines. There is also an urgent need for further research into the attitudes that social workers and community development workers hold towards one another.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Community Development
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives From Around the Globe
EditorsSue Kenny, Brian McGrath, Rhonda Phillips
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781315674100
ISBN (Print)9781138940765
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this