Fiona Garven, SCDC, Jennifer McLean, Glasgow Centre for Population Health & Lisa Pattoni, Iriss. Published 19th March 2016, Dunedin Academic Press
A new book examines the role and development of asset-based approaches across three key policy areas in Scotland today.
"Asset-based approaches: their rise, role and reality" provides a critical overview of the evidence for asset-based approaches, including the background and rationale for the approach; the current policy, political and economic context; and the implications and opportunities for the workforce.
The book focuses on the role of these approaches across public health, community development and social services - each sharing the fundamental principles of the assets-based approach.
It asks what we mean when we use this term, where has it come from, what difference does this way of working make and what does the evidence say so far?
Writing in a blog post for the book's release co-author Dr Jennifer McLean describes asset-based approaches as:
"The approach in its true sense, for me, embraces the need to move away from simply defining people in terms of what they don't have, to what they do have, and acknowledging that individuals and communities that we often label as deprived are rich in relationships, resourcefulness, spirit and social and personal resources. But it's also not about asking people, often in difficult situations, to think positively despite their circumstances or ignore structural and material issues which may be affecting their life, and which are often out with their control."
Developed collaboratively by SCDC, GCPH and Iriss, the book is a result of contributions from colleagues from across Scotland, as well as interviews with key figures to draw out the experiences, insights and the voices of people using asset-based approaches in practice.