Community development and assets based approaches
Assets based approaches are an integral part of community development in the sense that they are concerned with facilitating people and communities to come together to achieve positive change using their own knowledge, skills and lived experience of the issues they encounter in their own lives. They recognise that positive health and social outcomes will not be achieved by maintaining a 'doing to' culture and respect that meaningful social change will only occur when people and communities have the opportunities and facility to control and manage their own futures. In community development terms, assets based approaches recognise and build on a combination of the human, social and physical capital that exists within local communities.
Community development interventions are based on the fundamental principle of equality. In Scotland, gaps in health and social inequalities continue to widen. SCDC recognises that assets based approaches will not, in themselves, alleviate the effects of long term structural inequality and disadvantage but are nonetheless vitally important within the context of current changes in national policy and a redefinition of the relationship between the citizen and the state. SCDC prioritises its activities in favour of working to support communities whose characteristics are defined by long term disadvantage.