By Alan Twelvetrees (auth.)
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Extra resources for Community Work
Some workers say they feel quite happy if they do not reveal Contact-makz"ng, Analysz"s and Plannz"ng 27 at an early stage the agency they work for and their objectives. I normally feel constrained to convey to the other person as soon as possible where I come from and what I am after. Perhaps this is because I expect this from people who are meeting me for the first time. When you are making contact with residents this may not be necessary if the meeting is casual, in a pub for example. But as soon as you begin to.
The public library may also be able to help. To find out what it is like to be a resident in a particular locality you might also try to behave like one for a day; travel across town by bus or approach estate agents about accommodation. In obtaining this information you will meet a wide range of people, and you need to take advantage of this to build up your stock of soft information. What do they think are the needs of the area? What is their position in their organisation? What are the pet schemes they want to back?
Both types of survey are useful but it is important to know which approach, or which combination of the two, is most appropriate to the task in hand. See Thomas (1976, pp. 77-8) for some further comments on the use of surveys. But if you go for a survey to provide yourself with an accurate picture of need rather than the 'soft' variety, make sure you get an expert on surveys to help you. The nearest university should be able to help. Analysis, planning and organisation A community profile is more than a collection of hard and Contact-making, Analysis and Planning 37 soft information.