Community engagement

Report
Community Engagement
What is Community Engagement?

Community engagement refers to the process by which community benefit organisations
and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a
collective vision for the benefit of a community. While community organising involves the
process of building a grassroots movement involving communities, community
engagement primarily deals with the practice of moving said communities towards change,
usually from a stalled or otherwise similarly suspended position. (Wikipedia)

Community engagement is “people working collaboratively, through inspired action and
learning, to create and realize bold visions for their common future.” (Tamarack, 2003)

Community engagement is “an ongoing interactive process characterized by commitment
to ever-changing community needs and interests”. (Industry Canada, 2002)

Community engagement is about members of a community participating in the decisions
and actions that help to shape their community. (Fraser Basin Council, 2003)

The purpose of community engagement is to involve the public in decisions that will
ultimately affect their lives. This requires interaction and communication between citizens,
scientists and policy-makers. (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, 2003)
What’s needed?
Whenever a group of practitioners gather to discuss
'what is engagement,' a discussion about diversity of
language usually emerges. Depending on the
situation in which you are working, 'engagement' can
cover consultation, extension, communication,
education, public participation, participative
democracy or working in partnership. (Dept of Environment
and Primary Industries – State Government of Victoria)
 Purpose
 Common Language
 Common Understanding
 Authorising Environment
 Knowledge and Relationships
Why engage community?
 Increased capacity
 Community Building
 Community Strengthening
 Strengthened Relationships
 Better Service Integration
 Internal
 External
 Whole of community approach
Communities for Children
 Funded under the Commonwealth Governments
Family Support Program
 Focus on Children, Families and Community
 Addresses the needs of children 0-12 years and their
families to give children the very best start in life.
 Focus on the connectedness within the whole
community using a partnership approach.
 Focus on Community Development and sustainability
 Place Based
Background

Communities for Children uses a collaborative approach to
achieve better outcomes for children 0 – 12 years and their
families

It recognises the importance of flexible, responsive planning
and project management.

Is responsive in planning and reviewing to take into account
changing community needs.

Allows for tailored approaches at the local level and provides
communities with the opportunity to develop flexible and
innovative approaches that best reflect their circumstances.

Uses a whole of community approach to build on and support
what is existing within the community
Communities for Children
Strategies
 5 Key Strategies

Healthy Young Families Strategy

Community and Family Support Strategy

Play and Learn Strategy

Child Friendly Communities Strategy

Creating Stronger Connections Strategy
Communities for Children

Activities and Programs Include:
 Mobile Family Connections
 Play session and information provisions in local parks
 Making Moments
 Working with families with young children providing early intervention home
visiting and centre based parenting groups
 Confident Parenting
 Family fun activities and a range of workshops and open groups presented as
information and skill development on a range of topics including: child
development, nutrition and parenting
 Boyz Biz
 Life skills and mentor program
 Child Friendly Charter
 Creating child friendly environments within community and service settings
Challenges
 Common Language
 ‘Silo’ or patch protecting
 Time/capacity
 Community knowledge and relationships
 Different ways of thinking and working
 Embedding into practice
Key Messages
 Relationships
 Environment
 Child participation
 Common purpose
 Knowledge and understanding
 Recognising outcomes – even the little ones
Contact Details:
Sue Christophers
Senior Manager Community Engagement
[email protected]
Thank you

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