Individuals who serve as volunteers or paid employees of a county office whose primary focus is on underserved, marginalized, and impoverished communities, are often known as community practitioners. In the recent Biennial event hosted by the Society of Community Research and Action (SCRA), there were five key discussions centered on the needs of communities. These are:
• The availability of Community Spaces and Education
• Intersectoral Partnerships
• Policy and System Changes
• SCRA as an Organization and Visibility (Freund, 2016).
A CP may or may not be a researcher in the field of community psychology. For those whose keen interest is in his or her municipality as a thriving enclave, to be successful in this domain, it has been determined that practitioners should first have access to similar resources and literature as those who are considered experts in the field (Freund, 2016).
Second, CPs doing great work, should be endorsed and recognized by leaders of their communities and counties as well as societies concentrated on community research.
Third, CPs must be given the opportunities to become familiar with the intricate policies of the community to garner the resources (Freund, 2016), support, and methods for successful implementations of partnership programs.
Finally, spiritual and other community leaders should be willing to brainstorm, mentor or adapt to positive and transformative changes implemented by CPs.
The CP is not an activist per se, and instead, this act of service involves community relationship building as this relates to the needs of the spiritual tradition, and cultural identification, and relational orientation of the communal population.
The CP is a huge asset to any community, and may be worth considering as a career path.
Freund, N. (2016). Imagining the future of CP Practice: Update on the Visioning Session at the 2015 Biennial. The Community Psychologist, 49 (1), 2-4.