SWK401: Building Safe Communities - Aboriginal Community - Essay Writing Assessment Answer

February 27, 2018
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1AGII

Question: Essay Writing

This assignment falls under Essay Writing which was successfully solved by the assignment writing experts at My Assignment Services AU under assignment help through guided sessions service.

Essay Writing Assignment

Assignment Task

Please choose between option A or option B and find attached assignment criteria.

(1)  OPTION A - Background Paper

Task: Working towards Safer Relationships

Write a paper that proposes developing a group program.  The group aim will be to promote and develop safe relationships.  The paper will support an application for funding for a new program.

The program development paper should:

  • Incorporate the rationale for the program
  • Uses and evidence base for models and strategies
  • Anticipated risks and mitigations for the group program (for example, the safety of participants and workers, the location of program, strategies to ensure safety and confidentiality for group participants)

(2) OPTION B - Essay

Task:  Working towards Safer Communities

A remote Aboriginal community or suburban neighbourhood centre has formed a community working party to help build a safer community.  Write a draft framework for a journal article entitled ‘Building A Safer Community’ that incorporates the following:

  • Identifies the key issues to be addressed when developing a strategy to provide a safe environment for a particular client group (for example women, children, the elderly).
  • Identifies stakeholders and the client group you are considering
  • Identifies roles for participants
  • Uses an evidence base for models and strategies

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Solution:

Working towards Safer Communities

Introduction

Safety within a community encompasses among other things the ability of community members to live, work and interacts without fear of harm, judgment or rejection. In many cases, people regard safety as the essence of being free from the risk of injury or harm However, safety as a principle is more far reaching and includes the mitigation of root causes of issues that threaten safety including but not limited to social exclusion, the lack of support from relevant entities and poor child development in regards to behavioural training. These form the main building blocks for lack of safety. Safety is initiated by taking deliberate steps towards the same, while lack of safety is the direct result of being indifferent or apathetic to implementing safety measures. In response to the need for deliberate action and initiative in creating safer communities, a framework that defines the structure of the relevant action is needed.

Problem Statement

Indigenous groups in Australia are grossly overrepresented in the criminal justice system accounting for over 30 per cent of criminal prisoners. Crime among these groups is on an all-time high and the communities are continually considered unsafe. The once close knit indigenous community in Australia now lives in unsafe conditions weary of the very real risk of harm in their everyday lives.

Key Issues to be addressed

In solving the problem as identified in the problem statement above, there are several steps that must be taken in working towards safer communities. The first has to do with identifying the root causes of the main problem; in this case the main contributing factors to communities that are unsafe. The identification of the root causes of problems is the first step towards permanently solving a problem (Wiek et al., 2011). Otherwise, there is always the risk of continually treating problem symptoms without eliminating the root cause which results in a vicious cycle of the same problem recurring over and over again. In many cases, such things as crime and abuse of power have been the main reasons communities are not safe. These conditions result in community members living in fear and unknowingly fuelling the very reasons that result in less safety.

Upon identification of the root cause of unsafe communities, then solutions can be drawn in regards to how to eliminate them and how to ensure that they do not recur. This usually is an ongoing process of constantly monitoring communities and its members to ensure that they play their part. This section of the framework forms the main content of the following review covering mainly the framework’s proposed solutions to identified problems, a workable plan towards building safer communities, and monitoring and evaluation plans aimed at keeping the plan in motion in the long run. This part of the framework will be flexible and will allow for changes in applied solutions in tandem with emerging threats and opportunities.

Root Causes of the Identified Problem

One of the root causes of crime identified among aboriginal communities stems from child abuse and neglect, and family violence. According to studies conducted among Australian communities, an aboriginal child is 7.5 times more likely to be abused compared to other children (Brascoupé and Waters, 2009). Neglect is also common in regards to basic care such as health care and nutrition, as well as emotional care. Aboriginal children have a higher mortality rate and are a lot likely to suffer illnesses related to poor nutrition and neglect such as diabetes, and some cancers. It is likely that child abuse among aboriginal communities is underreported. This is often due to the fear of authorities, ignorance, and social pressure. These communities have an especially negative attitude towards authority often because they have had poor experiences with those in power ranging from abuse to neglect. As a result, it rarely occurs to them to turn to authorities for help which not only fuels the actions of perpetrators of child crime but results in the kind of resignation among community members that is a result of hopelessness.

Studies show that emotional distress that result from trauma or abuse if it is not addressed or treated increases the likelihood of the victims tending towards criminal behaviour. The clichéd statement that states ‘hurting people hurt others’ has been proven true by such cases as the one portrayed on aboriginal communities above (August, Rook and Newsom, 2007). In many cases child abuse perpetrated especially by authority figures results in a distorted view of the world instilling such negative emotions as hatred, fear, desperation, hopelessness and apathy. These are often the main contributing emotions to bad behavioural choices. While not all criminals have had poor experiences growing up, many of them have either experienced neglect, abuse or trauma.

The second identified root cause of unsafe communities is poverty due to the lack of empowerment. Lack of empowerment which results in a lack of relevant skills places people in a disadvantaged position when it comes to finding employment. Poverty has been found to be positively strongly correlated with crime. It results in desperation that makes people a lot more prone to succumb to illegal activity to make a living. Additionally, the stress that results from being unable to properly fend for oneself or one’s loved ones has been found to make people a lot more apathetic and predisposed to taking more dangerous risks (Coffin, 2007). Young people from poor backgrounds are a lot more likely to engage in violent behaviour. Psychologically, this disposition towards engaging in violence has been explained as a way in which young people from poor backgrounds feel empowered and attain status among their peers. When their esteem is threatened especially by being looked down upon for suffering something that is no fault of their own, they experience an aggressive urge to establish their own sense of self-worth and raise their status among peers. Aboriginal communities have for a long time been plagued with poverty stemming especially from their way of living that was modern education averse. Lack of education and skills relevant to the modern world is also a contributing factor crime. Their inability to secure well-paying jobs owing to their low education levels and poor skill has encouraged a disposition towards illegal means of making a living. Recently, many of them have realized the utter necessity of acquiring a modern education, but this has not been incorporated in a rate that is fast enough to counter the vast state of illiteracy and lack of skill in their communities.

Social exclusion is perhaps one of the greatest contributors to crime and violence among these communities. Social exclusion is defined simply as the process of excluding a particular group of people from privileges, opportunities, rights, and resources that other groups of people are privy to for any number of reasons. In many cases, social exclusion is based largely on discriminatory behaviour that results from prejudiced judgment of a group of people’s entitlement or lack thereof of certain rights and privileges. The Australian aboriginals have in the past been the subject of discrimination based on their physical looks, their traditional practices and misguided stereotypes about them (Reading and Wien, 2009). Until recently, they were often overlooked even by government bodies resulting in their missing out on several privileges that would empower them. Studies show that aboriginal communities have less access to health care services, higher education, social amenities and opportunities for growth.

How to address Identified Root Causes

The first step towards addressing the issue of unsafe communities would involve dealing with the symptomatic details in order to create better room to eliminate root causes. One of the ways of doing this would be to get the authorities in law enforcement more involved in controlling and curbing crime. This could be done by pushing for improved response to crime reports and creating a hotline that can be used by anyone at any time to report an ongoing or suspected crime. This may call for such activities as increased patrols and heightened investigations among these communities. To successfully implement this, external help especially from law enforcers is required. This calls for partnership with government entities such as the police force or government officials.

Another step towards dealing with symptomatic issues is increasing access to help from those in desperate conditions. For instance, increased initiative towards providing bigger and more accommodating shelters would get homeless individuals and families off the streets where most of the crime takes place. Additionally, it would help to offer a lot more free services in regards to such things as free health checks and medication for dire health cases.

The long term plan however has to do with working towards eliminating the root causes of unsafe communities and implementing measures that work towards safer communities. The first step towards this is education and the creation of awareness. Firstly, an educated community is an empowered community, and empowerment is the first step towards change. Education in this case is all round and includes but is not limited to formal school education, skill training and most importantly social education. In many cases, ignorance in regards to rights that accrue to a certain group of people, available opportunities for progress and how to access the privileges extended result in poverty and stunted progress. For instance, these communities must be made aware that being protected by the police force and security is a right and not merely a privilege (Parker, 2010). With this knowledge there would be less intimidation from authorities and communities would benefit from an improved relationship with law enforcers. Education also eliminates certain regressive practices such as social pressure to remain silent in regards to abuse of power by authorities and unbecoming practices among community members. Education opens up the mind to more progressive practices and encourages the habit of progressive thinking making community members a lot more active participators in their welfare than passive victims (Cochran et al., 2008).

Secondly, education would result in a population that is lot more skilled for the modern corporate world and therefore more empowered to improve their lives. Therefore for this to be successfully implemented there is need to ensure that the education offered is of high quality. This entails among other things ensuring that the teachers and schools are equipped to cater to the learning needs of aboriginal children. It may necessitate the intervention of educational bodies in regards to the quality of the school curriculum and the teachers’ equipping in dealing with the children’s special needs.

In many cases, community members need to be socialized differently in regards to how they view different cultures and groups. This necessitates cultural knowledge and cultural intelligence. Cultural knowledge is defined simply as the conscious acknowledgement of one’s own culture and how this cultural disposition affects action and consequently behaviour. The result of successful cultural knowledge is cultural intelligence which is defined simply as the ability to relate with people of different cultures effectively. Cultural knowledge consciously exposes any prejudices and misguided notions affected by culture and consequently make one more tolerant to different cultures (Durey, 20100. In most cases people are afraid or weary of what they do not know including foreign cultures, and this can be alleviated simply by increasing cultural knowledge.

Poverty was identified as the main cause of crime. However, poverty in many cases is the direct result of illiteracy or low education levels, lack of skill and social exclusion. Social exclusion especially plays a huge role in the levels of poverty among certain communities. From past studies, it is clear that minority groups in many first world countries have in the past and to certain extents presently been socially excluded placing them at a disadvantaged position in regards to making progress and being in a position to cater for themselves. Social inclusion will be one of the more effective strategies towards creating safer communities. Social inclusion entails in large providing minority groups with such privileges as adequate housing, quality education, access to quality health care and training among others. This is usually largely the mandate of the government. In this case it would especially curb a lot of the problems that contribute to behaviour that result in lack of safety within the community. Social inclusion is the direct result of having the attitude that all individuals and groups of people are valuable and therefore privy to equal rights. Prejudiced stereotypes that lead to social exclusion can be eliminated through constant creation of awareness and education. Involving the media in creating awareness in regards to the need for social inclusion and the adversities of social exclusion is one of the ways that can be applied in once and for all curbing prejudiced and misguided stereotypes about minority groups.

Stakeholders/ Participants and their Roles

One of the major stakeholders in this case is the community members. They must be involved in actively acquiring education and knowledge as well as spreading it amongst themselves. In many cases, all they need to do is actively respond to initiatives create awareness. Those who understand this can be enrolled to recruit more people into training and education programs. With education come empowerment and the alleviation of ignorance resulting in more proactive behaviour towards propagating safety amongst themselves.

Other stakeholders include the government, education legislators, law enforcers and welfare groups. The government is mandated especially with ensuring that they offer equal opportunity to all the citizens. They will play the role of ensuring that opportunities and rights are readily availed to aboriginal communities in sectors where they have been wanting. This includes health care, quality education and employment opportunities. This can be done by initiating an inclusive program that encourages corporations to employ more minority group individuals in order to increase their levels of empowerment. Education legislators would take on the role of ensuring that the educational system is revamped to include the needs of aboriginal community children. Law enforcers will play the role of controlling crime by increasing patrols and improving their response time and initiative. Welfare groups would be involved in offering rehabilitation and therapy services to individuals who have suffered abuse and trauma to help them safely deal with the resulting emotional distress and safely over it.

Conclusion

The solutions offered above are aimed at ending low education levels, child and family abuse, poverty and social exclusion which have been identified as the main causes of insecurity. Their elimination is the main step towards ensuring safer communities moving forward. These solutions have been based on the need to identify and deal with root causes of the problem of insecurity in order to create sustainable safety within the community.

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