ELEMENTS OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Promoting Community Change
for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Arizona Department of Health Services/Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs/Systems of Care 2004
1. Build on Community Assets
Resources are what the community has going for itself. The simple act of recognizing its
resources gives a community a sense of confidence, a sense of energy and willingness to take
action. When the community believes that assets exist, it finds them, and uses them; it affects
the entire way the community is viewed.
2. Increase Skills of Individuals
The community assumes a more skilled condition, not just one of services, following community
development intervention. A particular activity, such as creating an information center,
stimulates learning around fundraising, media relations, public speaking, marketing and writing.
3. Connect People with Each Other to Build Relationships and Share Talents,
Energy and Information
Everything happens through relationships. Connecting people together in a purposeful manner
produces some clear, intended benefits. Unintended, almost serendipitous benefits are just as
intriguing, as relationships drive other relationships.
4. Connect Existing Resources ... Create or Increase Community Resources
A high school shop class ... a construction company with lumber ... an information center has
new bookshelves and new investors in its success.
5. Community Assumes Ownership of Direction, Action, and Resources
The community decides what to do, and how to do it, not the agency. The agency doesn't seek
to extend itself, own more things, or run more things. What the community produces is theirs.
6. Community Members do All Work Possible
A community needs a well dug. Dig us a well, they say. Nope, we say. We'll help you dig your
well, first by looking at all the things the community can do to dig the well. Only someone
outside of the community will do those things on the list that can’t be done by the c