Community social work practice must build upon the successful completion of a community-focused asset assessment. Furthermore, this form of assessment is an intervention onto itself, as well as serving as the basis for interventions based on the findings. Once an assessment is thought of as an intervention, then the process used to gather data goes far beyond this task and also actively seeks to achieve positive social change as one of its many goals. Community asset assessment is conceptualized as falling into what Lather (2006) refers to as “emancipate” paradigm, which stresses actions such as participatory research, critical ethnography, critical cartography, critical race theory, feminist theory, and gay and lesbian theories. Community asset assessment represents a process of discovery, and in this case, one focused on capacities and assets.
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