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In 2016, after a review of Towards Standards for Community Work, the All Ireland Standards for Community Work were published by the All Ireland Endorsement Body for Community Work Education and Training (AIEB) to provide the foundation and guiding framework for community development in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
These Standards articulate and re-emphasis the key values and associated knowledge, skills and qualities required for the practice of effective community development work.The aim is to provide a reference point and guide for key stakeholders that seek to support community work for the promotion of social inclusion, social justice and equality and as an intervention for social change. These stakeholders include communities community workers, programme implementers, employers, policy makers, funders, organisations, groups and community work educators.
The All Ireland Standards for Community Work are designed to act as a guiding mechanism in:
- the design, development, monitoring and review of programmes, policies and other initiatives focusing on community development, family support, local development, rural development, urban renewal and the eradication of poverty;
- the design of relevant elements in a variety of community engagement, community participation and social inclusion initiatives;
- the development of community work education and training curricula at all levels including Continuous Professional Development for community work practitioners, managers of community workers and those using a community work approach in their work;
- the recruitment and employment of community workers and personnel with a remit in using a community development approach.
The revision of the All Standards for Community Work (2016) was funded by Pobal to contribute to a common understanding of a quality approach to community work in Ireland. The inclusion of the standards in the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018 – 2022 also points to their importance in contributing to a shared understanding of the principles and practice of community development in Ireland