Windows of opportunity: prevention and early intervention in dementia
Local assets: Asset based working
Asset based working promotes wellbeing by building social capital, promoting face to face community networks, encouraging civic participation. High levels of social capital are correlated with positive health outcomes, wellbeing and resilience. A growing body of evidence shows that when practitioners begin with a focus on what communities have (their assets) as opposed to what they don’t have (their needs) a community’s efficacy in addressing its own needs increases.
The asset approach is a set of values and principles and a way of thinking about the world. It:-
- identifies and makes visible the health – enhancing assets in a community
- sees citizens and communities as the co-producers of health and wellbeing, rather than the recipient of services
- promotes community networks, relationships and friendships that can provide caring, mutual help and empowerment
- values what works well in an area
- identifies what has the potential to improve health and wellbeing
- supports individuals’ health and wellbeing through self-esteem, coping strategies, resilience skills, relationships, friendships, knowledge and personal resources
- empowers communities to control their futures and create tangible resources such as services, funds and buildings
Participants make a map or inventory of the resources, skills and talents of individuals, associations, and organisations. They discover and collate the links between the different parts of the community and agencies. They use this knowledge to revitalise relationships and mutual support, rebuild communities and neighbourhoods, and rediscover collective power.
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
ABCD is a process of community building that starts with the process of locating the assets, skills and capacities of residents, citizens associations and local institutions. The purpose is to build up community groups and voluntary organisations and their informal associations and networks, their collaborative relationships, their shared knowledge and their social power (sometimes called social capital and civil society).