Our community ! Understanding communities ! Dysfunctional communities
Characteristics of a community ! Characteristics of an institution
Building better communitiesAn alternative model ! Cartoons

How does the community care?
Community valued roles and Social Role Valorisation (SRV)
Valued roles or Valued relationships
Labelling as a social phenomenon
Personal Fulfillment, Values and The Role of Supportive Communities
Normalisation, Social Role Valorisation, the Least Restrictive Principle and Person Centered Planning
Explanation of terms

Valued community roles


The role of the community

A valued community role

The role of the community: (Top)
Each community has a particular role that fulfils a particular need.
Valued community roles provide a common cause or focus for the community, as well as other communities that are a part of it.
Valued communities provide valued roles for their members.
Social role valorisation provides valued roles for ALL members of the community.

Communities that have valued roles in society …
... The spiritual community
... The family community
... The living community
... The recreational community
... The learning community
... The employment community
... The health community
... The internet community
... The blind community
... The disability community

Communities that have de-valued roles in society …
... The AIDS community
... The drugs / rave communities
... The criminal community
... The gay / lesbian communities
... The Muslim community
... The bikie community
... The street community
... The unemployment / homeless communities
... The aged community
... The single parent community

Communities are as varied and individual as its members. The role of the community provides the members with a sense of belonging and purpose. Community roles can be active in providing a service, supportive, where the members support the activities of another community, or a mixture where the members share experiences, resources, skills and knowledge with each other. Communities can be recreational, and provide a social role in enabling its members to participate in various activities, or provide an educational role in providing its members with knowledge, skills and resources. A community could also be a service provider, an organisation, a local community group or any service that supports people with high support needs (Characteristics of the service provider), or fulfill any other role that is valued in society as well as other communities that it is a part of.

When we change the perspective from Society to Community we have a better idea of what we are trying to achieve. Community is all about valued relationships, about careing and shareing, about being with others we love (Understanding communities). SRV is all about providing those valued relationships and support networks to disadvantaged people who have been disenfranchised by society for various reasons. Valued relationships transcend roles. Without others to share our feelings with, life becomes meaningless. It does not matter how much money or possessions we have, if we have no one to share it with, life becomes meaningless. SRV is all about building values and relationships in communities. These communities may be a part of an organisation or service provider, a family or club, or work, or school. By providing valued roles for ALL members of each community that the person wishes to participate in and is most appropriate for the person (Disability services role models), the person is more likely to have valued relationships within those communities.

Valued roles provide a common cause or focus for the community. The members develop a sense of pride and purpose in being a part of the community that bond and strengthen the community. The role is valued in a sense that it brings something to the wider community that it is a part of, as well as the members of the community. Valued roles are also about community leadership that is intouch with the community and can create a feeling of importance within the members.

... Community members that support disadvantaged people in their community are valued by those people, as well as the community that they are a part of, Meals on Wheels etc. Members offer support and provide a service in helping others in their community. I remember the LIONS club was involved in supporting people in the community. It is possible for any community to institute this culture. We often see this happening spontaneously in communities where a member is sick etc.
... Recreation communities are valued within the wider community in providing a means for its members to participate in activities, develop skills, share experiences and and friendships within the activity.
... Supporters that support a sporting club are valued by the club and have a valued role in the club. The club also has a valued role in the wider community.
... Volunteers that work for and support organisations are valued by the organisation and have a valued role within the organisation.
... Events such as 'Clean up Australia' provide a valued role for communities and groups to clean up Australia.

There are lots of other examples of communities and groups that have a valued role.
This can happen in any community where disadvantaged people can be included in activities through various strategies.
By providing a valued role for a community (living, recreation, education or employment) through some form of participation where a person is included in the community (active role), rather than the current model (supportive role), the community learns new values and skills in supporting people people with high support needs.

Minority communities generally have devalued roles in society. These communities have a charecteristic, agenda or function that is not representive of the society in which the community participates.

The value of those roles are influenced by a number of factors:
... Government policy and Government roles within the community
... the function of the community within the community that it is a part of
... how the community sees itself
... how other communities see the community

... cultural factors
... learned behaviours
... available skills and resources

By providing valued roles for the community,
Where the community has:
... ownership of its members, where all members are a part of the community and connect with each other
... a sense of purpose, where all members have a common cause that is valued by the community
... a sense of self determination, empowered
... valued social roles for its members (SRV)
... the skills and resources to provide for the needs of its members
... the ability to share skills and resources with other communities that it is a part of
The community has the opportunity to grow and prosper.

A valued community role: (Top)
We all play a role in each community we are a part of. A father in one community may be a teacher, worker or a painter in another community. The value of the person's role is determined by the expectations of the community in the person fulfilling that role. Sometimes other roles are assigned to members where they do not come up to those expectations of the others in a community. They may have a particular characteristic that is different to the others, or need special support that is not available within a community. If the person does not have something of signifance to contribute to the community, that person will be treated as different (asigned a devalued social role).

SRV (which itself evolved from the concept of Normalisation) is probably the most influential social paradigm used to provide a better life for people with disability. The idea of Normalisation (where all members of society have the same right to a the same way of life as others within that society) has been around for a long time. It has only been in the last 10 to 20 years that we have had the incentives, skills and resources to provide for a more humanistic approach to meeting needs of disadvantaged people in society. SRV is about social roles. Society tends to group people into different classifications or groups according to a particular characteristic of a person that stands out. Regardless of the persons individual differences. society generally assigns a particular role to all people that share that characteristic. This role describes the persons behaviours, and how we should associate with the person. Roles are also a way to visualise the person and what we may expect from the person. Some social roles are positive. Hero, friend, supporter, defender of the faith, aussie battler, statesman etc all create a positive image of the person. Accordingly they are treated with respect and considerstion as valued members of society. Whether they are good people or not, is not as important as their social role. Other social roles are negative. Druggie, criminal, nigger, deviant, sick, dole bludger, alcoholic etc all create a negative picture or impression of the person, and as a result, the person will be negitavely valued, and treated differently to others, regardless of any other positive characteristicts the person may have. SRV shows us that disadvantaged people were devalued by society, and that by changing the way they are seen (their role), we change our behaviours and expectations, and add value to their lives by giving them the opportunity to participate in valued relationships and activities. Person Centered Planning, the Least Restrictive Principle and Transitional planning have all evolved from the principles of SRV. Each model is designed to allow (or facilitate) positive behaviours and attitudes within society, where the person to be able to participate, as much as possible, within each community that most suits the person's needs. These models of care could be thought of as the vechicle, SRV is the engine that drives each model of care, and government policy and practice serves as the highways and byways.

When providing the most appropriate care for people with high support needs ...
1) The community is not where the person is living, but where the person participates, shares experiences and has valued relationships with others.
2) People with high support needs (severe disability, aged etc.) will always need support structures as a part of their lives.
3) The amount of participation in a community (living, education, employment or recreation) is directly related to the skills and resources of the person, and, the skills and resources of the community that the person wishes to participate in.
4) Institutions are going to be around in one form or another whether we like it or not, It is the way that they are used that is the problem.
5) The institutions of a society towards a particular group determine the way the group participates in society.
6) The institutions of a particular government department, organisation, profession or service define the way the person is supported within that society.
7) Facilities that support people with high support needs do not need to be the nursing homes or prisons in the sense that they are today, but can become warm inviting community places that offer a range of services to the community, as well as be a part of the wider community within that society.
8) People with high support needs are a minority group in our society, and will have the same problems as other minority groups in being a part of society.

Top of Page