The latest edition of the Association of Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA) Journal of Community Practice has brought forth a wealth of valuable articles focusing on macro practice and systems change. One particular article that caught my attention is titled “Reaching Out to the Hard to Reach: Lessons Learned from a Statewide Outreach Initiative.” Authored by Kathleen S. Gorman, Allison M. Smith, Maria E. Cimini, Katherine M. Halloran, and Anna G. Lubiner, this article sheds light on the challenges and strategies involved in addressing barriers to participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among specific demographic subpopulations.
Here is an excerpt from the journal article:
Despite high levels of need, many federal assistance programs are underutilized, with differential participation rates among demographic subpopulations. Outreach efforts seek to address challenges facing potentially eligible program recipients. This article examines a statewide initiative to address barriers to participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), focusing on the elderly and people with disabilities, eligible immigrants, and low-income working households. We describe a dynamic approach that relies on community partnerships and utilizes media messaging, information dissemination, and direct client assistance to reach our target populations. The data illustrate how continuous evaluation allows for systematic adaptation of strategies, highlighting lessons learned for future outreach efforts. 1 ~Download Journal Article
Accessing scholarly journal articles can often be a daunting task, as they are frequently hidden behind paywalls, making it difficult for practitioners without institutional affiliations to benefit from the latest research and evidence-based knowledge. This not only limits the professional growth and development of practitioners but also hinders the dissemination of valuable information to those who can make a significant impact on their respective fields. It is disheartening to see that copyright restrictions prevent me from sharing the article with you, as it would greatly contribute to the discussion and knowledge exchange.
However, I must highlight the commendable efforts of ACOSA in providing its members with free access to all journal articles. By making membership fees affordable and accessible, ACOSA ensures that practitioners have the opportunity to stay updated on best practices, innovative approaches, and cutting-edge research in community practice. This inclusive approach fosters a community of practitioners and researchers who can collaborate and learn from each other’s expertise.
The Journal of Community Practice, as the sole journal dedicated to community practice, plays a vital role in advancing the field. It serves as a platform for academics and practitioners to share their insights, research findings, and practical experiences. By addressing contemporary issues, offering guidance on problem-solving approaches, and outlining strategies for implementation, the journal empowers professionals in their classrooms and practice settings.
The interdisciplinary nature of the journal is particularly noteworthy, as it encompasses various research methods. From case studies and participatory research to policy analysis and program evaluation, the journal covers a wide range of approaches that contribute to the overall understanding and development of community practice. Furthermore, it welcomes submissions from scholars and practitioners alike, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in shaping the field.
In an era where information is readily available through technological advancements, it is essential to advocate for open access to research in the social sciences. Enabling free and unrestricted access to scholarly articles not only benefits practitioners and researchers but also promotes transparency, collaboration, and innovation in the field of community practice.
To learn more about ACOSA and explore the Journal of Community Practice, I encourage you to visit their website at www.acosa.org. By engaging with their resources, you can delve deeper into the current discourse, gain insights from notable practitioners, and contribute to the ongoing development and advancement of community practice.