by Deona Hooper, MSW
The latest edition of the Association of Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA) Journal of Community Practice was recently published. The journal presented articles that focused on macro practice and systems change in a variety of areas such as psychiatric housing, diversity challenges in staffing community health centers, and strategic prevention frame work to name a few. However, one particular article that resonated with me was “Reaching Out to the Hard to Reach: Lessons Learned from a Statewide Outreach initiative by authors Kathleen S. Gorman, Allison M. Smith, Maria E. Cimini, Katherine M. Halloran, and Anna G. Lubiner.
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
Unfortunately, this article like many other journal articles in the social sciences are not easily accessible because they often reside behind a pay wall in order for users to gain access. This prevents many practitioners, who may not be attached to an educational institution, from gaining access to best practices and evidence based knowledge. Most importantly, it prevents the authors and researchers who dedicate their time to creating such authoritative works from taking advantage of new technologies to further enhance recognition as experts in their respective areas. Currently, copyright assertions by the publisher prevents me from sharing the article with you. However, ACOSA members are giving free access to all journal articles, and I must say their membership fees are very modest in comparison to most professional associations.
According to ACOSA’s website:
The Journal of Community Practice articulates contemporary issues, providing direction on how to think about social problems, developing approaches to dealing with them, and outlining ways to implement these concepts in classrooms and practice settings. As a forum for authors and a resource for readers, the Journal of Community Practice makes an invaluable contribution to community practice its conceptualization, applications, and practice. As the only journal focusing on community practice, it covers research, theory, practice, and curriculum strategies for the full range of work with communities and organizations.
The Editors seek submission of articles from academics and practitioners who are engaged in community practice. The Journal of Community Practice occasionally publishes a feature article and Notes from Practice or Notes from Teaching to supply readers with up-to-date resources.
This unique interdisciplinary journal covers a range of research methods, including:
- Case studies
- Curriculum development
- Historical studies
- Participatory research
- Policy analysis
- Program evaluation
- Qualitative and quantitative methods
- Theory and model development and testing
For more information on ACOSA and the Journal of Community Practice, view their website at www.acosa.org