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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The contribution of the survey method to the process of community organization as demonstrated by the activities of a council of social agencies Weeks, Donald Joseph


This study is concerned with the role of the survey method in assisting the citizens to participate in the planning of community welfare services. It attempts to point out how the survey can be a medium through which professional and non professional agencies and individuals are able to participate, to co-operate and to learn through the group process in the field of welfare planning. Because a Council of Social Agencies is accepted as the obvious channel through which people may come together for discussion while attempting to solve their problems, this study shows the contribution which a council can make in this regard. The study assumes the premise that any sustained interest in and planning for welfare services must accept the fact that the citizens being served have a right to be a part of the overall planning for these resources in their respective communities. Each example of a survey presented for discussion is analysed in order to show the degree of attention paid to the three criteria for a social survey: co-operation, participation and education. In its theoretical aspect, the study stresses the democratic nature of Canadian and American society and attempts to point up how social welfare and democratic principles may be co-ordinated in an effort to build a strong society. As social work philosophy recognises the dignity of the individual and his right to plan for himself, it therefore behooves the professional body to study and to analyse the ways in which it is possible to secure a wider and more effective representation from the community in the planning for welfare services. The study concludes with a summation of democratic and social work philosophy as demonstrated by the examples contained in the thesis and adds some suggestions to the local planning agency concerning the development of a more effective programme within that agency.

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