Community Change Initiatives engage community stakeholders in a participatory process designed to improve an identified aspect of the community. Initiatives typically strive to develop local leadership, enhance social capital and personal networks, and strengthen the community’s overall capacity to accomplish tasks and goals. Agencies seeking accreditation for Community Change Initiatives (PA-CCI) work collaboratively with community partners to facilitate this process.
Note: The Standards can accommodate both comprehensive and targeted community initiatives. For example, while one initiative might aim to promote broad-based change across all community dimensions, another might have a more targeted focus, such as promoting public safety or decreasing youth substance use.
Initiatives may also function somewhat differently depending on the type and origin of the initiative. For example, if the initiative is funded by a federal grant that stipulates the initiative’s focus and requires a certain level of involvement by the lead agency (i.e., the agency seeking accreditation), it may not be possible for the initiative to operate with as much autonomy as it might if it were a purely grassroots initiative.
Initiatives may cover a wide range of areas and seek a wide range of outcomes. Possible areas of focus include, but are not limited to: economic opportunity and security; physical development and infrastructure; safety and security; health and wellness, education; civic participation; cultural enrichment; and social capital.
Note: Many of COA’s Service Standards incorporate some of the principles that underlie community building. This section goes above and beyond, and is designed for agencies that play a more active and deliberate role in facilitating community change.
If an agency primarily builds and improves the community by providing services to individuals (e.g., by providing Workforce Development Services (PA-WDS), or Case Management Services (PA-CM)), the agency should complete the other section of standards. Agencies that provide services to individuals and play an active role in facilitating community change should complete both sections of standards. For example, an agency that promotes community change by both providing case management and convening community stakeholders should complete both PA-CM and PA-CCI.
Note: Agencies that provide technical assistance to community change initiatives have the option to complete only: PA-CCI 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8. Several of the practice standards within those core concepts also include NAs for technical assistance providers.
Note: Please see Self-Paced_Training: Community Change Initiatives (CCI) in the Tools Index for additional assistance with this standard.