Community Education

Definition of Community Education  

Community Education aims to resolve non-legal associated issues, social welfare, learning outcomes and personal development of people involved in the legal process and experiencing disadvantage. The focus is on addressing related non-­legal problems that directly impact upon a person’s ability to access or participate in the justice system, to prevent legal matters escalating. These programmes and sessions are often facilitated by non-­lawyers.

Community Education promotes learning and social development work with groups in the general community using a range of formal and informal methods. A common crucial feature is that programmes and activities are developed in discussion with communities and participants.

The purpose of Community Education and community development is to help build the capacity of people and groups of all ages and the community through their actions by improving quality of life and control over personal circumstances. Central to this is a person’s ability to participate in the justice processes and become aware of their individual rights and responsibilities.

As with CLE, community education can be viewed as an early intervention and prevention strategy, in that it seeks to intervene on issues that may lead to legal problems, and thus prevent legal problems from arising.

CLCs Australia has received feedback that Community Education should actually consist of two service types, CE Resource and CE Activity, to align with the similar service types for Community Legal Education. Once made available through CLASS, these individual services will map up to the service type of Community Education for NPA reporting purposes.  (Continue using Community Education Service until the two new service types are available).

Service Type: Community Education Resource

CE Resource is the service type used to record the development (or substantial amendment) of a publication or other resource that provides information about:

  • non-­legal problems that directly impact upon a person’s ability to access or participate in the justice system,
  • social welfare issues
  • learning outcomes and personal development of people involved in the legal process and experiencing disadvantage
  • information about support services.

Most CE Resources are developed to support a CE Activity, eg a training module, presentation, or workshop outline, but may also include a booklet, pamphlet, or poster.

CE Resources may be developed to be delivered via a variety of media including:

  • printed/hard copy
  • audio products
  • DVD/video
  • web based
  • workshops or presentations.

How many CE Resources?

Each CE Resource developed and/or published is counted as one CE Resource, regardless of the number of copies that may be printed or published. The number of copies distributed may be recorded as a service characteristic, where applicable.

A resource that has been translated or amended substantially to meet the needs of different client groups is regarded as a separate CE Resource. A resource is substantially amended if more than 40% of the content has changed from the original version. A resource that is produced in significantly different formats, for example as a pamphlet and a DVD, is regarded as two CE Resources.

Service Type: Community Education Activity

There are a range of skills and approaches for engaging local communities/groups and in particular disadvantaged people. These include less formal educational methods, community activities and group skills. Community development enables community members to be better informed and to have an active voice in seeking solutions for the issues affecting their circumstances/lives.

Examples of Community Education Activities include:

  • financial capability workshops
  • self­esteem and healthy relationships sessions
  • behavioural programmes
  • empowerment/leadership programmes
  • workshops on access to services such as housing, social services, support parenting programmes
  • group therapy.

How should FVPLS record Early Intervention and Prevention Strategies?

For compliance with the Family Prevention and Legal Service (FVPLS) funding agreements with the Commonwealth, FVPLS should record any non-legal intervention and prevention (EIP) strategies as Community Education Activities. Any strategies that have a legal component should be recorded as CLE Activities.

Difference between a CE Activity and Non-Legal Support Service

Non-­legal information delivered to a group of people by a non­-legal worker is a Community Education Service.  The names of individual people do not need to be recorded, and the information is not tailored to the circumstances of every individual attending.

If an attendee at a CE Activity asks questions about their own circumstances, the non-legal worker should engage with them outside of the group to follow-up on individual support, which may then be recorded as a Non-Legal Support Service.

How many Services?

Each time a Community Education activity / event / workshop is delivered, it is counted as one CE Activity. The target audience and the number of people in attendance at each session could be recorded as service characteristics.

For CLASS users, refer to CLASS Documentation for information about service characteristics available to all Community Projects.

Case Studies and Examples

Case Study: Healthy Relationships Community Education Session

Some Community Project activities do not fall neatly into one Service Type or another. See Community Project for examples.