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It takes a village: why we need community-driven place-based services

08 Mar 2017

Linkwest provide a compelling perspective on why they believe we need community-driven place-based services . . .

The proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ relates to the thinking that a child has the best chance of becoming a healthy, productive adult if the entire community takes an active role in its rearing.

The child benefits from differing points of view, a range of skill sets and experience, and the village has an active, vested interest in seeing the child succeed. After all, the success of the child will contribute to the ongoing and future success of the village.

If we extrapolate this thinking to services (the child) within local communities (the village), the benefits of place-based services become immediately apparent. Community members who have input into the development and direction of a local i.e. place-based service, will have a vested interest in its ongoing success. Local input will produce solutions tailored to the local community, and which build on local strengths and assets.

Place-based approaches are empowering: they not only connect people, but can connect services in a way that they can leverage off each other to best serve the local community. And because of ongoing input from the local community, issues can be identified and dealt with as they emerge – before the problem reaches crisis stage.

We need community-driven place-based services: because it takes a village to build a community.


Linkwest is the peak body for Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres in Western Australia. It offers targeted and relevant training and support to those working in small community-managed not-for-profits. Linkwest’s member Centres provide a friendly, welcoming place where local people can gather, connect, learn and belong.

Linkwest is currently spearheading a year-long campaign #ItsGoodToBelong which aims to illustrate how place-based services such as Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres are not just important, but essential to the local community.

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