what is full spectrum community care?
Full spectrum community care explains the importance of not being single topic and instead encompassing all the community needs in order to be able to provide supportive and sustainable community care.
full spectrum community care embraces the wholeness and the messiness of community support, and places the focus on all, not individual or isolated needs. full spectrum community care means no one is left behind. full spectrum community care sees the necessity of staying skilled and prepared to provide support to all who need it and understand that this is an ongoing and ever evolving task. full spectrum community care is bringing people together to support those most marginalised, those seen as 'undesirable' by the state and to actively participate and work with our communities to ensure we are able to provide for ourselves the love, care, support, resources and skills we need to survive and thrive in the face of adversity and oppressions
It means working from the bottom up instead of from the top down. This means raising the safety and support for those most marginalised as the catalyst to be able to challenge hierarchical supremacy of all forms. Once we have structures to support the liberation of those who are most affected by state violence, by oppressions, by white cisgender hetero abled patriarchy, then we will be have the tools to be able to liberate all. This work must be done with those most marginalised in the positions of authority and autonomy in the fight for their own liberation and the liberation of those more privileged.
Full spectrum community care means no one left behind. We must clearly identify that single issue battles that are fighting only for the privileged, are not a tool of liberation, but instead a weapon of oppression.
Full spectrum community care means skill-ing up, it means radical education, it means decolonising the way we currently work. We must be able to work as a community, for the entirety of the community.
Taking skills that are stereotypically seen as 'gendered' or 'unskilled' and seeing their importance for community benefit not for profit, such as doulas and midwives, cleaners, carers, homeschoolers etc.
To remove the police, the prison industrial complex and acting like cops to each other out of our communities and individual lives. Full spectrum community care is abolitionist in nature and shows that with harnessing the full support of the community, we can care for each other, problem solves, resolve conflicts safely and without the need for oppressive state involvement.
We must build for our communities, not for ourselves. We must fight for all of our community and we must acknowledge the full spectrum of care a community needs to survive.
As I build this term more, I will add more here.
why did I decide to create this term?
When creating projects that were interlinked through community care, even if working in different areas, I could easily see the importance of community care being seen through the lens of intersectionality. To use intersectionality to see how all oppressions are linked, which shows that you cannot examine one oppression or marginalisation without considering the others that factor in is important, but doesn't apply fully to the community care or community organising dynamic.
So to bring the term full spectrum, which I have seen used in doula settings to mean bringing support to all realities and outcomes to parenting, birthing and pregnancy and not just focusing on one area, into community care worked for me. To me, community care is something we birth, its something we love and care for and something we need to nurture. It needs the support given to all the realities and outcomes within the community, including the difficult, the painful, the unpopular and the undesirable.
I had struggled to find a term that encompassed the importance of seeing and supporting the full needs of the community, to benefit the full community and so full spectrum community care was born.
The only way we can create sustainable, inclusive and forward-thinking communities is through full spectrum community care and platforming those most marginalised.
should you use this term?
Yes, absolutely! If you and your work embodies full spectrum community care values, then please do! It would be amazing if you could credit me if you use this academically or in press or public speeches or when talking about it to people. It's important to not whitewash or erase the history of Black MaGes (marginalised genders, term coined by Crystal Michelle) and our valuable gifts of language, theory and practice that comes from the realities of living as marginalised people and gives very real insight as well as new terminology.