245557 Building healthier communities through Time Banking

Monday, October 31, 2011

Corinne Kyriacou, PhD , Department of Health Professions and Kinesiology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Ed Collom, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
Judith Lasker, PhD , Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Declining income and increased job loss, combined with lack of confidence in national and global economic systems has led to an increased interest in community currencies or alternative exchange networks, such as Time Banks, as a vehicle for building healthy communities. Time Banks challenge both the traditional social service and economic models by creating an environment of reciprocity in which everyone‘s work has equal value and all people can help others as well as themselves. Members earn credit for each hour they spend helping someone else, which can in turn be used to purchase hours of services from others within the network. The goal is twofold: to build social capital and to make goods and services more accessible and affordable than they would be in the traditional marketplace. This paper presents the first systematic analysis of the Time Banking model. Using quantitative and qualitative data from three well-established U.S.-based Time Banks, we examine the extent that these networks produce economic, social and health benefits for individuals, organizations and communities. Findings indicate that members show improvements in physical and mental health, self-worth, and self-efficacy due to their membership in the Time Bank. Furthermore, membership is shown to integrate socially isolated individuals into broader networks, and in the process build stronger, healthier communities. At a time of strained budgets, increased human needs, and reduced services for those who need them, more and more people are turning to Time Banks to meet their needs and to support local community and economic development.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the essential components of the Time Bank model. 2. Define the concept of reciprocity in the context of Time Banking. 3. Assess the impact Time Banking has on members, host organizations and communities from economic, social and health perspectives.

Keywords: Community Building, Self-sufficiency and Empowerment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctorate from Brandeis University (1999) in Social Policy/Health Services Research and I am an Associate Professor of Community Health at Hofstra University. My research is focused primarily on issues related to the integration of medical and social services for the chronically ill and increasing quality of care and access to care for vulnerable populations. I have published in journals such as the International Journal of Integrated Care, The Gerontologist, Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of Aging and Health, and the Journal of Palliative Medicine. I co-authored an Institute of Medicine book, The Lessons and Legacy of the Pew Health Policy Fellowship Program, and wrote a chapter on Family Therapy for Adult Children Caregivers (2010).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.