Service: the act of doing something for the benefit of others or for the greater good.
Defined in CAS Guide (2015) as
‘Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need’.
The service strand in CAS allows for the development of international mindedness, global citizenship and attributes of the learner profile. In engaging yourself in service you can be an agent of changing, doing something meaningful for society while developing as an individual.
Types of Service
This is where you directly engage with the people, environment or animals that form the target groups. A benefit of this type of service is that you are better able to establish relationships with those you are working with, and can directly observe your impact.
In this type of service, you participate with the recipients but are not in direct contact. It is important to highlight here that even though you may not directly see the community you are supporting, you will need to communicate with them so that your actions are aimed at an identified need and you are able to evaluate your actions to see if they are meeting your desired goals.
In this type of service you become an advocate for a particular organization or cause in an attempt to change people’s ideas, understanding and behaviours surrounding a particular global issue. This type of service provides obvious opportunities to engage yourself in addressing an issue of global significance - one of the seven CAS learning outcomes.
As the name implies, this type of service would involve you conducting research to report in some way on a significant topic, with the aim of your research informing and affecting guidelines, positions and ideas. The research would involve you collecting, analyzing and synthesizing information from various sources, and putting this together in some form of written, visual or oral report.
As you are dealing with real people in real situations, errors may lead to real harm. Supervision by an appropriate adult, sometimes one of your teachers or sometimes a community partner, throughout your application of the CAS stages can help avoid undesired outcomes. It can also ensure that the issues and people you are engaging with will be appropriate for your age, capabilities and maturity level. After all, we want to ensure that your engagement does not physically or emotionally harm you!