Time banking is a pattern of reciprocal Service Exchange that uses units of time as Currency. It is an example of an alternative monetary system. A time bank, also known as a service exchange, is a community that practices time banking... Time banking is primarily used to provide incentives and rewards for work such as mentoring children, caring for the elderly, being neighborly—work usually done on a volunteer basis—which a pure market system devalues. Essentially, the "time" one spends providing these types of community services earns "time" that one can spend to receive services. As well as gaining credits, participating individuals, particularly those more used to being recipients in other parts of their lives, can potentially gain confidence,social contact and skills through giving to others. Communities therefore use time banking as a tool to forge stronger intra-community connections, a process known as "building Social Capital." Time banking had its intellectual genesis in the U.S. in the early 1980s. By 1990, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had invested US $1.2 million to pilot time banking in the context of Senior Care... Edgar Cahn believed that one of the major failings of many social service organizations was their unwillingness to enroll the help of those people they were trying to help. He called this a deficit based approach to social service, where organizations view the people they were trying to help only in terms of their needs, as opposed to an asset based approach, which focuses on the contributions towards their communities that everyone can make. He theorized that a system like time banking could "[rebuild] the infrastructure of trust and caring that can strengthen families and communities." He hoped that the system "would enable individuals and communities to become more self-sufficient, to insulate themselves from the vagaries of politics and to tap the capacity of individuals who were in effect being relegated to the scrap heap and dismissed as freeloaders." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_banking
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