Chapter 14 Rural Social Work

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In this chapter we will review some of the more salient characteristics of rural life in America, identify social welfare and social work resources available in rural communities, and discuss unique aspects of social work in rural settings

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Chapter 14 Rural Social Work

  1. 1. Chapter 14: Social Work in Rural SettingsCopyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  2. 2. Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  3. 3. Social Work: A Competency- Oriented Education Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) - Defines Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAs) - Developed 10 “Core Competencies” and 41 Related “Practice Behaviors” Every student should master the Practice Behaviors and Core Competencies before completing the program Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  4. 4. Resources Aligned to EPAS 2008 The Textbook – - “Helping Hands” icons call attention to content that relates to Practice Behaviors and Competencies - “Competency Notes” at the end of the chapter help put the Practice Behaviors and Competencies in practical context Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  5. 5. Resources Aligned to EPAS 2008 (cont’d) The Practice Behaviors Workbook developed with the text provides assignable exercises that assist in mastering the Practice Behavior and Competencies Additional on-line resources can be found at: www.cengage.com/socialwork Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  6. 6. Definitional issues• Definitions of urban or rural are based on population size, not behavioral attributes of population groups• Such definitions do not take into account the complexity of life in either placeEP 2.1.3a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  7. 7. Key facts about rural life• 50 million people• Farming no longer central to rural economy• People have more limited resources than urban residents• Different environment and lifestyle than found in metropolitan areasEP 2.1.3a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  8. 8. Key facts about rural life• Growing numbers of Hispanics• Weekly earnings for non-metro workers are 70% to 80% of those for metro workers• Food insecurity (not enough food to meet basic needs) is greater in non-metro areas than in metro areasEP 2.1.3a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  9. 9. Characteristics of rural communities• Basic friendliness and trust• Isolation and resistance to change• Suspicion toward newcomers or outsiders• Independence of spirit, yet vulnerable• Financial and experiential poverty• Reliance on informal or natural helping systems for assistanceEP 2.1.3a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  10. 10. Characteristics of rural communities (cont’d)• Concrete thinking and reserved behaviors• Traditional values and conservatism• More holistic, less compartmentalized lives EP 2.1.3a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  11. 11. Social organization of rural communitiesAlthough there are common threads of roles andRelationships that knit the community together,each locale has its own characterEP 2.1.7a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  12. 12. Support services in rural communities• Scarce or nonexistent• Church is a significant institution• County agent often serves as counselor, case manager, and resource finder• Reliance on informal or natural helping networks• Impact of digital divideEP 2.1.1a, 2.1.8a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  13. 13. Social problems in rural areas• Few available mental health services• Major gaps in health care services• Persistent poverty• Rapidly-growing older adult population• Ethnic segregationEP 2.1.3a, 2.1.7b Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  14. 14. The rural familyThe notion that rural families experience a highdegree of harmony, are problem free, and enjoy highlevels of life satisfaction is not necessarily borne outby factEP 2.1.3a, 2.1.7b Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  15. 15. Crisis of the small farmerFew resources are available to assist the small farmerand rancher in maintaining property and purchasingequipment essential for successful competitionEP 2.1.3a, 2.1.7b Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  16. 16. Social welfare in rural communities• Rural areas vary in ability to finance needed services• Few services are available – those that are tend to be basic ones• Public social services are generally extended to rural areas through state agencies EP 2.1.1a, 2.1.8a, 2.1.9b Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  17. 17. Social work in rural settings• Change comes slow• Strong relationships with community leaders are essential• Requires knowledge of resources, resource development, methods of linking clients with resources, and case management EP 2.1.1a, 2.1.7b, 2.1.8a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  18. 18. Social Work in Rural Settings• Everyone knows the social worker both professionally and personally• Maintaining client confidentiality can be difficult• Social workers who do not reside in the community are often regarded as outsidersEP 2.1.1a, 2.1.7b, 2.1.8a Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing
  19. 19. Rural social work as generalist practice• Settings, problems, and lack of resources provide a unique set of challenges• Requires creativity, innovation, and ability to mobilize resources• Seen as neighbors as well as practitionersEP 2.1.1a, 2.1.7b, 2.1.8b Copyright © 2012 Cengage Learning, Brooks/Cole Publishing

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