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Rural Social Work: Building and Sustaining Community Capacity, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-44516-7
384 pages
August 2013, ©2014
Rural Social Work: Building and Sustaining Community Capacity, 2nd Edition (1118445163) cover image


A thoughtful text integrating strengths, assets, and capacity-building themes with contemporary issues in rural social work practice

Now in its second edition, Rural Social Work is a collection of contributed readings from social work scholars, students, and practitioners presenting a framework for resource building based on the strengths, assets, and capacities of people, a tool essential for working with rural communities.

This guide considers methods for social workers to participate in the work of sustaining rural communities. Each chapter features a reading integrating the themes of capacity-building and rural social work; discussion questions that facilitate critical thinking around the chapter; and suggested activities and assignments.

Rural Social Work, Second Edition explores:

  • Important practice issues in rural communities, including the challenges of working with stigmatized populations such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, the homeless, and people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Practice models that hold special promise for rural social workers, including evidence-based practice and community partnership models
  • Newer research tools such as asset mapping, social network analysis, concept mapping, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Exploring how social workers can integrate the tremendous resources that exist in rural communities into their practice, Rural Social Work, Second Edition provides a solid introduction to the complex, challenging, and rewarding work of building and sustaining rural communities.

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Table of Contents

Preface, xv

Acknowledgments, xxiii

About the Editors xxv

About the Contributors xxvii

Paul H. Stuart

Chapter 1 Down-Home Social Work: A Strengths-Based Model for Rural Practice 5
Michael R. Daley and Freddie L. Avant

Defining Rural 6

Rurality and Social Work Practice 7

A Multisystem Model for Down-Home (Rural) Social Work 9

Rationale for the Down-Home Model of Rural Social Work 10

Implications for Rural Social Work 13

Discussion Questions 15

Classroom Activities and Assignments 16

References 16

Chapter 2 Rural Is Real: History of the National Rural Social Work Caucus and the NASW Professional Policy Statement on Rural Social Work 19
Samuel A. Hickman

The Rural Social Work Caucus and the National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas 21

Activities of the National Rural Social Work Caucus 22

Achievements of the National Rural Social Work Caucus 23

A Generalist Approach 24

Including Rural Social Work in Educational Curricula 24

A Brief History of the Rural Social Work Professional Policy Statement 25

The 2002 and 2011 Rural SocialWork Professional Policy Statements 26

Discussion Questions 27

Classroom Activities and Assignments 27

Internet Resources 27

References 27

Chapter 3 Social Welfare and Rural People: From the Colonial Era to the Present 29
Paul H. Stuart

Colonial Period 30

Early National Period 31

The Civil War and After 33

The Progressive Era 35

World Wars Prosperity Depression and Prosperity Again 37

Recent Developments 38

Discussion Questions 40

Classroom Activities and Assignments 41

References 41

Chapter 4 Out of Sight Out of Mind: Rural Social Work and African American Women at Efland Home for Girls 1920–1938 45
Tanya Smith Brice

Female Delinquency 46

Girl-Saving Efforts 47

Efland Home as an Asset 50

Conclusion 52

Discussion Questions 53

Classroom Activities and Assignments 53

References 54

Freddie L. Avant

Chapter 5 Accomplishing the Four Essential Tasks for Higher Education Access: The Role of Natural Helping Networks in Rural Virginia 59
Nathan F. Alleman and L. Neal Holly

Making Sense of Social Networks 60

Understanding College Access: Four Essential Tasks 62

Natural Helping Networks and School–Community Partnerships 67

Conclusion 70

Discussion Questions 71

Classroom Activities and Assignments 71

References 72

Chapter 6 African Americans Living in Rural Community: Building Assets from an Afrocentric Perspective 75
Freddie L. Avant

Diversity and Social Work Practice 76

Afrocentric Perspective 77

Using an Afrocentric Perspective to Build Assets 79

African Americans in Rural Areas 81

Understanding Human Behavior of African Americans in Rural Environments 82

Conclusion 83

Discussion Questions 84

Classroom Activities and Assignments 84

References 85

Chapter 7 Latino Populations in Rural America: Using Strengths to Build Capacity 87
Griselda Villalobos

New Immigration Patterns 87

Needs of Latino Populations in Rural America 88

Cultural Characteristics of Latino Populations 88

Acculturation 89

Strategies for Building Capacity 92

Conclusion 95

Discussion Questions 95

Classroom Activities and Assignments 95

References 96

Chapter 8 Building Community Among Rural Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgendered Persons: Connecting Community Through Families of Choice 99
Amy C. Russell

Challenges for Rural GLBT Individuals and Communities 100

Three-Stage Process for Building Community 102

Conclusion 110

Discussion Questions 110

Classroom Activities and Assignments 111

References 111

Chapter 9 Rural Children and Adolescents: Building Capacities Within Public Schools 113
Linda Openshaw

Consultation and Advocacy 114

Assessment 115

Direct Interventions and Program Development 116

Academic Help: Alternative Schools 118

Social Skills and Independent Living Skills 120

Mentoring 122

After-School Programs 124

Conclusion 125

Discussion Questions 125

Classroom Activities and Assignments 125

References 126

Susan A. Murty

Chapter 10 Evidence-Based Practice in the Rural Context 131
Danielle E. Parrish and Kathi R. Trawver

What Is Evidence-Based Practice? 132

Evidence-Based Practice and the Rural Social Work Practice Setting 135

Real-World Example: Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice in a Rural Setting 136

What Are the Challenges and Possibilities for Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Rural Settings? 137

Conclusion 140

Discussion Questions 141

Classroom Activities and Assignments 141

References 142

Chapter 11 Wraparound in Rural Child and Youth Mental Health: Coalescing Family-Community Capacities 145
Tamara S. Davis

Mental Health Prevalence and Risk Factors of Rural Children and Youth 146

Mental Health Service Delivery to Children Youth and Families in Rural Communities 147

Wraparound Service Delivery in Systems of Care 150

Conclusion 156

Discussion Questions 157

Classroom Activities and Assignments 157

References 158

Chapter 12 Help-Seeking Pathways to Care: Culturally Competent Practice With Rural Hispanics With High Migratory Traditions to the United States 163
Dennis L. Poole and Alex Espadas

Case Illustration 164

Help-Seeking Theory 165

Cultural Pathways to Care Model 166

Guidelines for Interventions Along Cultural Pathways to Care 168

Conclusion 172

Discussion Questions 173

Classroom Activities and Assignments 173

References 174

Chapter 13 Social Workers and Rural Congregations: Partnering to Build Community Capacity 175
T. Laine Scales and Jon E. Singletary

Characteristics of Rural Congregations 176

Communicating With Rural Congregations 179

Rural Congregations as Community Partners 181

Social Workers and Rural Congregations 182

Discussion Questions 183

Classroom Activities and Assignments 183

References 184

Chapter 14 Working Together to Improve Services for People Living With HIV/AIDS: An Example of Service Delivery Network Development From Rural Northeast Texas 187
H. Stephen Cooper Freddie L. Avant and Wilma Cordova

Context for Practice: Northeast Texas 188

Service Delivery Networks 190

The SHRT Network Development Project 194

Discussion 201

Conclusion 203

Discussion Questions 204

Classroom Activities and Assignments 204

References 204

Chapter 15 Building Capacity to Overcome Challenges in the Delivery of Hospice and Palliative Care in Rural Communities 207
Amy Z. Boelk and Jessica H. Retrum

Reviewing the Literature: Challenges for Hospice and Palliative Care in Rural Communities 208

Building Capacity: Insights From Rural Hospice SocialWorkers 212

Conclusion 218

Discussion Questions 218

Classroom Activities and Assignments 219

Internet Resources 220

References 220

F. Ellen Netting

Chapter 16 Capacity for Conservation: Rural Communities Address Sustainability for Global Impact 227
Kathleen Belanger

Overview of Sustainability 228

Importance of Sustainability to Rural Communities and to Populations at Risk 230

Conclusion 233

Discussion Questions 233

Classroom Activities and Assignments 233

Internet Resources 234

References 234

Chapter 17 Living in Limbo: Homeless Families in Rural America 237
Jim Winship

Understanding Rural Homelessness 238

Reasons for the Growth in Homelessness 240

Recognizing the Assets of Those Experiencing Homelessness 246

Discussion Questions 248

Classroom Activities and Assignments 248

References 248

Chapter 18 Location Matters: Using GIS Mapping to Address Policy Issues in Rural Areas 251
Donna M. Aguiniga and Amanda M. Davis

History of GIS 252

Rural Issues 253

Tracking Service Utilization and Changes 257

GIS and Policy 258

Participatory GIS 260

Challenges with GIS 261

Conclusion 262

Discussion Questions 263

Classroom Activities and Assignments 263

References 264

Dennis L. Poole

Chapter 19 Using an Assessment Framework for Research in a Rural Context 269
Susan A. Murty

Rural Research Literature 269

Rural Research Methods 271

Mapping the Assets of a Rural Community 273

Examples of Research Studies 275

Conclusion 277

Discussion Questions 277

Classroom Activities and Assignments 278

References 279

Chapter 20 Using Concept Mapping for Assessment and Planning in Rural Communities: Identifying Capacities Through Participation 281
Tamara S. Davis and H. Stephen Cooper

Community Assessment and Planning Approaches 281

Overview of Concept Mapping 282

Rural East Texas Health Network (RETHN) 285

Assessing Cultural Competence in a Rural System of Care for Children’s Mental Health 292

Conclusion 298

Discussion Questions 299

Classroom Activities and Assignments 299

References 299

Chapter 21 Rural Networks: Using Social Network Analysis to Understand Communities 303
Calvin L. Streeter and H. Stephen Cooper

Social Network Analysis 304

The Safe Schools/Healthy Student (SS/HS) Collaboration 308

Conclusion 314

Discussion Questions 315

Classroom Activities and Assignments 315

References 316

Appendix A NASW Rural Policy Statement 317

Appendix B Online Training and Resources on the EBP Process and Practice Issues for Rural Settings 325

Appendix C Ideas Ratings for Service Providers and Consumers (Mean Scores) 329

Author Index 335

Subject Index 343

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Author Information

T. LAINE SCALES, PhD, is Professor of Higher Education and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. She taught social work for 17 years and has published in the areas of social welfare history, rural social work, religion in social work, and teaching with decision cases.

CALVIN L. STREETER, PhD, is the Meadows Foundation Centennial Professor in the Quality of Life in the Rural Environment and former chair of the Community and Administrative Leadership Concentration in Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin.

H. STEPHEN COOPER, PhD, is Associate Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean, College of Liberal and Applied Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

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"There are so few texts on rural social work it is exciting to see this excellent update. It fills an important niche for rural practitioners, helping social workers creatively recognize and build on the unique set of assets that can be found in rural communities. It's just what I want for my students. Congratulations to Drs. Scales, Streeter & Cooper on their accomplishment."
Linda Hillemann, MSW, LCSW, Coordinator, UM School of Social Work Off-Campus MSW Program

"As the social work profession has evolved we have learned the value of identifying social problems while simultaneously refocusing on the qualities that empower people and move them through their hardships. Rural Social Work: Building and Sustaining Community Capacity, does a masterful job of capturing this professional growth. It demonstrates movement away from our disillusionment about what cannot be done and instead focuses on our sanguine assessment of community possibilities. The editors, Scales, Streeter and Cooper, have selected contributors who understand the myriad qualities inherent to rural communities, embrace possibilities, and skillfully discuss ways and means of rural policy practice."
Iris Carlton-LaNey, Ph.D., Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Social Work

"Whether at the individual, family, group, community or organizational levels, rural social work practice requires a specific body of knowledge and a unique skill set. Since much of social work education assumes practice will occur in an resource-rich urban area, social workers are often perplexed when the knowledge, values and skills they have learned do not effectively translate to a rural setting. This book takes the reader from a thorough history of social welfare in rural settings to practice with diverse rural populations rarely covered in the literature (e.g., rural African Americans, Latinos, GBLT populations, rural children and adolescents, the homeless, etc.). Both the beginning and advanced practitioner will learn how to work effectively with rural congregations, formal and informal helping networks, and mapping frameworks to address capacity building in rural mental health services, schools, hospice centers, AIDS services, and community development. The authors have richly added to the body of knowledge on rural social work practice from a "down home," multisystem perspective. Social workers, both urban and rural, must have this practical "how to" on their shelves. It will be required reading in our social work practice classes."
Barbara J. Nowak, Ph.D., LCSW/MSW, Program Director, Department of Social Work, Albany State University

"Rural Social Work: Building and Sustaining Community Capacity, Second Edition is a wonderful update to a major text in the rural social work literature. Scales, Streeter, and Cooper, along with the chapter authors, expertly explain and demonstrate a strengths-based, asset and capacity building approach to rural social work practice. Engagingly written, this text includes useful discussion topics and activities. It will continue to be a must read text in rural social work."
Barbara Pierce, PHD, LMSW, ACSW, Associate Professor, Indiana University, School of Social Work

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