ERIC Number: ED219220
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul-20
Reference Count: 0
The Unique Characteristics of Rural Social Workers. A Five County Study.
Verry, George P.; Huber, James R.
To examine the unique characteristics of rural social workers from five northeastern Iowa counties, interviewers examined the areas of lifestyle, supervision, flexibility, community resources, generalist casework as opposed to specialized casework, and the influence of gender in rural areas. The 3-phase field study (comprised of approximately 15 interviews with 25 participants) included county directors, social workers groups (3 workers from each county), and individual key workers (identified by the interviewer). Common traits ranked high by county directors were flexibility, supervision, use of community resources, and generalist approach. Interviews with social work groups and key individuals revealed that the majority grew up in rural areas and chose to work there. Emphasis was placed on the need to work with informal networks developed by the social workers, using community members as resources. Peer supervision and flexibility were also held to be important factors. Distance and time taken for travel to reach outside resources were listed as the most negative aspects by workers; however the situation presented by these and other obstacles met in rural areas was listed as a challenge and the major reason social workers chose to remain in rural areas. Three Iowa social worker job descriptions are appended. (AH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Flexibility; Generalists; Iowa; Peer Supervision; Place of Birth
Note: Paper presented at the National Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas (6th, Beaufort County, SC, July 26-29, 1981).