ERIC Number: ED220224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Natural Helpers: A Study of Primary Caregivers among Migrant Women.
Greenfield, Wilma L.
Natural helpers exist even among the most oppressed populations in this country, particularly migrant women, and recognition of their helping networks can give professional caregivers access to a resource that is often more adaptive, more efficient, and more humane than many static, impersonal, and obsolete human service bureaucracies. Migrant problems and issues are intensified by new waves of immigrants who seek to join the migrant stream and thus aggravate an already over-taxed human service system. When migrants seek help, the first help is sought from among the extended family, then from crew boss or church, before turning to friends. Natural helpers continue to relate to the vulnerability of those in need beyond the solution of their own problem. They may seek funds from other migrants, provide services (such as midwifery), or act as intermediaries to formal service providers. Some natural helpers volunteer to work in service centers or become employed in situations which capitalize on their natural skills. Natural helpers can be utilized to provide both preventative and support functions. The opportunities for tapping into natural helping networks are boundless; it merely requires a recognition of their existence and a willingness to identify natural helpers and work with them. (BRR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Caregivers; Natural Helpers
Note: Paper presented at the National Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas (Beaufort County, SC, July, 1981).