ERIC Number: ED253383
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jul-29
Reference Count: 0
Toward a Leadership Role in Human Services: The Case for Rural Communities.
While there is a natural fit between rural communities and a particular kind of social work practice, it is not the prevailing form of practice in rural communities. The rural practice model should be generic rather than specialized, should recognize the utility of natural helping networks and build on them, and should work through community controlled structures to ensure that services are tuned to local needs and delivered in a way that is part of the community's fabric. Three realities deter optimization of human services delivery in British Columbia and elsewhere: political (politicians do not give high priority to social services), organizational (hierarchical, centralized structures do not encourage local program control), and staffing ("revolving door" staff do not consider knowledge of local customs or helping networks important). If change is to occur, the three realities will have to be reframed. Social service professionals need to show conservative politicians how natural helping networks can be used, and trusted. Reframing the organizational issue requires a reordering of the delivery unit's status, its capacities, and responsibilities. Schools of social work should recruit from rural communities and all involved in social services must give attention to revitalizing those who do stay in rural communities. (BRR)
Descriptors: Community Characteristics, Community Services, Community Support, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Labor Turnover, Models, Organizational Effectiveness, Political Power, Professional Education, Rural Areas, Rural Environment, Social Support Groups, Social Work, Social Workers, Work Environment
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: British Columbia; Canada
Note: Paper presented at the Ninth National/Second International Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas (Orono, ME, July 28-31, 1984).