ERIC Number: ED176918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
The Delivery of Services to Mentally Retarded Persons Living in Rural Areas: Context, Problems and Issues.
Horejsi, Charles R.
Strategies and techniques for developing community-based programs for mentally retarded persons in rural areas must take into consideration local circumstances, resources, and characteristics. Rural norms such as overt racial segregation, social conformity, the importance of church, and the stigma of obtaining human services for personal problems must be understood and accepted. Professional programs must win approval of, and work in accordance with, informal or "natural services systems" which often provide services for which there are no formal organizations. Complicated community dynamics make the selection of local staff for rural service organizations a complex problem. Regionalized programs are more easily coordinated and more economically feasible in rural areas (where a"unit" of service costs four times more than in urban areas), but rural parochialism makes acceptance, creation, and maintenance of such programs difficult. "Purchase of Service" contracts are an attractive alternative for providing human services in rural areas if some service organizations exist. Service professionals in rural areas face special problems of professional isolation, broadly generalized skills and knowledge, and community acceptance based on other than professional considerations. Programs and services designed for urban areas must not be exported to rural areas. (SB)
Descriptors: American Indian Reservations, Community Attitudes, Community Characteristics, Community Programs, Community Resources, Community Support, Cooperative Programs, Coordination, Delivery Systems, Human Services, Mental Retardation, Professional Personnel, Professional Recognition, Program Development, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Economics, Rural Population, Rural Urban Differences
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Mental Retardation, Toronto (Ontario).; Saskatchewan Association for the Mentally Retarded, Saskatoon.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the workshop on Service Delivery Models for Rural and Isolated Regions (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, November 27-29, 1978)