ERIC Number: ED347245
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
The Puerto Rican Community and Natural Support Systems: Implications for the Education of Children.
This report explores how service providers and educators can better understand, support, and work with Puerto Rican natural support systems through a variety of collaborative strategies. A first section presents a definition of Puerto Rican natural support systems and a discussion of how they are operationalized, and describes the following four general types: (1) the extended family; (2) folk healers; (3) religious groups; and (4) merchant and social clubs. A framework is suggested for examining the breakdown of those natural systems. The following five causes of the breakdown of natural support systems are considered: (1) temporary crisis; (2) inability to respond; (3) refusal to assist; (4) systems are non-existent; and (5) shame. The typology of reasons for breakdowns is important as these systems often represent the first and only source for assistance for many Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic American groups. An examination of barriers to collaborating with natural support systems shows that lack of trust, underpinnings of assessment and intervention, knowledge of others' work and mission, and service delivery structure and logistics can all impede useful cooperation. Final sections look at the need for further research on the Puerto Rican community and present implications and recommendations for reaching this community through use of the natural support systems. Included are 36 references. (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Responsive Education, Boston, MA.; Center on Families, Communities, Schools, and Children's Learning.