ERIC Number: EJ777092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Social Workers' Final Act of Service: Respectful Burial Arrangements for Indigent, Unclaimed, and Unidentified People
Castex, Graciela M.
Social Work, v52 n4 p331-339 2007
Social workers have long been involved in identifying resources and making final arrangements for clients who die without an estate or have no heirs, who may be institutionalized or unknown to the community, or whose body may be unclaimed for burial. Absent quick intervention, these individuals are often at risk for an anonymous potter's field burial, sometimes in coffins stacked eight deep, with no respectful ceremony of interment. This article provides an overview of societal responses to the need for a final disposition of all people; discusses demographic and social trends that, if realized, may result in a significant increase in indigent burials; and provides information on social work interventions and the identification of resources available for a respectful and dignified final disposition for a client.
Descriptors: Sociocultural Patterns, Social Work, Death, Ceremonies, Low Income Groups, Familiarity, Helping Relationship, Institutionalized Persons, Financial Support, Intervention
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.naswpress.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A