Unit 2: Characteristics of Rural Life and Rural Communities

For this, assignments please answer the following questions:

1.  Read the article titled, Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice, and pull out three suggestions that you found most important from your perspective and discuss why you chose those three.

2.  Read the article titled, Social Work in Rural Areas: A Personal and Professional Challenge.  The article discusses why rural social work practice has taken a generalist approach. Define generalist as it pertains to social work and discuss why it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article.

3. Read Chapter 2 in the text titled, The Social Dynamics of Small Communities. According to the chapter what does having a sense of place or belonging mean? Describe a community where you have felt a ‘sense of place’ or belonging. What about that community gave you that feeling?

 

There is not need to respond to other posts for this exercise. Thanks.

 

17 thoughts on “Unit 2: Characteristics of Rural Life and Rural Communities

  1. Crystal

    1. Read the article titled, Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice, and pull out three suggestions that you found most important from your perspective and discuss why you chose those three.

    I believe the three that I found the most important were cultural competency, using informal community resources, and building relationships and connections. I choose these three perspectives because I feel like it is very important to include those that we may serve in the rural areas into any discussions or services that we feel may be relevant to those that we are serving. We also need to make them feel like we are a part of what they are doing and their culture so joining in with their cultural activities and community life is very important to build relationships with those that we want to build trust and desire their confidence in. This all ties in with the cultural competency concept which is we get to know who we are serving, why we are serving them and then serve them. Do not come in with our own agenda’s of how we can help but asking those we are serving how they feel. This will help us not look like an outsider but someone who has come in to assist in blending the systems, social exchange, strength perspective and the ‘insider” perspective.
    2. Read the article titled, Social Work in Rural Areas: A Personal and Professional Challenge. The article discusses why rural social work practice has taken a generalist approach. Define generalist as it pertains to social work and discuss why it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article.

    The generalist approach does things in different ways that may not have been taught or learned in a classroom setting, open to other theories, approaches, and perspectives from different practices like Sociology, Psychology, etc., works with those in the community to make a positive impact while connecting the community together for the betterment of the community, respecting them through the process, and showing them how you relate to them within boundaries and finally showing those we serve that we all need each other to make this approach work effectively.
    3. Read Ch. 2 in the text titled, The Social Dynamics of Small Communities. According to the chapter what does having a sense of place or belonging mean? Describe a community where you have felt a ‘sense of place’ or belonging. What about that community gave you that feeling?

    Having a sense of place or belonging means that you associate within the place where you live and embed yourself in that place. You feel like you belong and those that are from there see you as someone that is there as an asset to that community and not as an outsider. Length of stay does not qualify you as belonging to any place. Relationships and partnerships in that community qualify you.

    I had a ‘sense of place’ or belonging when I lived at Sheppard Air Force base a military community and within that community I really had a ‘sense of place or belonging within our church community. I really felt like I belonged. The reason I felt like this because we truly were a family and built relationships that help me to grow and mature into the person that I have become today. They were always transparent and genuine with me and my family and in turn I felt like I could be the same way. I had a mutual respect for them and we had a give and take relationship. I grew to love and appreciate our relationship. I felt like part of the family and not someone that was just a taker but also a giver.

  2. ambarkdull

    1. The three suggestions I found most pertinent from my perspective were; be creative, flexible and innovative, using closer relationships to effect change and managing intersecting roles. I chose these three as being most pertinent for many reasons. In rural communities, resources and availability of services may be difficult; therefore, being creative and flexible as a generalist practitioner while remaining within your scope of practice can be highly beneficial to both the helping professional and to the client. Second I chose using closer relationships to effect change. Rural populations, at least in Alaska, largely value family. When you enter into a relationship with a member of indigenous population, creating a trusting and caring relationship can be the difference between success and failure for your client.

    2. Generalist practice, as defined by the article, is a mode of practice which incorporates different modalities and requires workers to work across different fields of practice. This is especially important for workers working in a rural community as the worker must be aware and sensitive to the diverse needs of the community.

    3. According to the chapter, having a sense of place is subjective and varies according to ones perceptions of space, boundaries, insiders, outsiders, and social roles. I feel a strong sense of place here in Fairbanks. Fairbanks is my home town, my family is rooted here and most of my family still lives here in Fairbanks. I have many friends here, and I know where everything is. My elementary, middle, and high school are still here and I pass each of them almost daily. Knowing where you are and that it is the place that you came from gives me a sense of place. I can teach my children about Fairbanks, and what used to be the old Pizza Hut and the old Chuck E. Cheese’s, just like my parents did for me.

  3. Jenn Wheeler

    Read the article titled, Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice, and pull out three suggestions that you found most important from your perspective and discuss why you chose those three.

    The three suggestions that I found important from my perspective are, “Understand that nearly everything is connected”, “Engage in ongoing community practice assessment and intervention” and “Use cultural competency skills”. The reason I choose these three suggestions are when it comes to rural settings, everyone and everything are connected. Your client today could be your cashier tomorrow, or the person you sit next to in church on Sunday. It is important that you keep in mind who you are working with and the family ties that extend through the village. It is also important that you stay involved in the community, keep your public profile, build trust and constantly be looking for ways to help members of the community help themselves. Being in a rural setting means knowing when, where and what is appropriate at each and every minute and the three suggestions of “Understand that nearly everything is connected”, “Engage in ongoing community practice assessment and intervention” and “Use cultural competency skills” allow this to be done.

    Read the article titled, Social Work in Rural Areas: A Personal and Professional Challenge. The article discusses why rural social work practice has taken a generalist approach. Define generalist as it pertains to social work and discuss why it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article.

    A generalist approach when defined in a social worker setting is a individual that most likely will be working in a community or village alone. This individual is required to have a vast knowledge of many areas of the social work realm. When servicing the community you may be required to work with community members that suffer with substance abuse, families who are having domestic violence issues, a couple who is unable to have children, etc. There are many circumstances that will come up and no matter the circumstance as a generalist social worker in a rural community you will have to take care of it. In regards to the article, it specifies that it is especially important to make your cliental aware of the professional and personal boundaries. As a rural social worker you will be required to “wear many hats” and relationships that would be considered unethical in an urban setting are required and need to be clearly outlined and defined in a rural setting.

    Read Ch. 2 in the text titled, The Social Dynamics of Small Communities. According to the chapter what does having a sense of place or belonging mean? Describe a community where you have felt a ‘sense of place’ or belonging. What about that community gave you that feeling?

    In chapter 2 of our text they describe having a place or belonging as not only being somewhere geographically but also within that location is finding a way to fit in and become part of the community. Becoming one with the area, and people… changing your way of life to adapt and place yourself in their lives and their way of living.
    I would say a good example of a place where I feel that I have a place and a sense of belonging is as a military wife. Belonging or being part of the military is a culture within its self, and once you are not around or do not have that safe place to go to, you really realize it. There is a real welcoming and family feel when your involved in FRG’s and there is a understanding among military spouses of what your spouse goes to that is not always understood outside the military.

  4. Rebekah Kinder

    1. In the article entitled “Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice” there were many suggestions that are important to highlight, from my perspective. The number one suggestion that stood out to me was “Identify impacts of rural stigma”. The reason this stood out for me is that I am guilty of perpetuating the stereotypes of rural life that has proven difficult to the respondents. I did not know that my opinions could have such a negative effect on people, what I thought of as my personal preference, is actually urban bias. In relations to identifying the impacts of social stigma, I think it is important to mention the suggestion of advocating for social justice for rural areas. The reason that this one stood out for me as well was because of my own urban bias. I agree with the respondents that encouraging anti-stigma advocacy will help reduce the negative stereotypes associated with rural areas. Finally, the last suggestion that I would like to mention is “use of abundant informal community resources.” This suggestion radiated importance as one factor majorly effecting rural social work is limited resources. By using informal resources a social worker can have a much larger positive impact on their community.
    2. Generalist as it pertains to rural social work means that social workers work across a wide range of methodologies and modalities, including working across several fields of practice (Green, 2003). By adopting a generalist approach the social worker can adapt to the unique needs of people throughout a community.
    3. According to the text having a sense of place or belonging means several things. First, in regards to place it is a “subjective phenomena which varies according to individual perceptions of space, boundaries, insiders and outsiders, and social roles (Cheers, Pugh 2010). A sense of belonging is achieved through one’s social networks and encompasses feelings of being accepted by others. A community that I felt a sense of place or belonging in was the last city I lived in before coming back to Alaska, Big Bear, California. The reason I felt I belonged there is because I was entirely comfortable with my surroundings, in my niche, if you will. It was a smaller town (by California standards) and I had diverse social networks through my job, church, and extracurricular activities. Life was predictable, I knew what to expect. I had a role to play in the community which established my sense of place as well.

  5. bnbinkowski

    1.) The three that I chose from the article were to be creative, flexible and innovative, building relationships and connections and understand that nearly everything is connected. I chose these three things because they have always played a huge role in my life. From an early age I was taught to be flexible, and innovative in everything that I do. Especially since things don’t always go as planned. I also recently have tried to be a bit more creative in my life. I think it is important to build relationships and connections because you never know when you will need someones help, and the more people you are connected with and are close to the better the chances are that when you need help someone will be there to assist you. The third suggestion that really is important to me is understanding that nearly everything is connected. This is important in many ways. I grew up in a remote village where I was taught the value of the land and the people. My grandmother made sure to drill into me that everything in this life is connected in one way or another and that we have to learn to be respectful to everything, whether it is a living breathing human being or the ground beneath our feet.
    2.) A generalist approach when it pertains to rural social work is someone who works across a variety of methodologies and modalities. These social workers will work across many fields of practices.(Green, 2003) This is important for rural social workers because many times you may be the only one working in that community so you have to be skilled in many different fields because you are the only one doing the work. It is a lot harder to be a rural social worker and only specialize in one particular field and have no idea how to do any other aspects of what rural social work demands.
    3.) In chapter two a few ways that it talks about having a place or belonging is through geography or where you live, and being a part of the community. Belonging to a community not only means that you are active in that community, but people also view you as a part of the community.
    I felt a strong sense of belonging in many places throughout my life and still do. One place in particular was Mount Edgecumbe High School, located in Sitka Alaska. I attended this high school for four years and over those four years I was part of two athletic teams, National Honor Society, Prom Committee, Graduation Committee and also helped out with other events. I was a well known student and had a lot of friends in this high school. I knew I belonged in that high school because I was connected to many different events and people and felt a sense of pride in my high school. Mount Edgeumbe is a boarding school so to me it was a small community.

    1. Castettler

      1.

      “People know their history, and they live their history on a daily basis… social workers should strive to understand rural people, families, groups, and especially, communities” (page 206). I think this quote is important especially for social workers that are originally from outside of the rural community that they work in. In Barrow, where I live and work, the Inupiaq people are extremely proud of their culture and history. I would not be able to help an individual if I did not have knowledge around their history, beliefs, and traditions. I believe that in order to be a sufficient social worker in rural area, you need to have knowledge about all of these things. It not only helps you to understand the people from the community, but it shows a sign that you respect them.
      “Understand that nearly everything is connected” (page 207). Everything in a rural community is often connected. Many of your clients are going to be related to each other or at least have a social relationship from growing up together in the same community. One of your clients may be involved with an organization that you are also a part of. You, yourself, may be related to or have some type of outside relationship with a client. Everything in a rural community is definitely connected.

      “Manage intersecting roles (page 207). This is kind of along similar lines as my previous response. You are going to have several roles that involve people within the community that you are connected to in one way or another. It is important that you don’t get your personal and professional roles confused at any time.

      2.
      Rural Social Work has taken a generalist approach for several reasons. In a rural community, there is often a lack of resources. If you were a social worker in an urban setting, you would probably have a very clearly defined role because they have the resources and employees to fill each and every role. However, in a rural community, they probably don’t have all of those resources. Social workers in a rural are often required to fill several roles. The rural social worker’s job description and actual role is going to be a lot more general than in an urban area. That person is going to be asked to “wear several different hats”. I think it is important to acknowledge because a new social worker in a rural area can easily get overwhelmed from all of the duties that they are asked to perform if they are not prepared. Also, a rural social worker may be asked to learn and perform many different duties as they are needed.

      3. Having a sense of place or belonging is very strong within rural communities. The people in rural communities grew up knowing everyone and they really do feel like it is their home, their land, and their history. They take ownership over the community and everything that comes with it. They share a sense of home about the place that is often lacking among individuals from rural areas. I don’t know that I have an actual city or place where I feel that sense of home or belonging. I get that feeling whenever I am travelling and accepted among different families. To me, home is wherever I rest my head in a loving group. I have moved around so much, I don’t identify with a particular community in that way.

  6. essargent01

    1. The suggestion that I found to be the most important was, “Deal with high rates of poverty and scarce formal resources.” I do believe that in Alaska we are fortunate in the sense that our state generally has the funding to provide services to our citizens. In fact in Kodiak, it is often the case that the agencies that provide services often have to advertise in order to provide services to the most people. During trainings I have attending in Wisconsin, Washington, California and Nevada, I have found that is not the case for other Native American tribes in rural areas. Poverty is rampant in the Native American community and resources are scarce. I believe it is difficult to be a patient parent or a sober person if there is constant worry about bills and food. If the epidemic of poverty is erased, a huge stress will be eliminated and people who may have substance abuse problems will not have that stress that may cause them to drink. In the same sense, it is much easier to be patient with your children when major sources of stress are reduced, etc.

    The second suggestion that I related to was, “Understand that nearly everything is connected.” In Kodiak, for instance, it is often said that, “everyone knows everyone,” and in that sense, you can’t get away with anything. We all know each other, often even details that may seem intimate about each other and our families. Many people are biologically related and others are neighbors or may have grown up together. A client may be an old friend, or your child’s teacher. Confidentiality and professionalism are always important, but while working in rural communities it is particularly important.

    The third suggestion was, “Manage intersecting roles.” This goes hand-in-hand with the second suggestion that anonymity doesn’t really exist in rural communities and many roles intersect. It can be beneficial as a social worker in the sense that some history may already be known by the social worker, but it can also be detrimental if the social worker makes a predetermined judgment based on that known history, or if the social worker is providing group therapy to alcoholics and is seen drinking excessively on the weekend.

    2. A social worker providing service in rural communities needs to have a generalist method of practice in order to fully serve their community. An example of this would be a social worker who is specialized to treat geriatric patients may be uncomfortable accepting young children as patients, and therefore would not be of maximum use to the community. As the article states, “A generalist approach is not only a mode of practice which incorporates different modalities, and requires workers to have the ability to work across different fields of practice, it also includes concepts of interconnectedness, mutuality and reciprocity, interrelatedness and interdependence.” (Green, 2003, p. 209)

    3. The text defines place as, “the geographical sense of an area that people hold in their minds and to the social territory that exists within that physical location.” (Pugh & Cheers, 2010, p. 31) I have lived in several different areas, both geographically and culturally. I have lived in Ellensburg, Washington and Seattle, in Coos Bay, Oregon and Portland. The only place where I have felt like I truly belonged is Kodiak and that is because of the sense of community that we share. There is genuine care and concern for your neighbor. I also feel like I belong because of the history my family has here and because this is my home … I was born and raised here. These reasons are synonymous with a reason given in the text, “… in many small communities the ideas that people have about the ‘place’ they live in are often strongly linked to their ideas about their own identity and social position, and to those that they have about other people.” (Pugh & Cheers, 2010, p. 32)

  7. rmoto1

    The three suggestions for the Effective Rural Practice article that stood out for me were things that just seemed like common sense to me. The first one I chose was the reminder that change is slow. It takes time for a community to change its way of thinking because rural areas are steeped with traditions and history. I chose this suggestion because I think that some of the burn out and turn over comes from the fact that practitioners may not see change because it is so slow. People come in with a desire to help but they don’t see change right away and may feel ineffective or may even get bitter. The second suggestion that I chose is get an intro person. This will help social workers get “in” status. It also helps to find someone who gets things done in the community. Being an elected official is not the same as being the person people turn to when things have to get done in my experience. If you get the “doers” on board your proposals you have a better chance at success. The third suggestion I chose is the reminder that the community is the client. It is important to help individuals but those individuals do not exist in a vacuum. Once you help them they will still need to live in the community where the problem started. Community development helps everyone and raises everyone’s standard of living. This third suggestion is probably the most important in my opinion. For lasting change you have to have community development.

    A generalist approach in social work is having a wide enough knowledge base to help different people in different situations. If you don’t have the answers you should know where to get the answers. Networking is important. Gain contacts in different programs in your region and state. Continue to find resources that your clients may need. This is an appropriate approach for rural practice because in most cases you are the only social worker in an area or the only social worker people come into regular contact with in the region. For my RHS classes it was hard to travel and leave my family for a week at a time but I gained important information on what services and programs are available for those in need.

    According to the text a sense of belonging isn’t just about location. It’s about relationships that were formed in that place. It’s about kinship, friendships, occupations and beliefs. I think the strongest sense of belonging I have found isn’t the community I live in but the village where my Mom was from because the way people make me feel when I am there. And I have found that it isn’t being in the village of Noorvik but mainly being with the people of Noorvik where I feel most comfortable. I have lived in Deering since 1979 but some of my Noorvik cousins will ask me when was the last time I went home and I know they mean when was the last time I was in Noorvik. One of my Noorvik cousins passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. She moved to Kotzebue when she was young and was married to a Kotzebue for many years and it was decided she would be buried in Kotzbue. I travelled to Kotzebue for her funeral and really got a sense of being home when all of my 1st cousins made it to Kotzebue for their sister’s funeral later that evening. So the sense of belonging has more to do with the people you are with than an actual location.

  8. Ashley Westmoreland

    1. “Manage intersecting roles”
    I chose this one because in a rural area it is likely that you will not only play the part of a social worker in the community but other parts as well. It is important that you learn how to manage these parts and keep them separate while still keeping a good standing in the community.

    “Identify rural practice rewards and challenges”
    There can be many challenges facing a social worker who works in a rural area. It is important that the social worker identify these challenges and learn how to overcome them. At the same time it is really important that the social worker identify the rewards of working a rural area. If they do not recognize both the challenges and rewards of where they work then it will be very difficult for them to work in that area, and they wouldn’t be keeping up with their own self care.

    “Seek insider group status”
    I think this one is really important because rural community members can be very wary of new people or “outsiders”. If you do not work to become a part of the community than the community will not trust you or come to you for services.

    2. Taking a generalist approach in social work means incorporating different modalities, and social workers must be able to work across different fields of practice and be competent in them. The generalist approach is appropriate for rural practice because it helps overcome the lack of specialist services available in rural areas. The generalist approach also works the best culturally, with rural life.

    3. Having a sense of place or belonging means that you feel connected to the place you live in. For some people what they consider “place” can go beyond the boundaries of their community or town. A sense of belonging comes from have networks, such as family or friends. I have always had a sense of belonging here in Fairbanks. It is where I grew up and where my family is. It is where I went to school and where I work. I still remember where things used to be or where things weren’t (such as Barnes&Noble). I still remember when Pioneer Park was Alaska Land (I refuse to call it anything else but Alaska Land).

  9. iaehret

    Practice strategies of building relationships, celebrating strengths, increasing awareness of services are three important suggestions that I found within this article. Building relationships within a small rural community is going to be important to help those that are in the community without community relations you can’t promote strengths within the community due to not knowing the community. Then by knowing the community and building relationships within the community will give you a better idea of what services the community has or may need as a whole. Giving the opportunity to increase awareness of those services could be or are available to the community.
    A generalist works in many different aspects of their profession, adapting to the needs of the area in which they are working. Social workers are put into different cultures, different aspects of lives that may seem strange and even different to what they know. Being a generalist a social worker is able to perform various aspects of there profession within a small rural community.
    A sense of place or belonging means that an individual has a sense of community in which they belong to. Their belonging to this community is linked to their identity of self. My kids and I have lived in several different communities over the last several years each very much different them the last, our sense of belonging to those communities was never as strong as the connection that we have for our home town of Soldotna. Our “roots” run deep within this community. Several generations of my family have lived within this community. Our family still lives here creating an even large sense of belonging to this community. However it’s not just the family ties that make this community a place of belonging. The work that I do with emotionally disturbed children also helps me feel a sense of belonging. Knowing that I am doing something that helps the next generation gives me a sense of place, that what I am here to do is what I am doing.

  10. rlgloversr

    1. Read the article titled, Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice, and pull out three suggestions that you found most important from your perspective and discuss why you chose those three.
    Adjust to a slower pace of community and change: Too many social workers apply urban tactics to rural social work in which can create a major discomfort with rural residents. Social workers should study rural needs and problems before implementing any programs in those areas. I learned in rural areas that there a big culture difference of religion, economics, and, lifestyles. Therefore, some social improvements may involve altering those cultures in which may need more time to develop.
    Use closer relationships to affect change: Building trust in a person is the first major step into social work. Clients seem more incline to help themselves when there is a solid relationship between the social worker and client. I don’t like when a social worker looks at his/her obligation to a client as only a job. Moreover, social workers should take the time to build a relationship with each client in order to find certain issues underneath the surface to better assist the person.
    Use cultural competency skills: Every rural social worker should spend the time to learn the culture and history of any community. This would help social workers with controlling some self-prejudice to other cultures. Cultural awareness can go a long way of understanding rural client’s social needs.

    2. Read the article titled, Social Work in Rural Areas: A Personal and Professional Challenge. The article discusses why rural social work practice has taken a generalist approach. Define generalist as it pertains to social work and discuss why it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article.
    A generalist approach incorporates different modalities, and requires workers to have the ability to work across different fields of practice. In addition, it includes ideas of interconnectedness, support, reciprocity, interrelatedness and interdependence. The generalist approach is mostly culturally compatible with rural life than any other tactics. This approach has the tools to eliminate the oppression, grief, and disconnect involving clients.
    3. Read Ch. 2 in the text titled, The Social Dynamics of Small Communities. According to the chapter what does having a sense of place or belonging mean? Describe a community where you have felt a ‘sense of place’ or belonging. What about that community gave you that feeling?
    According to the text, it is a subjective phenomenon that varies in the accordance to individual’s perception of space, boundaries, social roles, and social networks. Moreover, belonging to a place is mediated through networks of family, community, friendship, occupation, and belief. My sense of belonging was always at my grandmother house in the suburbs of Decatur, Georgia. I grew up in many violent public houses from Atlanta, New Orleans, and New York. I had to avoid many stray bullets just to walk to school and was targeted for fights daily. However, I would find comfort through visits to my grandmother house every summer. I loved eating three meals every day and felt the warmth of family from the community. My friends were not drug dealers, pimps, and killers. I felt more of a kid playing baseball every day with my suburban friends. People from the church were more involved in the community than in the ghetto. My parents left me at the age of eight that force me to deal with adult issues in a dog eat dog environment.

  11. hlhelfrich

    Three suggestions that are important to me are to have a relationship and meet people within the community, understanding of different cultures, and knowing what the community needs. In order to help a rural community social workers need to be accepted into the community, and in order to have that done understanding of the people and their culture needs to happen. Communities will not open up to strangers, but if the worker meets the community, forms friendships, and makes an effort to understand the people then the worker will have a better chance of really seeing the community and what it needs. for me these are most important because they all tie into each other.

    The generalist approach is a broad use for social workers. it includes many different aspects from social sciences. The approach uses different approaches in order to help a community. I feel that this is a useful approach because it can be used in either rural or urban areas.

    After reading chapter two on The Social Dynamics of Small Communities and thinking about this question it made me think. I miss my community, My sense of belonging is near my family, of course I did not realize this until I moved away and felt what it was like to miss out on everyday events. Where a person may live does not necessarily mean they call that home. We as workers have to understand that bond that people have within their communities and keep communities together.

  12. jzollman

    The first suggestion that I really appreciated was identifying the impact of rural stigma. Having lived most of my life in small towns, I can attest to the fact that many of those who come from outside the community try to change it by bringing ideas with them from afar. The automatic reaction is that the outsider thinks they are “better” or that they know more than the community member simply because they are from somewhere else that is considered more advanced. It is important for a social worker to understand this going into a rural community. It’s not that new ideas from outside are automatically rejected but are they being presented as an additional resource for the rural community or is the presentation of these new ideas just an effort to display the superiority of where the newcomer comes from.
    Another idea I liked was the idea of integrating with community leaders and groups as an “in” for social workers new to a rural area. For one thing, it shows that you recognize that the community has leaders from which can be learned so much about community needs and resources.
    The third suggestion I liked was for the social worker to learn all they could about the history of the rural community in which they are working. Finding out as much as possible is important in learning the specific identity of the rural area in which one is serving and helps also to understand the challenges that folks in that community have faced over time and where some of these challenges may have originated.

    A generalist approach in social work is a broad approach that covers many areas and draws from the many areas that social work covers. In a rural community, because resources are spread so thin and transportation, communication, and networking with other professionals is challenging, a generalist approach that draws from multiple fields and areas of expertise not only assists the community in which one works, but also builds a multi-faceted career for those who take up the challenge of serving in a rural area.

    A sense of place of belonging in the textbook for those in rural areas encompasses an identity for those in rural areas that is defined by those in an individual’s family and social network, a historical view of where that person and their family fit within that society, and also a geographical area that is much larger than what an urban dweller might define as home. I have lived in many places in my life, and I know what it’s like to come into a rural community as a newcomer. Everyone around you is connected by family and a sense of history that you are not privy to. It may take years, even decades for you to be considered a full member of the community, if ever. Because I married a member of a historically well known family in a remote rural area, I gained access into the membership of that community by virtue of my husband’s background. Even though we moved, we are still considered members of that community through the heritage of my husband. That is probably the place where I consider having a sense of “home” in the rural sense of the word.

  13. Nikita

    The three suggestions that I found most important from my perspective are building relationships, promoting collaboration, increasing awareness of services. To me these three suggestions would allow the people of rural areas know of the services that are offered on the regular bases, that they may not know are available to them. Building a relationship with the people of the area would allow them to come together with the agencies that are available to them and give their ideals of what kind of help they truly need, and what services they feel needs to be made available to them, and once that relationship is built then the agencies can try and secure funding for these suggested needs. And with building the relationship it would promote to others the needs of the people in that area, and could possibly help certain agencies find certain funding for the needs to be meat for the people. And last but not least increasing the awareness of services is a big things because if the awareness is not put out there that there are people from certain areas are in need of certain things then how will any one else know that these are things that are needed. I was always told a closed mouth does not get feed, so in that saying all three of these suggestions would fit hand and hand, and would be the first step at securing the needs of the people in these rural areas.

    A generalist approach when it pertains to rural social work is someone who works across a variety of methodologies and modalities. These social workers will work across many fields of practices. (Green, 2003) I feel that it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article because there are fewer workers in a rural area as well as fewer resources for the people of the area as well as the agency to turn to for help and get a pretty quick turnaround time.

    According to the text having a sense of place or belonging is wherever you are the most comfortable, and secure. This does not have to be a physical place so to speak it could be a place in your thoughts that gives you the same since of security and happiness. It could be with your family, friends and community. I would have to say that my sense of place or belonging is where ever my husband and children are, we could be in our home or in our vehicle, but just as long as we are together gives me my happiness and sense of belonging.

  14. rmorris11

    1. Read the article titled, Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice, and pull out three suggestions that you found most important from your perspective and discuss why you chose those three.
    The three suggestions that I have pulled out of the reading are dealing with high rates of poverty and scarce formal resources, adjust to a slower pace of life and use closer relationships to affect change. I see all of these at work in my community. We do have poverty here and scarce formal resources. We have to be creative in finding ways to get services for people of the community. Since we are a small rural community we don’t have the money and resources of a big city and must be inventive. The slower pace of life is also big, we have to realize that it takes longer to get things done, there are not a multitude of people who you can choose from to do fix your plumbing or to take in foster children. It takes longer for things to get done but as a community people are always there to help when they can. This goes into the last idea that we have to use our close relationships to make changes. It may take longer to get things done but as a community we work together for change.

    2. Read the article titled, Social Work in Rural Areas: A Personal and Professional Challenge. The article discusses why rural social work practice has taken a generalist approach. Define generalist as it pertains to social work and discuss why it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article.
    The generalist approach is defined as being knowing a little about a lot. We need to know how to approach all areas of social work in rural communities because there is not a a social worker for each field. You may have to one day work with a family dealing with substance abuse and the next day help a family find resources for food. Being a rural social worker means wearing multiple hats.

    3. Read Chapter 2 in the text titled, The Social Dynamics of Small Communities. According to the chapter what does having a sense of place or belonging mean? Describe a community where you have felt a ‘sense of place’ or belonging. What about that community gave you that feeling?
    Having a “sense of place” or belonging means to have somewhere that you feel connected to. In rural communities it is important to have a sense of belonging so that you may want to see your community thrive. My community that gives me a “sense of belonging” is being around friends and family. They know me and accept me, for me. My community here in Gunnison also gives me that feeling.

  15. dbjoseph

    1. Read the article titled, Social Workers’ Suggestions for Effective Rural Practice, and pull out three suggestions that you found most important from your perspective and discuss why you chose those three.

    Three suggestions that I found most important for effective rural practice would be 1. Finding someone that is important to others that they trust and know if that community member trusts you so could they. Having that person to inform other community members that you can do your job will make it is easier for people to come to you for help. 2. Going to a place in the community such as the community hall and having breakfast or something every morning. Not giving up even when you have to eat by yourself for a while. People will start to realize that you won’t just give up. 3. Building relationships with other programs in the community and helping them when they need it. They will be more willing to help you if you need it.

    2. Read the article titled, Social Work in Rural Areas: A Personal and Professional Challenge. The article discusses why rural social work practice has taken a generalist approach. Define generalist as it pertains to social work and discuss why it is appropriate for rural practice according to the article.

    Generalist as it pertains to social work is to be knowledgeable in all portions of social work not just a specialty; so that you can help every member in the community. In rural community you wont be able to send a client to someone else because you don’t know enough about the situation. You are going to have to figure out how to help everyone so having a some knowledge in every portion of social work will benefit you more than only knowing everything about only one aspect of social work.

    3. Read Chapter 2 in the text titled, The Social Dynamics of Small Communities. According to the chapter what does having a sense of place or belonging mean? Describe a community where you have felt a ‘sense of place’ or belonging. What about that community gave you that feeling?

    A sense of place or belonging means more than one’s home. It could be the only place that you are able to be yourself. It’s where a person is able to find their identities. My community would be where ever my family is. In my family I take care of them, I drive them places, and I make sure they have what they need. If I don’t have my family to take care of I have noticed that I feel lost like I’m not sure what I am supposed to do.

  16. lmdemientieff

    Hi everyone,
    Loved all the comments and I appreciate everyone personalizing them to their own experience. You all have a lot of knowledge and experiences to offer one another and myself. Thanks.
    LMD

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