Rural Social Work in the 21st Century: Serving Individuals, Families, and Communities in the Countryside (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780190937676

Michael Daley
384 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Apr 2020
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Despite current population movement towards urban areas, rural people remain a significant yet under-served population. These communities share a rich and distinctive culture, but also face specific problems including higher rates of poverty, increased rates of obesity, and decreased access to health coverage and social services. Rural Social Work in the 21st Century, Second Edition provides a comprehensive overview of the knowledge, skills, values, ethics, and issues central to the practice of social work in small towns and rural communities.

The updated second edition features a new chapter on social, economic, and environmental justice. An expanded history chapter presents new information on the use of poor farms to serve dependent rural people in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Later chapters discuss rural social services, a model for rural social work practice, and ethical practice. The final chapters focus on the practice of rural social work and challenges for the future.


1. Rural Communities and Social Work: An Introduction
Why Rural Social Work?
What Is Rural?
Is Rurality Confined to Small Towns and Communities?
What Is Unique About Rural Social Work?
Rewards and Challenges of Rural Social Work
2. Rural Culture and Behavior
Rural Values
Change in the 21st Century
3. Diversity in Rural Communities
Rural Diversity
African Americans
Native Americans
Sexual Orientation: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
Senior Citizens
4. Rural Social Welfare Policy
Social Welfare Policy
Social Policy and Rural People
Effects of Social Policy on Rural Communities
Identifying and Addressing Disparity in Rural Policy
5. Social Welfare Services in Rural Communities
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Rural Health Care Services
Child Welfare
Domestic Violence
Services for Veterans
Services for Immigrants
6. History and Development of Rural Social Work
Origins of the Rural Myth
Industrialization and the Rise of Social Work
Serving the Dependent in Smaller Towns and Rural Areas in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
Country Lifers and the Early Concerns About Rural Communities: 1900-1920
The Growth of Rural Social Work Practice and the Great Depression: The 1920s and 1930s
Retreat from Rural Assistance: The 1940s and 1950s
The Renaissance of Rural Social Work: The 1960s and 1970s
Continued Growth: The 1980s and 1990s
The 21st Century
Reconnecting with the Past: Rural Social Work Then and Now
7. A Model for Rural Social Work
Rurality and the Practice of Social Work in Small Communities
Rural Social Work: Is It Different from Urban Practice?
Generalist Social Work Versus Community-Based Practice
Rural Strengths and Assets
Rural Relationships and Social Work Practice
A Model for Rural Social Work
Down-Home Model of Social Work
Applying the Down-Home Model
Advanced Rural Practice
8. Ethical Rural Practice
The Rural Fishbowl as a Context for Ethical Practice
Social Work Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making
Dual Relationships
Competency and Adequacy of Practice
Personal and Professional Identity
Relationships with Colleagues
Ethical Rural Practice
9. Rural Social Work Practice
The Person-in-Environment Perspective
The Strengths Perspective
Generalist Practice and Social Systems
Characteristics of Rural Social Workers
10. Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice for Rural Communities
Social Justice and Rural Communities
Economic Justice for Rural Areas
Environmental Justice for Rural Communities
What to Do? Addressing Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice for Rural Communities
11. Challenges for the Future
Rural Communities: Perception, Reality, and Demands of the 21st Century
Rural People and Change for the 21st Century
Social Work in Rural Practice

About the author: 

Michael R. Daley, PhD, LMSW-AP, ACSW, Chair & Professor, Department of Social Work Texas A&M University-Central Texas; Editor-in Chief, Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.
He is a past president of both the National Rural Social Work Caucus and the Association of Social Work Baccalaureate Program Directors (BPD).

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