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October 2007Vol. 8, No. 9Newsletter Focuses on Rural Child Welfare Practice

Rural areas may face challenges that urban areas do not, including greater poverty, fewer employment opportunities, and a scarcity of service providers. Yet a recent newsletter from the North Carolina Division of Social Services demonstrates that successful child welfare practice is possible in rural areas through the common-sense application of basic social work concepts, such as focusing on strengths, listening and showing respect for families, and building a sense of community. Articles address the following issues faced by rural social workers:

  • Ethics and dual roles
  • Advantages and disadvantages of practicing social work in a rural area
  • Successful elements of and barriers to collaboration

In addition, the newsletter highlights results of a recent study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Rural Success Project. The study compared the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) results for every county department of social services in North Carolina. The findings show that, on average, rural child welfare agencies are doing as well as or better than urban agencies in terms of outcome and process measures.

Download the complete newsletter, Children's Services Practice Notes,12(3), 2007: (313 - KB)

The Rural Success Project, funded by a grant from the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, includes research dealing with rural issues and success stories in rural child welfare work. Resources include a media guide for rural child welfare agencies and a literature review on rural child welfare work. For more information, visit their website: