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Social Work


Yvonne Chase


Rural clinical social workers face unique challenges when providing services to members of rural communities. To face these challenges and deliver culturally competent services, clinical social workers in rural communities must be specifically prepared for rural clinical social work. This study addressed issues of preparedness for rural clinical social work centered around rural clinical social work supervision in the context of the systems theory. The phenomenological design allowed for the exploration of the lived experiences of rural clinical social workers. Study participants who volunteered for study after being contacted via information provided to the North Carolina Social Work Board were associate level Licensed Clinical Social Workers engaged in clinical supervision and clinical practice in rural communities in North Carolina. Ten interviews were completed and the data obtained from those interviews were analyzed for themes and codes. Themes of the data included issues related to transportation, spirituality, travel requirements, support and isolation, and preparedness for rural clinical social work. If rural clinical social workers are properly prepared and supported in their roles and service delivery, residents of rural communities may be positively impacted and less oppressed by culturally uninformed practice.

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