Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Robin R. Whitebird


The unique set of challenges in rural social work adds new dimensions to social work practice needs. Issues of poverty, substance abuse, and mental health issues are often ignored in the rural setting. The conceptual framework used in this banded dissertation is the ecological model, which applies the concept of systems to apply when working with individuals, families, and communities.

The first product, a conceptual paper, identifies the impact of the lack of services on parents and provides creative solutions to establishing resources for parents in rural areas. The number of professionals working in rural areas is limited, there is limited funding to provide services, and distance that impacts availability of services. The lack of available services leaves parents in rural areas feeling isolated and unsupported; this affects their ability to parent, which in turn affects children.

The second product presents research from a systemic analysis of ten articles. In the rural setting, ethical issues are unavoidable, creating dilemmas unique to rural social work practice. This systematic analysis aimed to assess the research on ethical issues identified in rural social work. Dual relationships, boundary issues, conflict of interest, and competency emerged as the main themes. The idea of managing rather than avoiding these ethical issues rather than avoidance of ethical issues in rural social work continued to rise to the surface in this research.

The third product provides an overview of the presentation entitled; “Creative Solutions for the Impact of Limited Resources in Rural Areas on Parenting Ability” was presented at the South Dakota National Association of Social Workers conference on 03/31/17. Creative solutions for establishing resources for parents in rural areas are crucial for the functioning of parents. This presentation identifies the factors that impact the ability of parents to provide adequate parenting specific to rural life and presents creative solutions.

This banded dissertation pertains to social work with parents in rural areas. Identification of ethical issues when working with parents in rural areas impacts social work practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.