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Domains of rural social work practice

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  • 160800 Sociology
  • Linguistics


Even though there is substantial agreement about the nature of rural contexts, practice principles, and factors influencing practice we still do not have a framework for organising this knowledge in a way that can directly inform the practitioner in their day-to-day work. In this paper, we introduce the concepts 'practice domains', 'domain location', and 'domain alignment' that, taken together, provide such a framework. We suggest that each practitioner works within a number of practice domains. A domain is a discourse about practice comprising narratives about how a social worker should practise and which factors they should take most account of in their practice decision making. Each practitioner, and each practice process, can be located somewhere within each domain (domain location) and also situated amongst domains according to their relative alignment with each of them (domain alignment). In this paper, we present this framework and show how it is useful for practitioners in understanding practice, identifying factors influencing it, and making practice decisions in immediate, concrete situations.

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