Rural social work presents some additional challenges with regard to such issues as recruitment, retention, education, and training, which, if not tackled, can exacerbate the service disadvantages apparent in many rural settlements. This chapter reviews what is known about rural social workers and the work they do, and considers why they choose rural practice and how they adjust to it, job stress, and staff-retention issues. It then turns to the issue of professional education and preparation for rural practice. The chapter concludes with recommendations for employers, educators, the profession, communities, and practitioners concerning how to attract the right staff and prepare and support them so that once they come into rural areas, they remain in practice.
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