Building stronger communities
Established in 2010, SFA’s Center for Rural Social Work Research and Development supports research, studies, intervention strategies and professional development programs aimed at social workers serving rural communities and people with rural lifestyles in urban areas.
The Center provides undergraduate and graduate social work students with opportunities to gain valuable real-world experience through field work and assistantships. As a social work student, you’ll work with your professors, your fellow Lumberjacks and community members to address and solve problems unique to rural communities, such as high poverty rates, lack of access to education and health care and socioeconomic underdevelopment.
The Center for Rural Social Work Research and Development provides the support and resources necessary to plan and implement a variety of research studies and intervention strategies aimed at rural communities. Our faculty members and students are actively engaged in projects that address the real-world problems faced by rural populations.
A few recent research projects include:
- Impact Lufkin: This community development project consists of the development of a community needs assessment using the appreciative inquiry approach.
- Together Towards Tomorrow: This project is focused on the participatory action approach, which includes the collection of information to develop tools kits to assist parents and caregivers working with children and parents living with HIV and AIDs.
- HIV/AIDS Project: This project is focused on the participatory action approach, which includes the collection of information to develop tool kits to assist adults and their families living with HIV and AIDS.
Outreach and community development
The Center for Rural Social Work Research and Development takes an active role in building and developing community organizations and resources, support networks and collaborative partnerships. We currently serve 36 counties from Beaumont, Texarkana and other bordering counties.
Not only do these outreach and community development activities provide valuable resources for rural communities, they also provide students in the Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs with opportunities to gain hands-on experience.
The Center for Rural Social Work Research and Development offers training, professional development and continuing education opportunities designed for rural social service providers.
The Center supports faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and community agencies in planning and implementing rural research projects. Such projects have or may include needs assessments, studies of rural populations and/or designing/evaluating strategies and interventions to meet the needs of rural areas.
The Center also coordinates research projects, monitors research progress and assists with dissemination of results.
Community and organizational development
The Center takes an active role in building the capacity of local organizations and communities to address issues identified through needs assessments and other activities. Such activities may include building and developing community organizations and resources, support networks and collaborative partnerships. Students in the Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs are involved in the building and development process through field placement.
The Center will build social work leadership in rural settings by offering professional development, training and continuing education opportunities to develop leaders among rural service providers. To reach the largest number of practitioners and students, multiple instructional delivery strategies are used.