Rural Strengths and Challenges
Rural communities have substantial strengths despite having less economic wealth, human capital, and physical capital (e.g., buildings, Internet) than urban communities. Rural communities also face a number of challenges such as poverty, substance abuse, unemployment, and lack of education—which are of particular concern because these are linked to child maltreatment.
Information Packet: Rural Issues in Child Welfare (PDF - 140 KB)
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (2009)
Explores challenges faced by communities in rural areas including higher poverty rates; fewer resources available for families; increased substance abuse and mental health issues; isolation of child welfare workers; lack of research in and about rural communities; and issues related to rural cultural competence in terms of funding, practice, and administration and research.
Rural Assistance Center (RAC)
Provides an information portal for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Rural Initiative that helps rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents.
Rural Success Project
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2007)
Describes a site visit to the Children's Bureau-funded Rural Success Project, run by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The project was designed to enhance the effectiveness of rural child welfare caseworkers and supervisors in North Carolina through a series of trainings, community engagement dialogues, and summits for workers.
The High Cost of Being Poor: What it Takes for Low-income Families to Get By and Get Ahead in Rural America
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2004)
Outlines the challenges families face in meeting their daily needs affordably and accessing fair and appropriate financial services.
Injury and Violence Prevention in Rural Areas: A Literature Review (PDF - 456 KB)
Alexander & Castillo (2004)
Addresses injury and violence in rural populations and aims to reduce injuries, including child maltreatment and fatalities.
Rural America at a Glance (PDF - 3,000 KB)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (2011 ed.)
Provides annual overview of social and economic data for rural America, with yearly publications for the last 10 years.
Rural Research Needs and Data Sources for Selected Human Services Topics
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2005)
Highlights findings of research on human services conditions in rural America.
Rural Substance Abuse: Overcoming Barriers to Prevention and Treatment
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (2007)
Presents a SAMHSA newsletter focusing on rural issues.
Substance Abuse in Rural and Small Town America
Van Gundy (2006)
Carsey Institute Reports on Rural America
Provides confirmation that the abuse of stimulants, including methamphetamine, is high among certain rural populations (particularly among the rural unemployed) and that alcohol abuse exceeds illicit drug abuse in rural America and is a serious problem among rural youth.
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Provides a searchable archives to locate other "at a glance" publications on topics of interest to child welfare such as rural poverty, rural children, employment, and transportation, among others.
The Welfare of Rural Children: A Summary of Challenges (PDF - 60 KB)
Discusses the challenges facing children in rural America, research that has been conducted on rural child welfare, and issues related to rural cultural competence.
Young Child Poverty in 2009: Rural Poverty Rate Jumps to Nearly 29 Percent in Second Year of Recession (PDF - 257 KB)
Mattingly & Stransky (2010)
Provides American Community Survey data that reveals the impact of the recession on children, particularly young children under the age of 6.