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Soc Work. 2004 Oct;49(4):550-61.

A study of community guides: lessons for professionals practicing with and in communities.

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1
Maritime School of Social Work, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. michael.ungar@dal.ca

Abstract

A study of 35 nonprofessional helpers, identified as community "guides," focused on the contribution each made to helping marginalized individuals and families become a part of their communities. The lessons learned through these lay helpers can inform a postmodern social work practice that promotes the use of indigenous practice principles appropriate for work with and in culturally distinct communities. The practice wisdom of these guides demonstrates a need for professionals to reposition themselves in the associational life of a community, and to make their practice less visible. It is shown that an effective community-building practice that respects community solutions to individual and community problems requires permeable boundaries on the part of intervening professionals.

PMID:
15537178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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