Social Work in Rural Australia: Enabling Practice


Social work practice in a country town or small remote community several hours’ drive from the nearest centre is very different from practice in the city. Social Work in Rural Australia offers an introduction to the challenges and rewards of professional practice in rural and remote areas.

The authors explore the practical implications for social workers in non-urban regions, including teamwork with professionals from other fields, working with various sub-groups in communities and across distance with other social work colleagues, the diversity of rural livelihoods and lifestyles, and increasingly pressing environmental issues. Social work theories and case studies demonstrate how enabling practice can promote clients’ and communities’ ability to deal with some of the challenges of housing, youth unemployment, child protection, ageing, mental health, disability and the obstacles faced by Indigenous, migrant and refugee populations, in specific geographical settings.

Social Work in Rural Australia encourages students and practitioners towards a holistic and contextual engagement with rural communities in current and newly developing fields of social work practice.

Author Bio:

Jane Maidment is a senior lecturer in Social Work at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and has taught at Australian universities. She is co-author of Mapping Knowledge for Social Work Practice and co-editor of Practice Skills in Social Work and Welfare. USCHI BAY is a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Work at Monash University.


‘This accessible text integrates the theory and practice of social work in often overlooked rural and remote regions. The case studies offer students and practitioners practical insights and celebrate rural practice as both unique and enriching.’ – Alana Johnson, 2010 Victorian Winner RIRDC Rural Women’s Award, Family Therapist and Social Worker