Publication Date


Document Type

Student Project

First Advisor

Schatteman, Alicia

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)


Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies


This qualitative study examines the practices of social work in low-income ethnic minority neighborhoods and analyze how the Family Service Agency of Dekalb County appropriates this framework to engage residents and propose components for development to further meet the needs of the public. Researchers conclude that the best approach to engage minority communities is the strength/resilience model, which characterizes reasons minorities are more prone than white residents to avoid social work in favor of personal support networks. My study of FSA Dekalb reveals three key findings. The first, African Americans in Dekalb identify with the social issues plaguing urban minority groups, despite residing in rural Illinois. Second, African American holdouts to social aid work rely on personal networks of family and extended friends for support. Third, despite research findings, rural white families are showing the lowest aptitude for social aid. This study is not conducted to disprove or argue already established methods but to provide insight in hopes that strategies can be developed which are tailored towards specific scenarios or patterns found within the targeted communities.