Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How Social Services Can Help Rural Families

Rural communities usually have small populations and are often in an agricultural area. Subsequently, there are fewer jobs, fewer services, and fewer options for the people who live there. Social work agencies are hard-working advocates for families. They can provide connection to helping services such as medical care, domestic violence resources, child care assistance, as well as food and clothing.

Access to Medical Care

In rural areas, access to medical care can mean the difference between dying from a treatable disease and recovery. It’s a reality that 1 in 5 Americans lives in rural communities with decreased access to medical insurance and care providers. Social services agencies act as a central hub, helping to bridge the gap. They provide families with access to help with medical bills as well as supporting agencies that either provide health services directly or refer to health care providers.

In some areas, health care providers like Prowers Medical Center, host out-of-area specialists. Prowers is a medical hub that provides care to residents in a five-county area in the Arkansas Valley. Contact your local social services office to see what services are available in your area.

Domestic Violence Resources

According to the Domestic Shelters organization, emergency services are the most common category of service in Colorado, with domestic violence education and safety planning heading up the list. There are 58 organizations in Colorado that provide domestic violence services, including treatment assistance for those who abuse. Your local social services office can provide you with referrals and how to access domestic violence programs.

Child Care Assistance Programs

A substantial part of lifting families out of poverty is providing access to affordable child care and helping families meet childcare costs so that they may seek or maintain employment. Many counties have their own program for subsidizing childcare costs with approved providers. They can refer you to other childcare assistance programs as well.

Food and Clothing Drives

In addition to food stamps, the department of social services can coordinate with other resources in the area to match families in need with area food pantry and clothing closet programs. Your county office can provide you with a list of locations.

Your local social services office is a powerful resource for families. Their number one priority in social work is to serve. They are happy to help you find the services you need in order to get through a hard patch or more devastating circumstances.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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