UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Case work referrals in camping : a study of co-operative services and essential procedures in referring children from case work agencies to summer camps, Vancouver, B.C., 1947 and 1948 Carlisle, Sheila Jane


This study involves an analysis of the principles and techniques which are necessary to the process whereby the child is placed in an organized camp, through the guidance of the case worker and the camp director working together. If the camp experience is to be of realistic and lasting benefit to the child, in the manner anticipated by the case worker, the referral process must begin with adequate knowledge and understanding on the part of the case worker and the camp director, and be followed by careful planning and continuous cooperation between the workers, prior to, during, and after the placement period. The purpose of the study is not to prove that referrals are valid. The focus of analysis is placed upon the principles and procedures, the extent to which these apply in the local setting, and methods whereby cooperative services could be improved. Although the word "child" is used throughout, the same principles apply for adult campers; but some modification of procedures is necessary. At the beginning of the thesis, it is emphasized that the contributions which organized camping may make towards the welfare of the individual and the general social good, depend upon the application of modern camping philosophy in camp, and the use case workers make of camping services, techniques, and knowledge to help meet the needs of clients. The experimental work of the Camp Referral Project of the Community Chest and Council is discussed, because it initiated in Vancouver a new period in the development of more systematic and useful practices. However, its influence has been limited by several factors; hence, the study continues. The principles and methods required in the referral process, are clearly defined, and illustrated by several cases, which were selected from local case work agencies. Information was secured from interviews with executive directors and workers in seven case work agencies, and with directors of eleven camps. Current practices were analysed by means of the study of one hundred and seventy-three cases; this involved reading the agency case records and, when possible, discussing the child and his camp placement with the case worker and the camp director. The case study revealed many gaps and problems in the application of essential philosophy and effective methods; agency and camp policies, and procedures used are inadequate, and haphazard, ineffectual camp placements are frequent. Most case workers and camp directors are aware of the needs in camping, and in referral practices, and they are ready to consider methods which may ultimately lead to progress. Recommendations are therefore made for the development of services and procedures which may facilitate cooperative services in camping. No one method will solve all the existing problems. Case workers and camp directors have definite and necessary responsibilities; duties which continue even if a "central camp referral bureau" is established to meet the needs for uniformity of methods, centralization and coordination of referrals, and broader educational services in camping. The importance of clearly defined and limited roles for a bureau, and the need for a specially skilled social worker to carry out extensive duties, are stressed. Suggestions for further studies in areas which are directly and indirectly related to camp referrals conclude the thesis. If this study results in greater understanding of the referral process by personnel who provide camping services, perhaps improvements will be made in referral practices; more children will gain greater benefits from better camping opportunities.

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