Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Marcia Marker Feld

Abstract

The Children, Youth & Families Issue Group, part of the University of Rhode Island's Cooperative Extension Service, has provided education outreach and technical assistance to community based social service providers since 1990. In an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the programming which they provide the group initiated a research project designed to illuminate strategies for increasing the effectiveness of community-based service provision. This study uses the theory of developmental contextualism as presented by Dr. Richard Lerner to suggest ways in which service providers can enhance their effectiveness by understanding the particular context of their community.

The study focuses on two Rhode Island communities which were identified as being at-risk by Cooperative Extension; these communities are Pawtucket and West Warwick, Rhode Island. Demographic data pertaining to these communities as well as a sample of social services available are considered. An analysis of the service provided in each community is also presented. Recommendations for enhancing community service provision are based on the theory developmental contextualism applied as the development-in-context evaluation (DICE) model by Dr. Richard Lerner.

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