A wonderfully engaging and accessible book, Who Cares? emphasizes finding humane responses to developmentally and physically disabled individuals that are community driven rather than solely reliant on problem-solution oriented social service organizations. David Schwartz examines the roles of both informal communities and sectarian communities for examples and practical techniques that can be applied to the reader’s situation. The beautifully written, touching accounts of individual lives swept under the carpet of the social services system make it impossible to read this book without being affected by the stories—such as the boy who was afraid of white,Nancy who moved to an apartment after forty years in a nursing home, and everyday life in a small east coast town whose inhabitants help one another in times of need.Schwartz does not advocate the overthrow or dismantling of the social services, but instead proposes supplemental responses that will lead to richer, better lives for both the recipient and the caregiving individual and community. The practical, easily encouraged methods of building informal models suggested by the author grow out of both his own practice and his informed experiences as director of a state social services agency and are grounded in the basic desires for nurturing, belonging, and a sense of community. Who Cares? will appeal to those working in the field of social services as well as the general reader searching for ways to bring meaning into the modern, disconnected life.
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