Collaboration and resource exchange between professionals and natural support systems

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Abstract

A number of social researchers have documented how extensively Americans utilize informal helping resources in dealing with personal problems, and interest in the preventative potential of informal social support has been spurred by concurrent research in epidemiology. A definition and preliminary typology of natural support systems are offered as a basis for discussion of their role in the delivery of human services. Opportunities for collaboration and an exchange of resources between professionals and members of informal helping networks are explored, and several ways in which professionals can identify and help to create natural support systems in the community are indicated. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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