Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major

Social Work

Research Sponsor

Lisa Crites

First Reader

Angela Workman

Second Reader

Melissa McCollister

Abstract

With the growing number of Amish in the United States today, it is important for social workers and mental health practitioners serving this population to do so in a way that is sensitive to their culture. Even though the Amish live a unique, simplistic lifestyle which enables them to focus on the things which they value such as church membership and family, occasionally, they do have mental health and social service needs. This study attempts to explore specific culturally sensitive behaviors which social workers and mental health practitioners can utilize in striving to meet these needs. The researcher compiled a simple questionnaire, containing ten questions derived from the insights of counselors and social workers who work with or supervise workers who work with the Amish. The researcher then went door to door and conducted face-to-face interviews with members of Holmes County Ohio's Amish community utilizing this questionnaire. After the data was collected, SPSS was utilized to analyze content. The findings of the project indicate that actions such as practitioners expressing their respect and acceptance for the Amish population's choices to be highly significant in fostering a positive helping relationship with this population. The implications of this study and recommendations for future research are also provided.