Document Type



This is a case study of a single therapeutic farm community with the goal of understanding the community as a whole organization. Therapeutic farm communities are largely under researched. The studies that do exist focus on evaluating client outcomes without adequate description of the organizations which produce the outcomes. To provide an in depth description of the therapeutic farm community which was selected for this case study, ethnographic research methods were utilized. Data analysis was conducted as an inductive process, drawing conclusions from coded and organized ethnographic field notes using postmodernism as a theoretical lens. This guided the interpretation of the collected data to exemplify the power dynamics and relationships between community members including staff and residents. The data reveals a theme of group orientation in the therapeutic farm community’s daily organization. This orientation extends opportunities of shared experience for residents’ social development through feelings of belonging and inclusion. This under-researched model, if widely implemented, could open new possibilities for existing communities or more publicly accessible programs. The result of these applications would provide alternative options to a wider range of struggling individuals.


Social Work

Thesis Comittee

Margaret Boyd PhD, MSW, Thesis Advisor

Kathy Bailey PhD, Committee Member

Pam Szczygiel PhD, Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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Social Work Commons