Millions of people are adversely affected by crises and disasters each year. Response to disasters relies heavily on volunteer organizations to assist in the aftermath of these traumatic events. HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (AACR) is one organization that provides needed support to those impacted by way of specially trained crisis dogs. Unfortunately, there is a lack of these certified teams able to effectively respond. The research question for this study was how can HOPE AACR expand (recruit and train qualified new teams) into currently unoccupied areas. This question was answered through collaborative action research (AR) with this organization's members, those who possess the specialized knowledge and training for AACR work. Due to the fact that the nature of this AR did not contain sensitive information that posed risk to participants and that written permission was obtained to use the site name, an exemption was granted to name the site in this study. In particular, this study worked with regional directors in charge of various areas of the U.S., elected board of directors responsible for oversight and approval of organizational changes, and a group of current certified volunteer team members. Participants engaged in various interviews and focus groups in order to share perspectives and experiences to solve the identified problem. Through this AR process, this research team determined a plan of action (target area for expansion and strategies to recruit and train new members). The goal of this study was to document a process which can be refined and re-used for future expansion efforts. Implementation of this action plan will also result in expanded territory, increased ability to meet requests for services, and ultimately enhanced recovery for those exposed to crises and disasters.
Keyword: Animal-Assisted Crisis Response
|Commitee:||DeLong Hamilton, Tobi|
|Department:||Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Behavioral psychology, Social work|
|Keywords:||Animal-assisted crisis response, Animal-assisted intervention, Crisis, Crisis response dog, Disaster, Hope aacr|
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