Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


The concept of contracting by social workers is a useful way to describe the normative bounds of client-worker interaction. A growing literature on death and dying in recent years suggests first that long-term care institutions are increasingly the locales for dying in our society and that social workers and other professionals working in such locales have frequently dealt inadequately or not at all with the social and emotional dimensions of death and dying in institutional settings. This article proposes that the social work contract with terminally ill patients be extended to include their survivors.

Source Citation

A revised version of this manuscript was published in The Archives of the Foundation of Thanatology. 5.1 1976. 68.


This is an author's preprint, typed into electronic form from the original typed manuscript. In 1976, this proposal was considered quite novel. Extending (or at least offering) continuing services to survivors is now fairly conventional practice, thanks largely to better understanding of grief and the development of hospice services.

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Social Work Commons



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