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Assignment 2: Accountability Standards
Accountability standards are used to measure an agency’s compliance with the rules and regulations that govern their practice. These standards are set forth by legislators, ethics boards, funding sources, and licensing boards. The main purpose of these standards is to ensure that clients receive the highest level of care.
In this assignment, you will assess the influence of accountability standards on human services work. This exercise will sharpen your ability to recognize the importance of accountability in human services work in addition to encouraging you to process the related challenges in meeting the standards.
Write a 2- to 3-page essay on the influence of accountability standards, leadership style, and diversity on an organization. In the essay, discuss the following:
?Discuss how standards of care influence direct services.
?Discuss the influence these standards have on how leaders of agencies manage daily operations in an agency.
?Discuss the influence of accountability standards on the satisfaction of direct service workers in addition to how this might influence how the workers relate with the managers of the agency.
?By Wednesday, March 5, 2014, prepare a 2- to 3-page essay. Your response should rely upon at least three sources from professional literature. This may include the University online library resources, relevant textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, or .gov). Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources (i.e., APA format); and use accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Module 4 Overview
This module introduces you to the different types of human service delivery as well as the organizational structures that comprise agencies. The importance of continuity of care will be discussed, in particular, making available to clients a wide range of easily accessible services, whose outcomes can be jointly monitored by the host agency and affiliate community agencies. This is done within the context of emphasizing the benefits of networking among human service agencies to provide their communities access to the highest standard of care. You will be asked to consider the effects of an agency’s moral ideology, technology, attitudes of service providers, and how the agency approaches its clients. This will prepare you to apply these important principals to your work in the human services arena.
This module will also introduce you to the conflicts and controversies that influence agency structures from administration to direct service providers. You will examine these types of conflicts as they apply to systems’ levels of organizational culture. The emphasis will be on improving how administrators and direct service providers work together for the greater goal of serving clients and decreasing imbalance in systems that often creates negative secondary effects, such as worker conflict, low employee morale, decreased performance in workers, and low job satisfaction.
Factors to Consider in Human Services
Think about the various factors you would have to consider if you were asked to develop a program to address criminal behavior in young males in an impoverished urban area. You would have to learn about the crime rates within your target group, the most prevalent criminal activities, and the current services available for the people to develop the program. You would have to first consider the benefits to the community because the details of these benefits are required by the funding source to grant the funds for your program. The funding source requires the preprogram data on criminal activities to compare it to the outcomes of your program. In this way, the funding source gathers data on the efficacy of the treatment of the population.
The next step in your program development would be to review the current research on the theoretical approaches used in treating young male offenders in similar environments. In your prior readings, you learned that multisystemic therapy (MST) has been effective with the males who are engaged in crime. This approach requires the involvement of the client (male offender), family, and other adults in the client’s life, including teachers and probation officers, from the community. This approach would also require you to serve the client in the natural setting, which might be a home, school, or a criminal justice system. Your staff would require transportation facilities to serve the client. The staff members should be efficient and trained in the MST approach to work with clients. This means that you would have to reimburse them for mileage, provide the necessary technology to sustain a mobile office, and pay for their training in MST if they are not already trained in this approach. These are some of the factors you will have to consider as you engage in the development of your program.
This example illustrates the influence of different factors on the way programs are developed, the manner in which a theoretical approach is utilized, and the type of clients the agency serves. There are various factors, including cost, need, and the community, that should be considered when attempting to fund and run a program for serving a specific client population and community.
Looking Ahead in Human Services
The human services field will face many demands for change in the next several decades, which will be the result of trends in the field that have begun to emerge. These trends include expectations of high service delivery standards, changing client demographics and cultural diversity, growing reach of poverty, changes in funding patterns, evolution of social policy, and competition in the market.
In the next decade, agencies will have to prepare for the effects of diversity among staff and clients, robust laws and regulations that govern their operations, and competition for their funding to survive in the growing marketplace. In addition, the agencies will have to accept high levels of scrutiny through oversight by governing bodies and funding sources for their services. These services include how agencies provide and document services, allocate funding they receive, and manage operations and staff to remain compliant with the relevant accountability standards implemented by local, state, and federal governing bodies. These industry trends are, primarily, in place to improve the standard of care that clients receive. The trends also promote efforts among professionals to remain competent by holding them accountable to comply with the standards of care that will make them eligible to receive funding for their services.
In addition, changes in health-care policy, the need for more services for children with specialized needs, such as Autism, economic changes, and education policy changes are all likely to result in an increase in referrals to human services agencies. Human services professionals will have to be prepared to manage the influx of referrals, which will require acquisition of funding, training of staff, and greater administrative oversight of new programs and services. The administrators of these agencies will be leading the efforts of agencies responding to the changing needs of diverse client populations.
The different theoretical approaches to providing human services have evolved over time. Some are historical and still in use while others have been developed or adapted to the changing needs of client populations. Systems theory is a beneficial approach to working with clients in human service agencies to ensure that comprehensive care is provided. The systems approach is applied in a different form in agencies when resolving issues related to the dynamics of working relationships among staff members.
There are many other theories, including cognitive behavioral, multisystemic, and solution-focused, used by agencies and direct service providers. These depend on the client populations being served and the education and training of the service providers. The implementation of these treatment theories has recently been influenced by the requirements of funding sources to utilize theories that produce evidence-based outcomes for their effectiveness.
Regardless of the selected approach, most agencies work to provide a continuum of care to their clients by arranging interdisciplinary meetings among different staff members serving the client as well as with agencies that also might be providing services to the same client. The different theories used to provide services will likely continue to evolve as factors in the changing environment and influence how clients will access these services.
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