(Competencies 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9; Dimensions: knowledge, skills, values, cognitive and affective reaction)
Section 3.07d of the NASW Code of Ethics states that: “Social work administrators should take reasonable steps to ensure that the working environment for which they are responsible is consistent with and encourages compliance with the NASW Code of Ethics. Social work administrators should take reasonable steps to eliminate any conditions in their organizations that violate, interfere with, or discourage compliance with the Code” (NASW Code of Ethics, 1996). To that end, social work administrators ensure that agency services are delivered in a competent manner that respects the dignity and worth of both agency clients and staff. In addition, social work administrators promote agency policies and practices that empower clients and staff, and demonstrate respect for diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc.) within the workplace. (This is a hint that your paper must include ethical considerations consistent with NASW mandate.)
Purpose of Assignment:
The purpose of this paper is for students to demonstrate their competence in analyzing an organization as a macro system. The student can choose to analyze his or her field placement agency or the agency for which he/she works. For this assignment, students are to assume the role of a “consultant.” As a consultant, students will 1) examine agency documents, 2) observe agency processes, 3) interview staff, and (4) keep a journal of notes from these activities. Students will use these methods to examine the core elements of their agency, how well their agency empowers its staff and clients, whether or not staff and clients are treated with dignity and respect, and the extent to which the agency employs a diverse workforce. Based on these activities, students will write up an organizational analysis.
Section 1: Introduction (1/2 -I page) 40 points
Students should begin their papers with a clear introduction. The introduction should include a brief description of their field agency and the agency domain (name, age, size [numbers of staff and budget size], location, overview of primary service delivery functions, and population/area served). The introduction must also include a paragraph that describes the focus and organization of the paper. (Students will automatically lose 5 points for omitting a paragraph that lays out the framework for the paper.)
Section 2: Organizational Analysis (Application of Leavitt’s Diamond) (3-5 pages) 60 points
Students should draw on the information they gleaned from their observations, review of agency documents, staff interviews, and notes to analyze their field agencies according to Leavitt’s Diamond (Scott, 1995). Leavitt’s Diamond provides a framework to identify and analyze the significant elements of an organization (goals, technology, participants, social structure, and [task] environment), and how those elements may interact to promote or interfere with the functioning of the agency. For example, does the agency have the appropriate technology, structure, and participants to support its goals? If not, what needs to be changed?
As part of the analysis of the task environment, students should consider the political, economic, social/cultural, and technological trends that may be impacting the organization and its functioning.
Section 3: Organizational Analysis (Promoting Dignity, Empowerment, and Diversity) (2-3 pages) 60 points
Students should analyze their agency in terms of how well the agency empowers its staff and clients, whether or not staff and clients are treated with dignity and respect, and the extent to which the agency employs a diverse workforce. Discuss the factors that enable or prevent the agency from successfully promoting dignity, empowerment, and diversity. Students are encouraged to reflect on notions of power for this analysis (see class readings).
Section 4: Conclusion (l/2-1 page) 40 points
Based on the analysis from Sections 2 and 3, provide a summary of what you see as the agency’s major strengths and challenges. What changes would you recommend as a consultant? What are the implications for social work practice?
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