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Macro Organizational Assessment

Case Example

The Ho-Chunk Nation’s Children and Family Agency requires its social workers to meet the client in foster homes once per month. Due to the rules laid down by the agency, it becomes difficult to realize this goal, especially if the children go to school and they come home during the agent’s non-working hours. Andrea, Anne and Lara are social workers at the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Children and Family agency. They have personal lives that are affected by the nature of their work. The Ho-Chunk Nation’s Children and Family Agency has laid down its rules of how the social workers are to coordinate their visits. The agency requires them to spend at least one hour with the child in foster home to monitor the child and to note any needs.

 

Both Andrea and Lara have families that they need to attend to daily, but for Anne whose children are adults it is more comfortable to work beyond the working hours stipulated by the agency. Since the children who have reached the school age cannot be visited until 4 pm, visiting them during weekends would allow the three social workers Andrea, Anne and Lara to attend to their obligations as well as their personal duties. Increasing the number of staff working on shifts will reduce the work burden on Andrea and Lara.

Since the Agency requires the social workers to spend at least one hour with the child during every visit and there are breaks during school time, Andrea and Lara will have to ask the children they visit if they are comfortable with these hours. Visiting the children during break time would allow the social worker to follow the set schedule. With special agreements with the schools, it would also be easy for the social workers to visit the children. Meeting with the children within short breaks will not only satisfy their working hours, but also save the workers from working late. Saving 30 minutes during school breaks will allow for the compensation for the time taken to travel to those children who are far from the office in Black River Falls. This program will allow social workers to work within the stipulated working time per day for at least 3 days in a week, which will enable them to plan for their personal family needs. Organizing group visits for children who are far from the office in Black River Falls will save the social workers travel time and ease the burden of having to spend at least one hour per child. Allowing social workers to visit children close to their homes will give Andrea and Lara enough time to work and attend to their families.

The Scenario

The setting is the Child Protection Services Unit in The Ho-Chunk Nation’s Children and Family Agency. Within the unit are three social workers who have been deployed to make the visits. Social workers are required to visit the children at least once a month with each visit lasting an hour to monitor the children’s progress and make reports for the agency. The scenario is that for the school children, it becomes difficult to visit them within the working hours, which means that the social workers have to sacrifice their off-duty time to undertake their job obligations.

Personalities

Andrea is 35-year-old dark haired, quiet, kind and conscientious lady who likes to be active in team projects. She puts the needs of others before hers and serves serving others, which aligns with the nature of her work. She observes people and situations before making concrete decisions. She has worked as a social worker for 10 years with 7 years serving in The Ho-Chunk Nation’s Children and Family Agency.

Anne is a 55-year-old quiet, reflective and idealistic lady who loves to coordinate and organize her work. She works as the unit supervisor. Considering the fact that she has served as a social worker for 15 years, she has excellent coordination skills. She likes being the unit supervisor because she is orderly and believes in setting a good example for the team members. She has well-developed values upon which she builds her strength. Despite her age, she still adapts to different conditions and personalities that she works with. She likes to help others and see possibilities in everything she undertakes.

Lara is a tall blonde with an egocentric personality despite being the youngest worker in the unit. She likes to be at the forefront of all the units’ projects to receive more credit in the team. She is in the process of studying for her Master’s degree, which makes her feel superior within the unit. She does social work to support her son, but she does not like working as a social worker. Despite being egocentric, she is kind-hearted and dedicates her efforts to the task at hand. She likes to complete her visits on time despite the unexpected late-hour working.

Attending to the Problem

Andrea and Lara are the ones adversely affected by the problem, as they have little kids that they have to look after once the working hours are over, which makes it difficult for them to work late hours. The agency’s visiting requirement pose the question whether the agency should change the visiting requirements or induce a macro change to accommodate workers who have personal responsibilities after work.

STEP 1: PREPARE PROCESS

Sub-step 1: Deciding to seriously evaluate the need for macro level change

Anne is the agent of change because she feels that personal rights and freedoms of the social workers are being violated. The agency has clearly laid out visiting requirements which the social workers have to carry out as their duties. These conditions are making the work difficult for the social workers as they have to sacrifice their personal time in order to complete their duties. The agency needs to make changes to their visiting requirements to accommodate the welfare of its workers.

Sub-step 2: Defining and prioritizing problems

The visiting workers have to be reviewed in order to figure out whether such workers as Andrea and Lara have to continue working for the agency. The current number of staff in the unit is limited, and that is why current staff has to work more hours.

Sub-step 3: Translating problems into needs

If the agency has to continue its visiting programs, it has to take into consideration the fact that their clients that are the children who have schooling hours and not burden its employees with having to spend their non-working hours conducting the visits.

Sub-step 4: Determining which need(s) to address

The problem at hand is adjusting the visiting hours to ensure that the employees carry their duty out within the working hours without having to sacrifice their personal time which they have to tend on their family needs.

Step 2: REALITY

Sub-step 1: Macro reality

The idea to induce the macro change is to have the organization make alterations to the visiting hours. It is a requirement of the law that the agency oversees the visiting process irrespective such of factors as schooling. This need makes it difficult for the workers to conduct visits only during the working hours, which is impossible. Ho-Chunk Nation’s Children and Family Agency is a big organization with long chain of command, and having to make changes would be a complex process considering the fact that there will have to be new financial and administrative decisions.

Sub-step 2: Personal reality

Strengths. Anne has working experience with the agency. Having clearly laid out facts and knowledge of the problem, it is a strength upon which the macro change is to be effected. Her self-drive and dedication will support the macro change considering that she is the unit supervisor.

Weakness. Anne is a good duty fulfiller with deductive skills, but her quiet and calm personality makes it difficult for her to push for the macro change at the levels above her.

STEP 3: ESTABLISH

In order to solve the problem, Anne’s primary goal is to increase the number of social workers who will work on shift hours.

STEP 4: PEOPLE

To effect the change, administrative agents have to intervene so that financial and administrative decisions can be made. Anne has good interpersonal relations with the agency director and the human resource manager who have commended her for her good job as well as allowed her to supervise programs outside of her unit. This will be her strength in effecting the changes.

STEP 5: ASSESS

As the unit supervisor, Anne understands that the agency consults her when it needs to add new staff. Thus, adding new employees to the unit will be within the budget allocation. The change will ensure that the employees’ welfare is protected allowing them to offer better services to the children.

STEP 6: RISK

The agent is controlled by the government, and Anne is protected by a trustable union. Since Anne is a supervisor with not much administrative power who prefers serving her community for charity rather than personal gain, she is ready to face the risk of being dismissed or demoted.

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STEP 7: EVALUATE

Sub step 1: Weighing the pros and cons of proceeding

As the unit supervisor, Anne has determined that the needs of the social workers, her strengths and the support that she would get from the administration are enough to push for the macro changes despite her personal weaknesses, risks and any possible resistance. Therefore, she decides to proceed.

Sub step 2: Identify possible macro approaches to use, estimate effectiveness and select the most appropriate.

Anne has several macro approaches. One is having to follow the administrative process of requesting for more staff, while another is using her privilege as a consulting officer to align the macro change with the agency annual staff recruitment. Since Anne is requesting direct funding for her unit, she would have to consult the decision makers above her directly in order to effect the macro change successfully.

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