Directions: This worksheet provides an outline for Part II of your essay that is due in Topic 8. You will use the answers that you put in the boxes next to the prompt to complete your final paper. Your responses for the worksheet should total between 500 to 750 words. The answer you provide in Part I should be developed enough so that your instructor can give you valuable feedback. Please include three to five scholarly references at the end of this worksheet.
Macro Level Social Work: Child Protective Services and Bureaucracy Outline
Social work practice at the macro level involves advocating for social change and social action, eliminating economic disparities, social injustice, and exploitation.
Explore the website of the Child Protective Service (CPS) agency for your state. Find articles on CPS from your state that discuss organizational issues or dysfunctions regarding the agency at a macro level. This assignment examines the functions and dysfunctions of organizational structure. Use the table in the worksheet to address the following:
|Area to Address||Response|
|1. One of the issues CPS has in the state of Missouri is the high turnover rate of the person in charge. There have been nine directors of the Children’s Division in the last ten years (Weinberg, 2021). The role of director is standardized, meaning all people in the job should be performing the same tasks the same way (Dale & Smith, 2013, p. 277). However, the high turnover rate has let critical issues slip by, including mishandling reports of abuse in unlicensed youth residential facilities and failing to report missing foster kids. 2. The Department of Social Services Children’s Division is failing to keep kids safe due to a law that allows religious facilities to run unregulated residential programs. These programs have a religious exemption that prevents oversight from DSS, despite the overwhelming amount of reports of abuse (Zokovitch & Behrndt, 2021). This means that the department does not have the legal authority to keep all children safe in the state of Missouri. 3. DSS contracts with outside companies to oversee foster care in Missouri. However, the contracts with outside companies are making it harder for parents to reunite with their children. Furthermore, these private companies subcontract other companies, making it extremely difficult to keep track of children in the foster care system (Zokovitch & Behrndt, 2021).|
|1. The Community Partnership is a nonprofit organization that serves children, youth, and families. Their program primarily focuses on foster care, pregnant and parenting youth, childhood disability, and early education (The Community Partnership, 2022). 2. Missouri FACT, which stands for Family and Community Trust, is a nonprofit organization that works at a policy level to bring attention to local needs and issues, manages funding streams, and recruits public and private partners. Their overall goal is to bring services closer to families and children, involve the community in decisions that affect their well-being, use funding more wisely, and be held accountable for achieving results (Missouri FACT, 2022).|
|1. The state of Missouri requires DSS workers to take a 6-hour training class every year that focuses on cultural competency. The class helps individuals develop and enhance the skills needed to work with clients from a variety of ethnic, political, economic, lingual, and religious backgrounds. The class enhances awareness of how to be respectful of values, beliefs, religion, customs, and parenting styles (Missouri Department of Social Services, 2022). 2. The Community Partnership addresses diversity in its code of ethics and vows to promote diversity and inclusiveness in its Board of Directors, management team, staff, and volunteers (The community Partnership, 2022).|
|Ethics and diversity training should be an ongoing effort. I would encourage people to consciously think about the decisions they are making and how they will affect all people in the community. I would ensure that the organization I worked for had their own code of ethics that addresses diversity in addition to the NASW Code of Ethics.|
|CPS functions as a typical Weber theory bureaucracy. The hierarchical authority structure has social service workers who report to managers, and the managers have managers who report to managers, all the way up to the director, who then reports to the governor. There is a clear division of labor. Each person in the organization has a job description that entails what their job is on a daily basis. The role performance is standardized. There are multiple people with the same job title hired all over the state, and they are expected to perform the same role in a similar fashion. The role of DSS workers is depersonalized. People are hired based on their education and experience rather than who they know. And lastly, the decisions made by DSS are based on state laws and administrative policy.|
|One of the biggest dysfunctions of CPS is a high employee turnover rate. The roles are standardized, but many people are not in their roles long enough to learn what the community needs and how to make a change. Another issue with a high turnover rate is the lack of accountability.|
|CPS is a system that must work with individuals, families, communities, and organizations, and its policies must reflect that. Systems theory will help CPS work with these different entities by discovering the dysfunctions within them and coming up with solutions.|
|I would suggest that Missouri DSS has an online system to track children in the foster care system. This system should be updated every single time a child moves (preferably with the reason and an updated health check). This would make it easier to locate children that are in contracted and subcontracted foster communities. Another suggestion I would make is to throw out the law that requires a religious exemption for youth residential facilities. Any facility that has access to the care and well-being of children should be licensed and regulated by the state.|
Dale, O., Smith, R., (2013). “Human behavior and the social environment: social systems theory” 7th Ed.
Missouri Department of Social Services (2022) Annual Progress of Child Welfare Continuum of Services. Retrieved from https://dss.mo.gov/cd/cfsplan/cont_serv.htm
Missouri FACT (2022) What We Do. Retrieved from http://mofact.org/what-we-do/
The Community Partnership (2022) Building Ties Changing Lives. Retrieved from https://www.thecommunitypartnership.org/
Weinberg, T. (2021) Missouri lawmakers demand reforms from troubled state agency after acting director steps down. Retrieved from https://www.kcur.org/news/2021-10- 13/missouri-lawmakers-demand-reforms-from-troubled-state-agency-after-acting- director-steps-down
Zokovitch, G. & Behrndt, R. (2021) Lawmakers push for accountability in the Department of Social Services. Retrieved from https://www.columbiamissourian.com/lawmakers-push- for-accountability-in-department-of-social-services/article_9237feaa-9d89-11eb-85a5- d3a05d6c5801.html
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