Learning Goals In this module students will be able to examine and discuss: The differences between social services delivered by the government (public sector), the voluntary sector (non-profits and the private sector (for profits The programs delivered by each sector; The strengths and weaknesses of each of these approaches to service delivery; Ethical issues related to service delivery; The significance of “informal helpers”; and, The “consumer movement”. The concepts of “informal helpers” and the “consumer movement” will be defined in the module. 2 Readings and Guiding Questions
Required Readings While reading the lecture notes for this module, you will be Instructed, at various points, to read certain chapters from your Turner and Turner textbook and/or to read resources found on the Internet. Below Is a summary of the required readings found in this module? It Is essential that you read these resources as you could be tested on the final exam. Turner and Turner, Chapter 14: “Agencies in General” Turner and Turner, Chapter 26: “Informal Helping and Mutual Aid” Turner and Turner, Chapter 15: “Industries and the Provision of Social Services” Part 1: Read Turner and Turner, Chapter 14: Agencies in General.
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Note sections that address the issue of funding. ) Then, based on your reading, answer the following questions in writing in your own private notes: 1 . How does the voluntary sector find the money for its programming? 2. In chapter 14, page 21 5, the author states that “The recent policy objectives of fiscal restraint and prevarication have made the purchase of services from commercial providers attractive to governments”. What do you think of these policy objectives? She goes on to give as one of the reasons for this attractiveness as ” increased efficiency through competition What political ideology do you think this presents?
Do you agree or disagree? Issues related to prevarication continue to be hotly debated, while the commercial sector grows and thrives. 3. Check out as many of the funding sources for the three sectors as you can find in your text. Explain one strength and one limitation that exists for each sector in delivering responsive social services. Part 2: Read Turner & Turner, Chapter 26: “Informal Helping and Mutual Aid”. Use the following questions to help you to focus on and understand the key concepts and ideas In the readings.
Jot down your ideas for your future review. 1 . Cosmos, the author of this chapter, makes the following assertion (as noted below). Name the three major reasons he gives for this change In attitude. There are a number of reasons why professionals are now less likely to see Informal kinds of helping as insignificant, antagonistic, or competitive. 2. How does Cosmos define 3. Why are social service professionals so far down the list when people consider looking for help? 4. Explain the difference between “mutual aid” and “self-help” groups?
Give three examples of each. 5. Both the formal service system and the informal sector have strengths and weaknesses. Name one major strength and one weakness for each. Part 3: Click on the links below and see what governments do in the area of social welfare and social policy. Navigate around a bit so you become familiar with the sites (five or ten minutes each will do). Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 3 Introduction Read the following example of a community project.
Look for the intended goal or goals in this example and see if you can identify potential problems in meeting these goals. The goal of the Youth Futures service delivery was to assist in the development f personal and economic self-sufficiency for a particular client group. This goal is not uncommon. In the case of Youth Futures, the client group consisted of young adults on social assistance. The majority were of Aboriginal ancestry and a large number were single parents, primarily women.
These two groups and their relationship to personal and economic well being will be discussed more thoroughly in subsequent modules. Wait For now, think about the possible needs of this particular client group as you read through the following information. Question Ask yourself how their needs might be dressed through a different service delivery approach that would successfully achieve the stated goal. Youth Futures was a pilot project implemented by the provincial government in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1997.
The purpose of the project was to provide education and Job training opportunities for low-income 18-21 year olds. The government wanted to reduce the rising number of people on social assistance and believed that offering services to young adults could break the ‘welfare cycle. ‘ The success of the pilot would determine whether this approach should be extended throughout the province. Three government ministries now titled, Social Services; Education; and Advanced Education Employment and Labor, initiated and directed the project. Representatives from these ministries formed a steering committee in Prince Albert.
They hired a director and invited community members to participate on the committee. The community members included Aboriginal elders and representatives of the 18-21 year old client group. The project director and representatives of the steering committee hired five staff members to work directly with the young adults. In October, approximately 350 clients were transferred from Social Services to Youth as expected to meet with one of the five staff members to develop an action plan and then to evaluate the plan’s success in future meetings.
The possibilities for action plans included: attending high school or ASSIST to complete a Grade 12, participating in a life skills course or a Job training program of less than 11 weeks, or doing volunteer work. Youth Futures involved a change in financial support. Before the transfer from Social Services, basic living expenses such as rent and utilities had been paid directly by the government. Clients received two small cheeses, one near the middle and the there at the end of the month, to cover food and minor expenses only, and any allotment for day care was tied to program attendance.
Forms were submitted and verified before any money was released. To move toward the intended goal of self-sufficiency, each Youth Futures’ client now received a full queue once a month to cover their basic needs; rent, utilities and food, plus daycare money for those who were attending programs and had dependents. The expectation was for them to accept financial responsibility. A final report released in March 1999 provided information about the Youth Futures’ artisans. During the history of the project, over 68% had been female, 52. 5% had at least one dependent, and 87% were of Aboriginal ancestry.
Although some statistics were quoted regarding success rates, the evaluator noted that a system had not been available at the beginning of the project to record the actions taken with clients and their outcomes. In addition to this methodological problem, a huge amount of written data that did exist combined with a large amount of missing or not-entered data made a meaningful quantitative analysis very difficult. The project operated until March 2000. At that time the government withdrew the funding and the project closed. No reason was forthcoming.
The 1999-2000 Annual Report from Saskatchewan Post Secondary Education and Skills Training, as Advanced Education Employment and Labor was then called, only indicated: Section 2. 4. 3. “Implement a pilot project to test approaches for providing youth on social assistance with education, training, work experience and other supports to become self-sufficient. The 2-year pilot in Prince Albert, Youth Futures, (1997/98 and 1998/99), to assist youth in making the transition to adulthood and becoming contributing embers of society was funded for an additional year to enable evaluation.
It concluded on March 31, 2000. ” This is a brief look at one example of delivering service to a community. Additional information regarding the Youth Futures project is available upon request from the Ask. Department of Community Resources. 4 The Government (Public Sector) As we learned in the module on social policy, economics and political ideology determine the extent of government involvement in delivering social services. The assumption is that governments which are more oriented towards a socialist ideology revise and to have control over their delivery.
Governments with a conservative ideology limit their involvement in providing direct services and service delivery is provided primarily by the voluntary or private sector. Yet, globalization and capitalism in general have created a scenario whereby all governments appear to function somewhere between socialist and conservative ideologies. The emphasis is on debt reduction, economic security, and on ensuring that the powerful business class is not alienated or unhappy. A recent example of government ideology determining social policy is seen in the area of child care.
Under the Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin agreements were concluded with most provinces during 2004-2006 whereby the federal government would substantially increase funding of day care programs that would increase the number of spaces and the quality of care in licensed facilities. In January 2006 a Conservative government was elected which almost immediately canceled the Liberal day care agreements and instituted a programmer which would transfer $1200/year to families for each child under six regardless of income level.
This appears to be a government with a conservative ideology instituting a universal aerogram but with limited application (children under six) and much reduced funding which only serves to reduce the progressive/conservative distinction. Which programmer would you see as benefiting children and families the most? Which might be most economical? All levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal, deliver government services. Although various services are the responsibility of a particular level, in practice these services may be provided by another level of government.
For example, the provincial government is responsible for education and the federal overspent bears responsibility for the education of Aboriginal people. In the case of the Youth Futures example previously described, the majority of 18-21 year olds were Aboriginal. When clients left the reserve and moved to Prince Albert to take advantage of Youth Futures, the province was reluctant to fund these clients. Why might this be? The participants also risked losing reserve funding if the reserve takes the position that once the individual left the reserve, he or she was no longer their responsibility. Ids This blurring of boundaries also occurs because much of the funding is cost-shared. Decisions made at the federal level can determine what services the provinces or the municipalities are capable of delivering. Is this something like “he who pays the piper calls the tune? ” With a pilot project like Youth Futures, the province provides initial funding but this money is limited to two or three years. At that point the municipality or community is expected to continue on their own. Why do you think that Prince Albert was unable to provide funding for the continuation of this project? revise even though these are considered the responsibility of the provinces. Other programs that the federal government delivers include services for seniors, employment/unemployment services, and immigrant and refugee resettlement. The provincial government in Saskatchewan is responsible for service delivery of education, social services and child welfare. In the past it has provided health and mental health services. However, many of these have now become the responsibility of health districts.
The provincial government, though, provides funding for these districts plus financial support for a number of voluntary organizations providing health services. The provincial government is now involved with immigrant and settlement services. Municipal governments have developed and delivered services, often in response to local problems. These might include programs for the homeless, for street youth, or for young street workers. Municipal governments are also responsible for infrastructure costs to local roads and highways. Some municipalities have social planning departments that monitor social issues and plan responses.
Municipalities typically enter into agreements with other agencies and levels of government because their funding sources are more limited. Recently, services offered by municipalities have declined because of shrinking transfer payments and increasing demands for tax cuts. 4. 1 Strengths and Weaknesses Government (the Public Sector) In theory, a program run by a democratic government reflects the will of the community. It has the force of public policy and commitment, involves careful scrutiny and accountability, and has a stable infrastructure. Services are provided for people, regardless of their ability to pay.
Workers tend to have adequate salaries and some protection because governments typically have employees’ unions. Hands But, as we know, the waters are muddy in practice. Services provided by government for people regardless of income are favored by more socialist (and to a lesser extent by liberal) governments, while more conservative governments tend to limit services to those with the most limited incomes. The child care example on the previous page illustrates Just the opposite – a conservative government providing a grant for every child regardless of family income. Debut there are problems with government services. They can be subject to political ideologies and respond to changes in government (child care program orientation for example) rather than thoughtful planning. Another example, in recent years neo-conservative governments have limited both public and voluntary “top heavy. ” Governments that are assumed to espouse socialist and liberal ideologies may have policies that appear to be conservative, often a response to their concerns about risks to their political survival.
Both workers and clients can feel powerless in determining programs and how services are delivered. Real problems can be denied and hidden because of a government’s need to remain free of criticism and maintain the interests of its “political masters. 5 The Voluntary Sector WFM In Canada we have had a long history of social services provided by community- minded volunteer groups, religious or faith community groups and other special interest groups. Many of these volunteers addressed issues of concern to their community before any level of government developed a structure for the delivery of social services.
These volunteer, religious and special interest groups are currently categorized either as non-governmental organizations (Nags) or as community- based organizations (Cobs). Some call them the non-profit sector and other appellations. No’s or Cob’s are usually operated by a voluntary board of directors. The board determines the purpose of the organization and how it will fulfill its goals. It may receive funding from government grants, various funding sources, from community fund raising efforts such as the United Way and its own efforts, e. G. Bottle drives, or from charging fees for service or a combination of these.
A very few examples of these organizations are: Big Brothers/Sisters; battered women’s shelters; gay and lesbian heath/social service agencies; youth drop-in centers; family service agencies; food banks; soup kitchens; seniors’ groups; and peccadillo health associations such as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CAIN), the Alchemist’s Society and the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. Strengths and Weaknesses Workers can often have more input in decision-making because voluntary organizations tend to be smaller than governments and have a flatter organizational structure (fewer managerial levels).
Consumers can also have influence through membership on the board of directors. Because of their voluntary nature, there is less chance of political interference but that might depend on the extent of government funding. Finally, changes can be made more easily within these organizations than within large bureaucratically operated structures. One of the biggest problems is raising money, whether through grant applications or fund raising activities. Finances are uncertain and can take time and energy away from delivering services. Voluntary organizations also have a difficult time finding resources for clients considered “unpopular. For example, people are more likely to donate to programmers for children with disabilities than to those for adolescent the latter groups may have a greater need for service. 6 The Private Sector The Turner text, Chapter 14, uses the term “private” for “not for profit” and “for profit commercial services” for those that are privately owned. In this module, the term “private” is reserved for services that are “commercial. ” These are delivered by individuals or organizations that are privately owned and that operate “for profit”. In recent years, there has been a trend to provide services on a “for profit” basis.
Individuals or groups form a business and sell their services. The profit goes to those who own the business. This can involve a single social worker in a private counseling reactive or companies such as those operating many nursing homes as a large international corporation. Managers in the private (commercial) sector may be trained professionals or they may be individuals with a business point of view who see the service as a “product. ” Although social workers have often been criticized for engaging in “for profit” work, private practice has become an aspiration for many.
It holds the appeal of being one’s own boss and determining what is in the client’s best interests. On the negative side, only those with the ability to pay become eligible. Services for poor people, such as advocacy and financial assistance, are virtually non- existent in the private sector. An exception to some extent for the provision to persons with marginal incomes is the employee benefit, the Employee Assistance Programmer (EPA), though the catch is that one must be employed by an employer who subscribes to this type of benefit.
Examples of private services include: private counseling agencies (see the yellow pages); privately owned nursing homes; and proposals such as the Omni Surgery Centre. As we can see, private services are a growing segment of our health care services. In some provinces (not Saskatchewan) day care may be provided commercially. Private sector organizations have argued that their services are more flexible, less expensive, and more responsive to consumer demand. There are those who believe that the free market system allows the best services to flourish and the poor ones to disappear.
In addition, private organizations often lack the huge bureaucracies that plague the larger public services. The primary risk here is the deterioration of services when profit becomes the motivating factor. There is also a tendency to hire on-union employees who will work for lower salaries and may not be as well trained. Market-driven services are developed for those who can afford them. Issues of social Justice and professional ethics may not be priorities in service delivery. Finding the money to provide social services is a challenge for all three sectors. Ethical Issues in Service Delivery There are many issues to consider in the development and delivery of services. Many of these have an ethical component. The most common issues include the following: Who makes the decisions within the agency or organization? Do service participants or employees have influence? Who is able to access the service? Do issues of cost, location, or staffing result in the exclusion of particular groups? Is appropriate care taken to hire qualified staff and to develop ethical procedures? For example, how is confidentiality ensured in a counseling agency?
Is the organization committed to eliminating racism, homophobia, and sexism from their programs? Is the staff Do the workers receive an adequate salary and benefits? Is the workplace free of abuse for staff, volunteers and clients? 000004239994XSmall Although the responsibility for ethical service begins with the board of directors, the overspent leaders, or the owners of the organization, everyone has a responsibility. Social workers, in particular, are obligated to speak up when procedures violate the Social Work Code of Ethics. Help from Informal Sources Previous pages in this module dealt with services delivered by organizations that are structured and formalized to a lesser or greater extent, but most people receive help from informal sources as covered in Turner and Turner, Chapter 26. These sources include family members, friends, a faith community, a cultural community and self- help groups: Family Members many people have a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle or other relative they go to when problems arise. It does not take professional expertise to listen and support a member of one’s own family.
However, it is important not to idealize family relationships. As noted by Cosmos, the author of Chapter 26, for some people, the family network is the very reason they need help; they are abused, neglected, abandoned by their kith and kin. Friends precept for extremely isolated people, the majority of us have friends who can provide help. Because trust is critical, we automatically turn to someone we know ell and believe is trustworthy when we have a problem. Faith Community Germany people receive comfort and personal support from their faith community.
In addition to informal helping, some communities have developed more formal counseling and outreach services. Cultural Community alike faith communities, cultural communities can offer tremendous support. Refugees, for example, would likely turn to members of their cultural and language group in times of difficulty. Self-Help Groups redpoll who have experienced a specific illness or addictions such as alcoholism, rugs, or eating disorders can receive help from those with the same problem. These are the people who genuinely understand and can share what was helpful to them.
Simply knowing that one is not alone and different can make a tremendous difference. Some of these groups, such as those for diabetics or Alchemies or Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, have developed a formalized structure. However, if a client does not wish to Join’ a self-help group, numerous books and tapes are available for individual use. 9 The Consumer Movement What should we be called? In the health system, we’re referred to as patients. But this term can be associated with someone who is lacking in insight and expertise.
The sick person becomes dependent on a professional and the patient’s observations can be dismissed in favor of the superior knowledge of the expert. Also taken on negative characteristics. More recently social workers have been struggling to find language that is more empowering. Terms such as service user and consumer have been used. It is believed that referring to someone as a consumer implies equality because the one receiving the services is ‘in charge’ and the service provider becomes a servant of sorts. Consumers now have the power.
If they are not satisfied with the service, they can take their business elsewhere. Nevertheless, even these terms have been viewed as less than adequate. That is, human service workers continue to struggle to find language that is not disemboweling. In one Saskatoon agency, for example, workers have decided to avoid terms such as consumer and service user. Instead, they talk about the families and individuals who access services. Some social activists believe that using the term consumer simply obscures the reality of the power imbalance between consumer and service provider.
It buys onto the business model and describes a relationship between two participants instead of viewing social services as societal relationships that affect all people. Activists prefer the term citizen. They believe this word has much broader implications of empowerment and responsibility. Some people who have been unhappy with the services they’ve received call themselves survivors. For example, many consumers of psychiatric services refer to themselves as survivors of psychiatry. Anti-oppressive social work practitioners emphasize that language is important and that we must continue to reflect on how we use it.
What term do you see as most appropriate? 9. 1 Consumer Empowerment People Empowerment stricter providers and advocates believe that a deliberate strategy is necessary to include those persons using services to be part of decision making. The following outline indicates some of the ways that this occurs. People Run Services Collectives Self help groups Hired professionals to work for the consumers Partnerships People are in equal partnership with service providers Contractual agreements Consultation Direct consultation(s) Advisory committee(s) Program evaluations that invite consumer responses Tokenism
Representation on boards but no real influence on policy decisions Opinions sought but ignored Placement on organizational charts but having no real power 10 Group Discussion Forum Assignment staples go to group discussion forum for this module. All groups are to discuss the question for this module with other group members and post before the end of the module day. In responding to the questions, also include responses to the postings made before you. The point of the Discussion Forum is not only for you to think about Question What are some of the key issues that had a particular impact on you during the adding for this week?
Were there any new ideas for you? Was there relevance to your life? How might these reflections influence your decisions about how you will approach the profession of social work? 11 Journal Assignment Act Please answer the following questions and include your answers with the Journal hand-in assignments. Remember a time when you turned to someone for help with a problem. It could be a formal agency or an informal helper or helping system. What was your experience? Please don’t describe the problem in detail. How would you describe the qualities that make a successful “helper? ”