Social Work Management and Its Relevance to the Social Work Profession Assignment

Social Work Management and Its Relevance to the Social Work Profession Assignment Words: 7297

SOCIAL WORK MANAGEMENT AND ITS RELEVANCE TO THE SOCIAL WORK PROFFESSION LAUREN DA SILVA Introduction. …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 The social work profession ……………………………………………………………………………. 5 {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} Definition of management…………………………………………………………………………….. {text:list-item} What is social work management?…………………………………………………………………. 8 {text:list-item} {text:list-item} Case Study: Management in One Way Community Services……………………………… 13 {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} {text:list-item} Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 Appendix 1…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20 List of Sources…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21 INTRODUCTION: Management and the study and refinement of management sciences are by no means a recent field of study. Basically, as long as human beings have been organizing themselves in groups to fulfil a common purpose or goal, some form of management has been employed to keep things under control, running smoothly and more effectively.

In fact, one of the earliest recordings of a management technique can be found in the Christian Bible in chapter 18 (verse 25) of the book of Exodus where after encountering numerous problems resulting from being the only direct report to millions of Israelite people, Moses decides to “choose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens” (Exodus 18:25 New International Version).

Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!


order now

Considering management has been used by human civilization since the beginning of its existence (even if it is done completely unwittingly), I find it rather surprising that management as a field of study has only been in existence since around 1890, when Frederick Taylor developed the “Scientific Management Theory”, which characterized the emphasis on scientific measurement of tasks and use of highly mechanized, assembly line and routine activities by workers (Very Brief History of Management Theories). From between 1930 and 1950; Taylor’s management theory began to give way to Max Webber’s “Bureaucratic Management Theory”.

He “focused on dividing organizations into hierarchies, establishing strong lines of authority and control” (Very Brief History of Management Theories) and emphasized detailed, standardized operational structures with very little room for flexibility (Very brief history of management theories). From then on human rights groups like trade unions began to heavily influence governments which in turn began creating legislation which reacted to these inhuman management structures. Human resource divisions were added to companies and it became common to relate the prosperity of the organization to the wellbeing of its employees.

Added to this, breakthroughs made in the human sciences fields of study played a strong role in helping management to understand and take into consideration the needs of workers (Very brief history of management theories). So, with the momentum that management as a field of study has gained over the past century and the mark that it has left on organizational functioning (hopefully for the better) as it has developed, it’s relevance to the social work profession is an important topic of discussion.

Over the course of this assignment I will be critically discussing social work management and its relevance to the social work profession. I will also use a case study to explain how management influences the effectiveness and efficiency within One Way Community Services (the non profit organization with which I have been placed for my practical work for this year). I will start off by introducing the social work profession as it will be discussed in this essay, specifically within the context of non-profit organizations.

I will then define management as it is applied to both for and non -profit organizations and how these practices influence the success of non profit organizations. Then, I will define social work management specifically and its relevance to the social work profession. Finally I will discuss the influence of social work management on social welfare service effectiveness within the non-profit organization with whom I have been placed for my practical work (One Way Community Services) before I conclude with some final thoughts on social work management.

THE SOCIAL WORK PROFESSION In order to understand the relevance of social work management to the social work profession, I feel that it is of importance to have a clear understanding of the history of the social work profession, how it is currently defined and the context it operates in. {text:list-item} {text:list-item} When Christianity was legalized by Emperor Constantine the first, the church started setting up poor houses, orphanages and homes for the aged and these were funded in part with grants from the Roman Empire.

By 590, the early church had an established system of circulating food and consumables to the poor. In the Middle Ages, giving to the poor was considered part of one’s religious duty and although it was common to give items like food and clothing, the root causes of poverty however, were never addressed (History of Social work – Wikipedia). {text:list-item} As a profession, social work began in the 19th century in America and the United Kingdom – mainly because the poor were seen as threatening to the social order.

When the industrial revolution began, the leap in technology and science also led to increased migration to urban areas which in turn lead to increased social problems which naturally lead to an increase in social activism. The settlement movement, during this time focused on the causes of poverty – Research, reform and residence. They provided educational, legal and health services that advocated reforms in social policy. Workers in the settlement movement pioneered the immersement of workers in the culture of those they were helping.

Two pioneers in the establishment of social work as a profession were Mary Richmond (Mary Richmond’s Charity Organization Society) and Jane Addams (Jane Addams’s Settlement House Movement). They debated whether or not problems should be taken from a scientific method (Richmond) or immersion into the problem which blurred the boundary between professional and client (History of Social Work – Wikipedia). The first social work class was offered at the University of Columbia in 1898 and in 1947 Lindeman “affirmed criteria” by which it could be seen as an actual profession.

In 1957, Lindeman described social work as being a profession but on the lower end of the development continuum. Encyclopaedia of Social Work(in SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:3). After a few decades of the increased formalisation of social work, and an increased understanding of the skill it requires to understand people fully and to assist them in helping themselves (SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:4), Spiro et al (in SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:4) describes social work as having achieved a “full-fledged professional status”.

Since then social workers have taken the lead in developing programmes and organizations that have made a difference in the lives of people in need (NASW –History of Social Work). 2. 2 CURRENT DEFINITION OF SOCIAL WORK The social work profession is described by the International Federation of Social Workers as a profession that; “… promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being.

Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. ” (International Federation of Social workers – definition of social work) It is further defined by the National association of social workers as; “the professional activity of helping individuals, groups or communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and to create societal conditions favourable to their goals. Zastrow (in SCK 102-X Study guide 1:57) Basically, social work profession definitions all point to people’s relationship between themselves and their social environments, a concern for social functioning, problems, needs, policy, institutions and wellbeing and ongoing interaction between individuals, groups and communities (SCK 102-X Study Guide 1:59). {text:list-item} The social work profession needs to understand the contexts within which it works (SCK 407-G Study guide 1:4), and for the purposes of this assignment, one of those contexts is the organization.

Social workers hardly ever operate by themselves, in isolation of some sort of organization – most of the time the organization is a non-profit but it not unheard of to find a social worker being employed by a for-profit organization for the sake of the wellbeing of its employees. Organizations exist to meet the needs of people and as history has evolved, people have realized that human needs are better met with collective efforts (SCK 407-G Study guide 1:5) and social needs are no exception, thus social work is also practiced in organizations, particularly welfare or non-profit organizations (SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:5).

In addition to this, social worker’s actions are sanctioned and accountable to these organizations (SCK 408-H Study Guide 1:3). A non-profit organization is characterized most importantly by the fact that the people involved for a reason other than benefitting financially (they are actually banned from doing so) and that a non-profit organization usually meets a need or goal of the public or a subsection of the public that supports its existence (SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:7).

As mentioned earlier, one type of non-profit organization in which the social work operates in, is the welfare organization (and for the purposes of this assignment will be used inter-changeably with the term non-profit organization). Dealing with people directly The core activities are interactions between the public (customers) and the staff of the organization The results of the rendered service are difficult to predict There are many interested partied involved The organization is staffed by professional people all belonging to organized professions Organizations are highly dependent on their environments.

Organizational factors influence how social work services are organized, delivered and evaluated (SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:24) and so it makes sense that the management of this organizational context would play a big role in the quality of social work services that are rendered, the next section we will introduce the concept of management and how effective management of a non-profit organization can improve its services before exploring how a specific type of management (Social work management), is specifically needed for the special challenges facing the social work profession within the non-profit organizational context.

DEFINITION OF MANAGEMENT: Management is defined by dictionary. com as being: “The act, manner, or practice of managing; handling, supervision, or control: management of a crisis; management of factory workers; the person or persons who control or direct a business or other enterprise; skill in managing; executive ability. ” (Dictionary. com: Management) It is also defined by Kroontz & Weihrich (in SCK 408-H Study Guide 1:6) as: “the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals working together in groups, accomplish efficiently selected aims. From this definition we can infer a number of things: Management helps to facilitate & guide the actions of people and the use of resources towards accomplishing a specific goal. Management is responsible for creating an environment in which people can perform optimally – thus increasing productivity. Management can be utilized in any type of organization Management also consists of 4 or so (depending on the source) basic management tasks which are perfomed in order for every task that is carried out. These basic management tasks are: planning, organization, activation & control. text:list-item} Management has a number of benefits when used correctly in any organization, adapted from Weinbach (in SCK 408-H Study guide1:28) a number of which are listed below: Management provides a structure for employee accountability. Management provides a structure for employee discipline. Management provides a structure for the co-ordination of a number of activities by a number of people all resulting in the accomplishment of the desired goal. Management provides the structures and means for evaluation of employee and organizational performance.

Management provides an indication of where the organization stands within the greater environmental context Management structures provide guidelines for employee behaviour Management provides a vehicle for the improvement and expansion of employee knowledge and skills. Aside from the many benefits management has for the organization as a whole, good management is also associated with a number of benefits experienced by employees. Here are a few as listed by Brian Amble (Benefits all round from good talent management): Employees feel more engaged by their work

Employees feel more satisfied with their jobs overall Employees feel more satisfied with their companies overall Employees are more likely to have confidence in the future of the organizations at which they are employed Employees have a positive impression of the people in management positions – they believe that the work load is managed effectively and that people in senior positions value the input of all employees and see it as an important contribution to the success of the organization. Employees feel a strong sense of job security

Employees feel that their performance is evaluated fairly Employees experience more feelings of personal accomplishment In summary, when employees are satisfied, productivity increases and when productivity is high in any given organization, it can be said with great certainty that the management of that organization is fulfilling its role in making sure that the organization is running as effectively and efficiently as possible, resulting not only in a more competitive organization but an organization that is a better place for its employees to work.

WHAT IS SOCIAL WORK MANAGEMENT? Social work management is defined by Trecker (1971, in SCK 408-H Study Guide 1:6) as the following: “Social work administration (management) is the process of working with people in ways that release and relate their energies so that they use all available resources to accomplish the purpose of providing needed community services and programs. Here one can see that this definition that relates specifically to social work management but that the definition is exceptionally similar to those of management as stated in the previous section in the following ways: Both refer to the co-ordination of people and resources to facilitate the accomplishment of a specific goal. Both refer to the creation of an environment in which an organization and the people in the organization can function optimally (ensuring maximum productivity).

On first glance it would appear that management and social work management are two terms which refer to the same thing, but that is not really the case. Although the functions of management and social work management are essentially the same, the difference is that in the case of a non-profit or welfare organization, although effective management is most definitely required, social work management is the ideal. This is because success for this type of organization requires more than just management, it “requires a breadth of view, rooted in social work knowledge and values” Teichman in Slavin (in SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:33).

An article by Mind tools called “Managing in non-profit organizations”, states that managers need more than just management skills to succeed and that they need a clear understanding of the very specific nature of non-profit organizations (Managing in non-profit organizations). Teichman goes further to state that employing a manager instead of a social worker could actually have a negative impact on this type of organization. Teichman in Slavin (in SCK 407-H Study Guide 1:33).

The purposes of a non-profit or welfare organization are best accomplished when someone has a professional social work education and some experience. This in combination with a strong identification with social work values and ethics AND training in management is ideal and exactly what a welfare organization needs to fully accomplish its goals in the most productive way possible (SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:33). {text:list-item} The relevance of social work management can be found when the unique challenges facing non-profit and welfare organizations and the wider context in which these operate are considered. text:list-item} A challenge facing social work management which does not exist in other organizations is the absence of the profit motive. In for-profit organizations the motivation for the existence as well as personal involvement in the organization is financial gain (profit), this motive does not usually exist in non-profit organizations as the organization exists to provide a service to others and if workers are paid employees, remuneration is generally not as high as with for-profit organizations.

For this reason it is fair to say that people choose to work in non-profit organizations because they identify with the mission and/ or vision of the organization or because they have other personal reasons for joining the organization (it is important to note however that this is not always the case and there are some exceptions). It is thus important for social work management to understand what motivates their paid team and to use this motivation to increase worker effectiveness and efficiency.

Providing incentive that links the worker personally to the organizational mission rather than career orientated incentives like promotion might be more effective (Managing in non-profit organizations). A social worker in management is more qualified for this type of thing because social workers are especially trained in the art of understanding people in their totality and these skills can easily be used in different contexts including management contexts. text:list-item} In for-profit organizations, profit gives an overall measure of effectiveness and efficiency of the organization as it is concrete and easy to measure(SCK 407-G study guide 1:29). In non-profit organization it is not as easy to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization as firstly, each organization decides for itself (depending on its vision and mission) what the criterion are.

Social workers have an advantage in that their understanding of human condition and the root causes of poverty and this might help them to quantify a way that would enable them to notice if the services of the non-profit organization in question have actually improved it. For this reason I believe that social work management is relevant to the social work profession. {text:list-item} In a non-profit organization income is not really proportional to how many people make use of your product or services in comparison to for-profit organizations where this relationship is directly proportional (SCK 407-G study guide 1:30).

Non-profit organizations need to rely on grants from government and donations from other organizations and individuals in the public for the means to continue its existence (as adequate finances are indispensible for the increased frequency of service provision as well as the improvement in quality of these services). An added dynamic is that non-profit organizations normally cooperate with other organizations (discussed later), but have to compete for limited finances.

This means that social work managers need to be very careful when using their resources responsibly, in a sustainable way and at the same time balance donor expectations (which usually involve wanting to see money go directly to the beneficiaries when a lot of money also needs to go into operating expenses)(Managing in non profit organizations). In addition to this social workers also need to master another skill which a manager in a for-profit organization would probably never need.

I do not believe that a social work manager would necessarily be better at this task as in my opinion it would not really require skills specific to the social work profession but rather skills specific to financial management, public relations and marketing. {text:list-item} Non-profit organizations are also different to for-profit organizations in that instead of competing with other organizations that render similar services, it actually pays to cooperate with them. This is because a non-profit organization’s situation improves if ts clients are made independent of its services or if it has less customers than its capacity limit. It also ensures better service to the client. Cooperation with similar organizations is a good way to achieve this (SCK 407-G Study Guide 1:31). A special skill required for the social work manager is that of the ability to network and form partnerships with other organizations. This includes the ability to influence these relationships for the organization’s and clients’ benefits (Management in non-profit organizations). text:list-item} Social work management also has the unique task of managing unpaid staff as in a non-profit organization, volunteers could sometimes out number paid staff. Volunteers need to be managed like any other human resource – staffing planning, job descriptions, performance management and evaluation as well providing appropriate awards and actions that could lead to the termination of services (non-profit specific management skills). In addition to this, a manager needs to manage volunteers and paid staff in such a way that ensures that all feel valued and motivated equally.

Social work management is also more effective in terms of this challenge as in addition to management skills which they possess which allow them to create suitable job descriptions, planning the roles of volunteers into the organizational structure and managing them with the same professionalism as other volunteers, they possess skills needed to understand human behaviour and what motivates people, and then using this understanding to ensure motivation of volunteers as discussed in section 4. . 1. {text:list-item} In most cases, there is a vast difference in the availability of technology to assist in the accomplishment of organizational goals when one compares non-profit and for-profit organizations. In for-profit organizations, the application of technology is precise in its application and in non-profit organizations there is a wide range of responses to a limited number of techniques (case, group and community work).

The technology used in social work is therefore very vague and imprecise in comparison, making it difficult to predict results and link cause and effect in relation to technology used in social work (SCK 407-G study guide 1:32). The social work manager’s task is to understand the technology used in the profession and also develop means to use it the most effective and efficient ways possible – minimizing its disadvantages and maximizing its benefits.

The social work manager is also better suited to handle this challenge as the social work manager spends most of his or her time in professional training mastering the techniques mentioned above and so he or she is in the best position to understand them the most and thus use them most effectively. {text:list-item} Non-profit organizations possess another unique trait in that the climate in which it operates is very often emotionally charged and draining.

Employees and volunteers very often become personally involved in what they do and their clients and although this sometimes does mean that they are highly motivated and committed to what the organization does, it also leaves them drained and sometimes traumatized by the situations that they encounter. This becomes a risk factor as it leaves employees demoralized and sometimes even desensitized by their experiences and their productivity decreases.

Although workers at for-profit organizations experience some form of emotional distress at their place of work, it is the nature of this distress (usually stress related to the pace at which the organization moves and not the emotionally content of the work done) which makes it different to what is experienced at non-profit organizations It takes a wise and highly competent manager to negotiate this challenge in such a way that does not create a sterile and uncaring environment which at the same time does not create a space which leaves employees emotionally drained and exhausted.

This, according to Jean Roberts requires an organizational commitment to reducing the possibility of risk by allocating resources to the identification, analysis and prevention of risk and monitoring the cause and effects of this risk and managing it effectively (Added Human risk for non profit organizations). Social work managers are once again better equipped at navigating these kinds of situations because of their knowledge of and probably their experience with the nature of the social work profession and the kinds of situations are encountered.

A social work manager would need to combine the social work skills of empathy and the advanced skills with skills related specifically to management (creating structures and roles as well as allocating resources within the organization) to reduce the risk of this challenge without removing the personal nature of the work done in non-profit organizations. {text:list-item} Just as much as management in for-profit organizations need a strong knowledge of the laws and policies influencing the nature of the services and products that are rovided to the public, so the management of the non-profit organization needs a strong knowledge of policies and legislation that relate specifically to the kinds of services rendered by the organization (child welfare laws, fundraising laws, laws relating to non-profit organizational management structure) as well as policies relating to employment of employees, human resources and income tax laws (non profit specific management skills).

In addition to this, non-profit organizations have an ethical responsibility towards improving and changing legislation and policy to better meet the needs of the people it is supposed to help and serve (SCK411-C Study Guide 1:66). Board members and management need to have strong working knowledge of the various agencies and organizations that influence legislation as well as rules and regulations effecting government and private funding – this is most definitely a non-profit specific management skill (non profit management skills).

Social work management is best equipped for this unique attribute of the non-profit organization sector. Once again social workers are trained in the knowledge of legislation and policy that specifically effects the profession and the organizations in which it operates.

This puts social work management in the position it needs to be in to not only react to these policies by complying with them and making sure that the organization stays on the right side of the law, but it being on the forefront of service delivery also allows it to be in the best position to make important recommendations to how policies and legislation can be changed for the betterment of the profession and overall, to improve the lives of the people who make use of these services.

CASE STUDY: MANAGEMENT IN ONE WAY COMMUNITY SERVICES One Way Community Services is a section 21 company, non-profit organization, which focuses mainly on community development. It was started as the response of One Way Community Church to the needs it saw within its local community – the Vaal Triangle (which consists of Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Sasolburg and the surrounding townships). (One way Community Services Brochure).

One Way Community Services was started 9 years ago and its emphasis is on community development, specifically in the focal points of children and HIV/AIDS. The organization is proudly South African and firmly believes in the “purpose and potential locked up in the lives of the people they work with” (One Way Community Services Brochure). They have six core values which they try and incorporate into everything that they do and these are: Unconditional love, compassion, faith, excellence, brightness and fun.

Projects which are run by One Way Community Services include Ikageng Shelter for homeless boys, Khanya Khaya Home for abandoned girls, One Way Early learning center, Breakfast club, Princess project, Public Hospital play time and once off community renovations (more information about these projects can be found in the attached One Way Community Services Brochure). Currently, One way Community Services employs five full time staff members 2 full time volunteers. The management team consists of Ellouise Jansen Van Vuuren who is the managing director, as well as four other people from various spheres of the community (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). text:list-item} I met with the managing director of One Way Community Services, Ellouise Jansen van Vuuren who is a qualified social worker who was trained at UNISA. Ellouise fits the description of social work management as described in section 4 and that is why I decided to interview her for the purposes of this assignment. It is important to remember that while reading the findings of this case study that they represent the frame of reference (proposition 7 of the person centered approach) and perceptions (proposition 2 of the person centered approach) of Ellouise within the context of her organization (Grobler et al 2006: 50 &69).

I have however tried as far as possible to indicate contextual information as such as it could have an effect of my overall conclusion at the end of this assignment. {text:list-item} When asked where her organization would be without management, Ellouise simply responded, “nowhere” (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010). When I asked her to elaborate she said that management literally makes the difference between life and death for any kind of organization, no matter if they were for-profit or non-profit.

She also said that the difference between a terrible organization, a good organization and a great organization usually has very little to do with the type of service it renders but the quality of the management. She mentioned further that administration and management keep the wheels turning in her organization and that one could have all the best intentions and resources in the world but if management was not there to administer them, they would not be used to their fullest potential (effectively speaking – effectively and efficiently)(Jansen Van Vuuren 2010). 5. 1. 1. The benefits of planning: Ellouise said that the management function of planning has helped her organization to increase its effectiveness and efficiency mostly in the area of how they use their finances. When it comes to government funding, the organization needs to submit a financial plan to the department of social development on how they plan on spending the money that they need almost 6 months in advance. This not only helps them to identify the resources needed for the next year but it also forces them to plan their activities and calendar ahead of time too (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010).

This means that things no longer happen haphazardly, but intentionally as the organization deems necessary. This type of planning allows the organization to be purposeful about its priorities. The things that they say are important to them and are priority for them to do to fulfil their goals and objectives (as well as their mission and vision) can now happen according to a schedule which allows them to be as prepared as possible for these events – this is because they know that they are coming and prepare adequately for them, and the more prepared they are, the more effective and efficient their services can be (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010). . 1. 1. 2 The benefits of organizing Organizing by a manager at One Way Community Services involves meeting with people from different departments, meeting with the management committee and the marketing team and arranging with them the different activities that need to be done and who needs to do them. Ellouise, who is the managing director, oversees the various areas within the organization and is constantly concerned with the bigger picture and how every department fits in with the others but leaves the smaller details and nitty-gritty’s of running each department or project to the department or project heads.

Each project head then has a team that works under them and so this ensures that Ellouise does organizing for the organization as a whole but each project has a team that organizes activities and responsibilities for that specific department or project (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). This ensures (as mentioned earlier), that Ellouise can focus on the bigger picture of the organization in that when she looks at the organization as a whole she makes sure that its meeting its mission and vision while projects and departments are making sure that they meet their own objectives (which contribute to the rganization’s mission and vision). Organizing in One Way Community Services also has an added benefit of ensuring service effectiveness and efficiency and that is because when jobs, time, departments etc are organized, things stand a better chance of actually being done. When things get done, service is delivered and when service is delivered in a certain way by certain people it is also easier to evaluate which means that it is easier to improve (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010).

Ensuring that everyone has a specific role and that departments and projects are well organized also ensures employee and volunteer security in that they know what is expected of them. Ellouise has found that people who are unsure of what is expected of them and how what they do fits into the bigger picture, are less motivated and productive than their counterparts who have a clear understanding of where they fit within the organization and a specific project (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010). 5. 1. 1. The benefits of activating Activating in One Way Community Services takes place by the setting into motion of the plans, people and departments that have been organized. Having everybody actually performing the role that has been assigned to them vastly increases the capacity of the organization. Ellouise noted that when you give somebody a responsibility, you need to be serious about it because a lot of the time people are given responsibilities as a token measure but they do not really function in it.

She mentioned a simple example of telling someone they were in charge of answering the phone , sending faxes and making photocopies – if you are always answering the phone before that person and doing the faxing and photocopying yourself you are doing yourself, the organization and the employee or volunteer a disservice. For an organization to truly maximize its capacity and in doing so increasing its efficiency, you need to play people at their strengths and let them do what they are supposed to do.

She said that if she was the only one doing the work in the organization, there would be no leading or future planning or big picture thinking and the organization would be limited to only what she could do – but when you start relying on other people to do what was planned to the capacity of the organization expands and you are able to do more (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010). 5. 1. 1. 4 The benefits of control Control takes place in 3 key areas at One Way Community Services: Finances, staff performance and project progress (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010).

Financial control takes place via auditing of the organizations books which takes place once a year, an accountant on the management team that does book keeping of the books once a month, quarterly expenditure reports, 6 monthly progress reports, all the money that enters and leaves the organization (even cash), must go through the back account and there are 2 signatories and passwords on the bank account (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). All of these measures project the organization from financial mismanagement and it enhances accountability and transparency.

This improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization because these measures ensure that funds are not easy to spend which means they are not easy to mismanage thus making them difficult to waste or spend unnecessarily. When financial resources are used optimally the effectiveness of the services provided by One way Community is increased and efficiency is improved (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). Control of staff performance is maintained through 6 monthly appraisals and weekly staff meetings. Management also does its best to create climate of trust amoungst the staff so that it is easier to talk about things (Jansen Van Vuuren).

These measures enhance accountability between staff members and management but they also allow for the improvement of performance by staff members. Receiving regular feedback at staff meetings and more in-depth, specific feedback at appraisals are done in a very constructive way which encourage the improvement of performance and the development of skills. When staff members receive feedback in such a way that motivates them to improve themselves and how they do their work, effectiveness and efficiency of the organization improves (Jansen Van Vuuren).

Measures that provide control for projects and different departments are department heads filling in quarterly reports which are submitted to the management team for review, strict policies regarding the spending of money and accountability measures which put project leaders directly responsible for money spent as well as objectives for each department and project which are determined before hand against which projects are evaluated. These provide a guideline for project leaders and department heads to keep track of their own performance and they know against what criteria they will be evaluated in the future (Jansen van Vuuren 2010).

These measures provide both a yardstick for success as well as a means of using that yardstick. When projects and departments know how they measure success they can not only streamline their activities to meet their goals but they also have a means of evaluating their success and determining where to make changes if they are necessary. Any form of evaluation and positive change as a result can only hold positive results for the quality of the services rendered by the organization as activities that are evaluated and adjusted constantly, improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of those services (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). text:list-item} I will now discuss how Ellouise being a social worker in a management position improves the effectiveness and efficiency of social welfare services rendered at One Way Community Services. At the onset of our interview, I asked Ellouise if she felt that as a qualified social worker in a management position she had an advantage when it came to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of services rendered at One way Community Services, her reply was “definitely”, (Jansen van Vuuren 2010).

When asked to explain why she thinks so she said that she had previously been involved in the management committee of another non profit organization and being the only social worker, she noticed that although her colleges had the best of intentions, their lack of understanding of the context of community development and how to properly identify needs, a lot of the time lead to money being put into projects which were “nice thoughts”, but made no real difference to the root causes of poverty or the real needs experienced by the people.

Basically money gets wasted on good ideas when people do not have a proper understanding of the theory behind the profession. She went further to say that she wondered how much financial resource had been put into projects that made no real difference in the lives of people they were intended to reach and what kind of a country we would be living in today if management of some non profit organizations had some form of social work training (Jansen van Vuuren 2010).

I will now explain the specific experiences One Way Community services has had with the unique challenges facing non-profit and welfare organizations (as mentioned in section 4. 1) and if social work management has been able to assist the organization in improving its effectiveness and efficiency as a result. {text:list-item} Ellouise agreed that the absence of the profit motive existed in non-profit organizations. The staff at One way Community Services are not motivated by corporate money or the ladder or promotion and success but she knows that every person does need money to survive (Jansen van Vuuren 2010).

At One Way Community services, management uses principles of the person centred approach like self determination (proposition 4) (which Ellouise learned as part of her social work training) to handle problems that arise as a result of the absence of large salaries etc. They do not beg anyone to stay and freely allow any employee to leave the organization is not serving their needs. They also do their best to hire the right people for the job – people who are motivated by the desire to help others. This eliminates a lot of problems that can occur later.

The organization also tries to keep their staff motivated by regular team building, staff meetings, socials and one on one chats between employees and management (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). I can see that Ellouise as the managing director has used a lot of the person centred theory she learnt as a social worker in the interaction with her staff, she however, doesn’t seem to think that her social work training has left her in a much better position than someone in management who has not had training in the field of social work (Jansen van Vuuren). 5. 1. 2. 2 The absence of the profit measure

The lack of profit measure has proved a challenge for One Way Community Services management because outcomes of the services that they deliver can be very vague to quantify at times (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). Ellouises training as a social worker has however put her in a position where is better able to identify guidelines and objectives for development projects and departments that fit in with the theory that she learnt as part of her training which in turn fit in with development standards like empowerment of participants and encouraging independence in the organization’s clients.

Objectives for the boy’s shelter and girl’s home for example include reunifications with families because the organization understands the importance of releasing people to independence rather than dependence on the organization. Ellouise has also promoted the importance of sustainability within the organization which is also something she learnt to be important during her studies (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010). In this instance, it is clear how social work training can be used by management to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of social welfare services within an organization. text:list-item} The sources of financial support at One Way Community Services include grants from government, donations from members of the public and funds raised by the newly established marketing team (Jansen van Vuuren 2010). Ellouise said that her specific training for social work didn’t really help her in these areas. She agrees that it is a unique challenge that management in for-profit organizations would not have to face and that she would probably not have been trained in fundraising if she studied a management degree.

She said that perhaps social worker students from other institutions received more input on how to raise funds and work with government funding but she did not feel that she did. She did mention that just being exposed to the social welfare context as a student may have helped her a little bit but she did not feel that as a social worker she had any real advantage over a manager without her training in social work and that she had to stumble around blindly for a while before she got her bearings and figured out how to go about things (Jansen van Vuuren 2010).

I believe that the problem in this instance is not necessarily with social work management in itself but rather the training Ellouise received as a social worker. If I look at this case study in isolation, taking no other evidence from other organizations into account, I would have to say that social work management has not been able to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the social welfare services of One Way Community Services in this specific situation. text:list-item} One Way Community Services has a lot of relationships and networks with other organizations like the Vaal Alliance for Street Children, Over the Wall and One Life (to name a few). Ellouise says that networks play a big part in what they do and that they assist the organization greatly in the accumulation of financial, support and knowledge resources (Jansen Van Vuuren 2010).

Once again Ellouise said that her training as a social worker didn’t necessarily prepare her for collaboration and that a lot of what she learnt about how to go about it and who to collaborate with, she learnt as she went along. She mentioned that in her specific case, what was emphasised more during her training was the specific approaches that must be followed and not really the day to day running life of organizations. She mentioned that her practical placements helped to prepare her a lot but in

How to cite this assignment

Choose cite format:
Social Work Management and Its Relevance to the Social Work Profession Assignment. (2020, Aug 08). Retrieved September 21, 2020, from https://anyassignment.com/samples/social-work-management-and-its-relevance-to-the-social-work-profession-6026/