Even the best school districts have students that they find very difficult to serve. These are the kids who manifest emotional, social and behavioral difficulties. They participate in destructive behavior [vandalism, substance abuse, truancy, violence, etc.] and generally are not learning. Attempts to intervene effectively often seem to backfire. The ‘state of the art’ approaches have failed to provide any help to these kids.
While the rest of the world of business is frantically seeking to develop a quality approach to business, the world of human services flounders with experts who attempt to bend the concept of quality to a system of coercion. Is it possible to find methods to make human services worthwhile?
This paper is concerned with changing the way we do business in human services. While it is somewhat outdated, it still provides prospective on the problems of delivering appropriate human services. The goal is to develop a single system of supports for children and their families and to do so outside the present ‘box’. – WHAT WE ARE DOING IS NOT WORKING.
A human service system is an organized community of interest; a group of people with similar concerns that cause similar patterns of behavior. The manager’s responsibility is to “steer” the system, to provide a common direction towards a specific goal where it does not exist or to exploit and support the common direction where it does.
Principle: The management of people, whether staff or clients, is substantially the same.
Making a shift in a system of human services from a medical model to a cognitive behavior model requires significant design changes within all factors of the system. When such changes are attempted, managers often attempt to address only one part of the system at a time because they are convinced that such practices are pragmatic.