In Pennsylvania the Office of Medical Assistance [Medicaid] has developed the use of managed care organizations in an attempt to save money. This article explores suggestions as to how to bring a very fragmented system of child services together in creative ways to enable children with problems in living to improve social performance. Behavioral health is the current metaphor for ‘mental illness’ a metaphor for problems in living that makes the person appear to be bizarre.
This article examines ways that schools can develop services and support for students with problems in living as a means of enhancing social competence.
In making the shift from traditional models of serving people with problems in living to a transitional model dedicated to the use of cognitive behavioral management, one is required to look at the full range of organizational elements which have been identified by Robert B. Waterman, Jr., Thomas J. Peters and Julian Phillips in a 1990 article called Structure Is Not Organization.
Managing people in an organization has certain congruence with managing people with problems in living. In both cases, there is a requirement to get the personal preferences of the individuals involved compatible with a specific, defined set of assumptions which the manager believes will be beneficial to both the individual and the organization or society. And in both cases, the critical assumption underlying the need for change is that the learning environment [culture] has somehow created and maintained thoughts that are now considered to be incompatible with the desired culture.
Human service managers today are intrigued by outcomes. It is a fad that is given a great deal of “lip service” but often without merit. The reason for this is that we so often measure outcomes without a standard. “I want to do what’s best for kids.” What a wonderful thought. Shouldn’t we all be this caring? However, people who use this as a mantra often believe that ‘what is best for kids is’ something that people who believe in social learning theory would feel is very negative for kids. Until we decide what is best for kids, we have no means of measuring outcome nor making decisions about management performance.
Planning is essentially a process of collecting information which will enable one to make decision about some future point or goal. When one talks about planning in the context of human services one needs to collect a great deal of information from diverse fields; reach consensus about the relevance of that information to groups and individuals; and make decisions about various components of systems regarding the best possible strategies and tactics to meet an agreed upon mission.