Managing people in an organization has a 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. When managing educational, clinical, protective or correctional programs, a manager will need to overcome the resistance of many in the client population and in the staff. While staff people tend to be caring, they have blind spots when they believe clients are somehow personally disrespecting them. Management needs to define a goal and get everyone pulling in the same direction.
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 While it is somewhat outdated, it still provides prospective on the problems of delivering appropriate human services.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.
Presupposition: all human service delivery is experimental.
Human service delivery faces the challenge of providing quality services to people with problems in living while under ‘command and control constraints from federal and state regulations. A tool that may help meet this challenge is the quality circle, a management technique borrowed from Japanese industry that has gained popularity among American managers.
This article is concerned with how to measure the efficacy of a cognitive behavior management culture. In order to do so, one must find a consistent understanding and implementation of cognitive behavior management messages from management to staff and staff to clients.
The protocols for referral for psychological services need to be clearly identified and related to expected outcomes. Too often referents are unclear as to what constitutes a problems that should be addressed psychologically and psychological counselors are unclear about expected outcomes.