Web Field Trip


Please familiarize yourself with the information and resources available from the Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services (


). In your write up please select


issues/problems portrayed in the following case study

and how, specifically, you would use this Internet resource to address/assist the family/individuals. Please provide specific examples.

Your 3-4 page write-up should demonstrate understanding of the week’s topic by connecting the information presented in the case study with information and resources from the website, the assigned chapters, and your field placement (school social worker).

Organizational Analysis and Job Description
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Organizational Analysis and Job Description
Social workers mostly work in human or social service organization such as hospitals,
schools, and business corporations. Conflicts may arise between professional in the workplace
leading to reduced working morale, dysfunctional units, loss of employment, or production of
low quality work. In such cases, social work and human resource personnel may collaborate in
restoring a healthy working environment. The social worker may also be involved in providing
counseling to individuals who lose their jobs, are struggling with the death of a loved one, or feel
overwhelmed by their work. In hospital settings, social workers as usually involved in linking
children with foster parents and following up their transition to their new homes, working with
different patients, and providing support to healthcare practitioners facing challenges in their
work. On the other hand, the role of social workers in schools, such as in the case of my field
placement, involves providing assistance to students struggling to adjust to the school
environment, bullies and their victims, those affected by family issues and caring for the school
Social workers like other employees are bound by organizational goals and objectives,
which evolve from the negotiations they have with the institution and its members. As a social
worker, some of the goals that bound my practice in the field placement agency included
ensuring that all social workers adhered to professional codes of ethics to ensure that individual
student or client interests are placed before those of the social worker or those of the school.
Other services and operational goals include ensuring that effective equipment or procedures are
used in managing clients to limit cases where incompetent services are offered, the client does
not recover, or their recovery goals are not met.
Formal and Informal Structure
The principal led the formal structure of the organization at the school. Other
professionals working with the principal included an IB coordinator, a psychologist, a social
worker, and admins for different grades. Information flow was based on top-down and bottomup approach, with the principal being in-charge for setting the standards, rules, and regulations,
and handling complex cases. The grade teachers usually report the students exhibiting negative
behaviors to the grade counselors. As part of the formal structure of the organization, every staff
understands their roles and responsibilities. Appendix 1outlines my job description as a social
worker in the facility.
Grade counselors try to solve the issues the students might be going through by holding
one-on-one meetings with them and counseling them accordingly. Cases that might require a
deeper analysis are forwarded to the grade admin who may review it before involving the school
social worker and psychologists. Follow-ups for students after counseling are usually done by the
grade counselor who reports any concerns to the social worker. Appendix 2 illustrates the
organization chart, which shows a network of related roles distributed among teachers,
psychologists, and social workers.
Informal Structures in the school include links formed between members within the same
department and unofficial interaction and communication among the staff based on friendships
(Hanson, 2007). Informal structures and mutual aid networks that are work-based and include
friendships between same-grade teachers, admins, grade-teachers and counselors, and those
between social workers, psychologists, and counselors. In the school facility, these friendships
were formed based on the need to have effective interpersonal relationships with other
employees, to ease communication, and help each other.
Working as informal colleagues with the school psychologists and the grade counselors
promoted a positive working environment and eased management of follow-ups for students
being monitored. It has also promoted cultural incompetent through interaction with different
colleagues and understanding their values, beliefs, and behaviors. Such meaningful
collaborations were not based on past experiences about their contribution to the success of the
institution (Hanson, 2007).
Service Technology and Programs
Social service technologies include the different tools used by the organization for
assessment, documentation, diagnosis, and acquisition of professional knowledge and provision
of effective guidance to clients (Hanson, 2007). Common technologies used by social workers in
the field placement agency included a professional workbook and guideline for assessment and
diagnostic procedures based on information collected from the clients. Such data would be
obtained while conducting one-on-one discussions with the students or teachers as a way of
seeking the root of their problem. Use of evidence-based practice was used to make informed
decisions when dealing with clients. Documentation of the assessment conducted was essential
as the information was used to perform follow-ups or determine underlying problems affecting a
student or staff client with reoccurring behavioral issues.
Like other organizations that deal with human service management, loyalty and
dependency on each other is viewed as one of the foundational principles in catering to the needs
of the students (Weinbach & Taylor, 2011). Professionals involved in promoting students’
behavior change are required to ensure that they maintain confidentiality and protect the student
case files. The school limits access to students’ social work and psychology files to ensure that
unauthorized personnel such as other students do not access them. This also enables students to
maintain their trust in social workers, psychologists, and counselors.
The school requires teachers, counselors, social workers, and psychologists to base their
decisions, behavior-change technique used on students, and other professional duties on
evidence-based practices. Information obtained from practice literature reviews, research, and
past experiences is also used to ensure that the quality of work delivered meets standard
professional requirements and adheres to ethical guidelines. Expert opinion from the
psychologists forms a substantial basis and authority for the role played by the social worker
(Hanson, 2007). As a social worker, I was combining the assessment and diagnosis made by the
psychologist in determining the type of social care the affected clients needed.
Recovery programs developed for the students combined both social work expertise and
psychology knowledge. For students dealing with personal or family issues that affected their
studies, intervention programs provided by the social worker were based on student’s preference
and conducting a professional assessment to determine whether the student’s needs and concerns
were addressed. The interprofessional programs formed at the school combined the skills of
psychologists, social workers, teachers, and grade counselors, their experiences with students,
and different techniques of handling situations. Aside from recovery programs, as a social
worker, I was also collaborating with other external organizations that provide food, economic
support, and connections to appropriate housing to students and parents in need of such services.
After assessing students affected by suicidal thoughts and attempts, alcohol abuse, and substance
use, they were usually linked to community programs that would offer them additional help and
connect them to community support groups.
Membership Interest and Characteristics
Members of the organization have different characteristics, functions, job descriptions,
and skills. The actions taken by agency members are commonly linked to the goals and needs of
the company. The school ensured that the staff met the professional requirements for the roles
they performed before being accepted as members. This promoted effectiveness in performance
of roles.
Some of the characteristics of the social workers and other professional organization
members working in the school included focusing on efficiency in performing tasks, being loyal
and reliable, and having a positive attitude towards competition. Aside from that, social workers
should be able to interact with clients well. In terms of efficiency, social workers in the school
were required to meet their ethical obligations and provide quality services to all the clients they
dealt with while considering the effects of all the decisions they made. Social workers were also
not allowed to be overly focused on efficiency and dismiss factors such as the client’s
preferences. The loyalty and dependency of students on social workers also relate to the ability
of the staff in providing efficient services that meet the needs of the students. Students are less
likely to return to the social work office in cases where they are condemned for their negative
behavior (Weinbach & Taylor, 2011).
While all the employees working in an organization are expected to work towards
making the company better than its competitors are, social workers are supposed to recognize the
importance of making referrals when dealing with issues that are beyond their expertise
(Weinbach & Taylor, 2011). They are expected to maintain a cordial relationship with other
agencies in the same spectrum such as psychologists and other healthcare professionals. The
school administration ensured that students’ whose cases could not be handled by the school
social work department such as drug addiction were referred to external facilities specialized in
managing them.
The task, Proximal, and Distal Environmental Contexts
Each member of the organization has specified roles. The task allocated to the social
worker included helping students cope with personal and psychological issues that might affect
their education and life, managing students who use alcohol and drugs and helping students and
parents struggling with financial needs. The role of the social worker within the school entailed
providing easily accessed consultation and services to students, parents, and staff and as such,
the school environment provided proximity to these services. Appendix 1 outlines my job
description as a social worker in the facility. The proximal environment focuses on health fairs
and workshops for creating awareness. The link between the social worker and external
healthcare practitioners and amenities formed the distal environment where clients could access
services not offered within the school. Participation of the social workers in professional boards
that develop health policies also forms part of the distal environment (Hanson, 2007).
Alternations in the distal environment dictate the changes that take place within the proximal
environment such as assessment, diagnosis, and client management practices.
Organizations that deal with human service provision such as schools require an in-depth
understanding of social, economic, psychological, and physical issues commonly affecting
members of the facility and their management. Organizations rely on the combined efforts of
their employees. Collaborating with teachers, counselors, and psychologists was essential in
ensuring that students or staffs portraying problematic behaviors are handpicked and their
problems addressed. Social workers are essential in organizations as they ensure that a positive
working environment is maintained.
Hanson, M. (2007). Social Work and in Organizations. In M. A. Mattaini, C. T. Lowery, & C. H.
Meyer, Foundations of Social Work Practice. A Graduate Text, 4th Edition (pp. 355384). Baltimore, Maryland: Cheryl Y. Bradley.
Weinbach, R. W., & Taylor, M. L. (2011). What Makes Human Services Management
Different? In The Social Worker as Manager: A Practical Guide to Success (6th ed) (pp.
21-49). Allyn & Bacon.
Appendix 1: Job Description
Social workers are usually employed in different institutions that focused on human
relations and welfare. In schools, social workers are either contracted by school districts or
employed on individual education institutions to enable students cope with personal and
psychological issues that may affect their interpersonal relationships, educational performance,
behavior, and self-esteem. Social workers reach out to students through one-on-one or classroom
meetings, and school-wide or group-based sessions. They address issues such as use of alcohol
and drugs, pregnancies among teenagers, and adjusting to the school’s social setting. They also
work with teachers in promoting behavioral change, supporting students’ emotional and physical
challenges, or those dealing with disabilities. As a social worker, I have been involved in
connecting students and parents to services such as food pantries and housing agencies,
recruiting students for fun field trips. I have also been involved in conducting McKinney Vento’s
assessments, suicide risk and other threats assessments. We work collaboratively with the school
counselors and psychologists. Students usually report to our office whenever they have needs
related to access to food, clothing, and shoes. I have worked with students affected by trauma
and taught them effective coping skills and provide them with socio-emotional support.
Appendix 2: Organizational chart
Principal (Ms. Brown)
IB Coordinator (Ms.
School social work
7 grade admin (Ms.
6th grade admin (Mr.
(Mr. Rochester)
School psychologist
(Mrs. Howard)
8th grade admin (Ms.
6th grade teachers
6th grade Mrs.
8th grade teachers
Johnson (counselor)
7th grade teachers
7th grade Mrs. Frazier
Enrichment team
8th grade Mrs. Myers
SCWK 614: Social Welfare Policy II
Web Field Trip #5
For your fifth (and final!) Web Field Trip, please familiarize yourself with the information
and resources available from the Administration for Children and Families, Department of
Health and Human Services (http://www.acf.hhs.gov). In your write up please select two
issues/problems portrayed in the following case study and how, specifically, you would use
this Internet resource to address/assist the family/individuals. Please provide specific
Case Study
Family Description: Patty (40) and Robert (44) have been married for more than 20 years,
having Eddie (7) and Ruth (5) long into their marriage. A complaint was anonymously called
into child welfare alleging that their children were at risk of abuse or neglect due to parental
alcohol and other drug abuse, and a decision was made to place them into foster care. When
child welfare professionals checked out the allegations, the children were found to have been left
alone overnight while both parents were out seeking and using cocaine. Patty and Robert both
subsequently tested positive for cocaine and alcohol use.
Presenting Issues:
This family had no known contact with any public system prior to the allegations of child
neglect due to drug abuse. Eddie and Ruth were placed together in foster care after removal into
the home of Barry and Teresa. The foster mother, Teresa, reported unusual and difficult
behaviors by Eddie. She says he withdraws periodically “into a shell”, becoming non-responsive
to verbal or physical inquiries. During the past month he has started banging his head against
the wall and picking sores on his skin with his fingernails. When Teresa or her husband, Barry,
tries to physically stop him from these behaviors, he does not act out against them, but struggles
mightily to continue hurting himself. He has oozing sores on his arms, legs and torso from his
picking, and he has given himself bruises and bumps in several areas on his head.
Patty married at 17 years old to “get away from” an alcoholic father. Patty’s mother
married Patty’s father when she was 16 years old. While drinking, which was most evenings,
Patty’s father would become physically abusive with Patty’s mother and verbally abusive to
Patty and her siblings. Patty began smoking marijuana occasionally and drinking 3 or 4 beers a
day to “feel better.” Patty admits she uses cocaine but does not believe it is a big problem in her
life and doesn’t think it affects her children.
Since the removal of her children, Patty has filed for divorce, has successfully completed
a 10-day detoxification program, and is now actively participating in an outpatient treatment
program and several local A.A. groups. She has done everything asked of her and appears to be
succeeding very well. Robert entered a detoxification program at the same time as Patty, but he
left against medical advice –he has not returned to treatment, has not responded to child welfare
efforts to involve him, and has not seen his children since their placement in foster care 9 weeks
ago. Patty has visited her children regularly and just recently began seeing them once a week at
the foster home with Teresa and a social worker present. Teresa has agreed to try to mentor
Patty. Patty indicates that Eddie’s behavior is new to her and unexplainable, and she expresses
sincere worry about what is happening to him. She believes it is just a result of his removal from
her and that he will be fine when returned to her care.
It is known that a relative made the original complaint about the care of Eddie and Ruth,
but no relatives have come forward to care for the children or be involved in their care, and
Patty has not asked for the involvement of any family members. Patty has appeared to completely
turn her life around, beginning with a detox program and now continuing active treatment and
support. She seems to have a very limited social network around her and development of those
natural supports is part of the current service plan. Robert has refused to participate in
recommended services and appears disinterested in further involvement with his children.
Your 3-4 page write-up should demonstrate understanding of the week’s topic by connecting the
information presented in the case study with information and resources from the website, the
assigned chapters, and your field placement. Submit a copy of your written summary via the
Blackboard course page before the start of Class 12.

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