Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Human Services Management: Designing an Evaluation Plan - written assignment

I chose Upstate Cerebral Palsy (UCP), is the premier provider of direct-care services and programs for individuals who are physically, developmentally, or mentally challenged and their families. UCP currently employs over 1,900 full and part-time employees at 74 locations throughout central New York. Is the direct-care and education centers, that includes medical, clinical and therapeutic personnel, teachers, social service staff, maintenance, clerical and general support staff. The organization provide care and support to more than 14,000 children and adults, also benefits from the services and support of hundreds of community volunteers; and is one of the largest employers in the central New York region. Its centers also provide educational opportunities for students from area high schools, as well as partners with several colleges and universities in hosting clinical and major-related student internships. (http://www.upstatecerebralpalsy.org/content/page/title/About/id/14)

I will put myself in the position of a facility coordinator under the division I work for, though that I’m hired as Residence counselor working under the coordinator. As a facility coordinator I will be supervising my facility that takes care of 12 developmental disabled individuals, one facility nurse, one LPN, two assistant managers –morning shift and evening shift, and at least twelve Residence counselors working in three shift, day, evening and overnight shifts and every other weekend.  I will exercise relative power in the evaluation situation by making sure every one is following individuals’ care plans correctly, document every incident in each individuals’ IPP books, and keeping all medical record accurate. Also I will have facility meetings every two weeks and ask for any possible changes from the residence counselors because they spend enoumass amount of time with individuals. Also it will be very important to ask residence counselors to carry out their daily activities by implementing state requirements for development disabled individuals because as the main oversight board that inspect us and approve our work annually they do have specific expectation and safety codes.
As administrative personnel, decision making relay heavily on evaluations because they provide us with vital information about activities being carried out by the facility as well as data (daily, monthly and annually) that describes the effects of these activities on our individuals. (Lewis, Lewis, Packard 2007, page 217)

As coordinator of my facility, the kind of information that I will need to conduct a thorough evaluations will include, if service is provided to the targeted people, if the service delivered is appropriate, if the service is good-quality, the types of service, and if the service(s) meet the needs and demands. I believe that I will be looking for analysis of facility information system such as analysis of service utilization, analysis of data from the information system, opinions and suggestions from the employees, guests and family members, analysis from demographic data services, such as sex, names, gender, age, and so on; by Rossi et al. 2004. (Lewis, Lewis, and Packard 2007, page 232)

However, the potential source of information that I will be looking for will be  my individuals through staff members/residence counselors as their advocates because they spend all the time with these individuals in a rotation of the three shifts 24/7. for example, quantitative evaluations is data gathering that will use true experimental designs comparing matched groups/individuals which control many variables as possible as variations of the real world, that have some comparisons of the groups. (Macionis, 2002, p.15-18)

If behavior of an individual changes because the RN/LPN recommended to the individual’s psychiatric Dr. to prescribe that particular medication expecting the individual violent behavior will calm down, then it is noted in his/or her file and it is documented by LPN/RN and residence counselors are to monitor the individual’s behavior 24/7 by chatting, for a certain period of time as discussed by meeting with me, RN/LPN, behavior specialists, assistant managers and Psychiatric. These data are to be used to evaluate that particular individual’s behavior and recommendation if to add dosage, to apply new medications will be determined by data that is being documented by residence counselor monitoring, if hospitalization occurred RN/LPN’s documentation also will be used

The methods of obtaining information on my sources will use biweekly staff meetings and discuss progress, concerns, suggestions and comments on how to improve our service to the individuals, how to make it easy for the staff members to gather the most desirable data/information, and what changes needed to be done to best serve our individuals. Also I will use questioners to the visiting family members, employees, and external evaluators, such as state inspectors for internal evaluations comparing to the external evaluations. My focus group will be staff members, indirectly, because are acting as individuals’ advocates, directly, to the individuals who can represent themselves, but there is none in my facility. Lastly I will use informal questioners to the family members of the individuals and visitors and other guests.

Purposes of evaluations are to do research by using things like questionnaire, tasks lists, description of daily tasks, illustration of what employer is looking for as information and apply to the needs and questions of the specific agencies specific stakeholders, or board. Also evaluations can be used by administration on the decision making in order to improve some operating programs to provide accountability, to increase support, to evaluate effectiveness of program, and to empower or educate supporting staff members. (Lewis, Lewis, and Packard 2007, page 217-20)

The ethical dilemma issue I see in the process of evaluation and information system is, when management cannot insist the importance of documentation as a mean of information system and main theme of the daily business of the facility, one may get misleading information. Because it is difficult to document for a person who cannot communicate, individuals who cannot advocate for themselves, our individuals, while stressing on getting other things done. Also it is imperative for management to clarify to the staffs that the information is not for the evaluations of how goo they are on getting things done, rather the actual incidents that happened about individuals in order to get clear picture of the individual’s status. Because this matter if not clarified may also produce misleading information.

For example, Ross et al. 2004, suggested that the data sources that are most helpful for management to monitor organizational outcomes use direct observation by the evaluator, use of service records, responses to interviews and questionnaires, and standardized measures. (Lewis, Lewis, and Packard 2007, page 231)

Many people have fear for evaluation, this can cause ethical dilemma if management wont stress on clarity and familiarization of staffs on methods used to gather information. Educated staff that evaluation increases accountability, responsibility and it avoids messy record keeping system. In fact, the sloppy record keeping system without evaluation cover up poor work performance because evaluation prompts social workers to stick with organizational goals, objectives and mission. Evaluation’s job is to assure that each client receives appropriate treatment, and also gives funders, board and management insight where the direction of an organization. For our job, social work we need to acquire knowledge regarding service methods, to be accountable and to increasing support. (Lewis, Lewis, and Packard 2007, page 217-20). These are the purpose of evaluation and we perform them every day at work, it depends with information system setting each agency has.

As a human service organization leader, implementing an evaluation system I expect to have a successful implementation of evaluations through a carefully collecting and analyze information that will verify the organization’s success in reaching its goals and objectives. In this case, I determined that human service organization evaluations will be referred to funders/donors, the Organization’s board, and any other stakeholders.  I will use information systems as collection of data that controls organization’s data and translate information that can be used to measure what has been accomplished for progress evaluation and easily retrieved. (Lewis, Lewis, and Packard, 2007, page 195). Information that will be gathered will be processed as information data system that will be used for evaluations.

  1. Lewis, J. A., T. R. Packard, et al. (2007). Management of human service programs. Belmont, CA, Thomson Higher Education/Brooks/Cole.
  2. http://www.upstatecerebralpalsy.org/content/page/title/About/id/14

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting little project on human services software. I'll have to keep check back to see the results!